Jada Pinkett Smith got real about lending money to friends and family.
In a recent episode of Red Table Talk, Jada, along with daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, talked about awkward social interactions. They also took questions from viewers, including a woman from Queens named Samantha, who wondered about telling her loved ones “no” when they asked for money, especially after she worked hard for her current success.
Jada urged people who did not grow up with a lot of money to let go of any guilt about turning someone down — something she admitted struggled with herself. “I've spent so many years feeling guilty, and my guilt made me feel like I owed everybody and I wasn't allowed to say ‘no.’ And that's just not true, right? So I came up with a couple of rules for myself. First of all, I don't lend money. I only give money that I'm willing to give away — like, this is a gift,” Jada admitted.
The actress further explained that lending money can lead to other problems, including having the expectation of people paying it back. As a result, she only offers financial support when she has fully determined that the funds can be a gift to someone.
“When somebody really needs help, I really evaluate it to see if the person is ready for that help. You feel me?” Jada continued. “So it's like...‘I want a new house,’ but they don't have a job to support the house they're trying to buy...It's like, well, you’re not ready for that. So I'm not about to help you get into something that ultimately is going to make more difficulty for you, right? And so, I really had to look at that. So I've also learned to help people with resources, with education.”
Jada reiterated that the most important thing to remember is that people should not feel bad about saying “no” to a friend or family member that asks for money because they do not owe anyone anything. “And people will make you feel like, ‘You owe me. I was standing next to you. I grew up in the house with you. I did this and that with you I knew you when,’ she said. “And at the end of the day, you don't owe nobody nothing.”
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