Some time ago, I did a job for a friend who needed my writing service. We’ve been friends for a while and she has come to know me quite well. We agreed on terms and conditions and I began the work immediately.

Businesses Lesson No 1: Doing business with a friend can be tricky. If not well managed, you could end up with both a ruined relationship and a bad deal. Be wise about how you engage in business with people who are close to you.
I held up my end of the bargain. Gave the work my best and finished it in good time. Meanwhile, I didn’t charge her the standard fee for the kind of service because I was being nice and friendly. After all, it’s not all about the money. 😎

Business Lesson No 2: Unless you run an NGO, try to not to carry over friendship sentiments into your business dealings. While it’s reasonable to give special considerations to friends, it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your business.
What is more, I didn’t bother to ask for a down-payment (which is standard business practice) before committing to the work. I mean, she is my friend and shouldn’t default in paying. She’ll pay up as soon as I’m done with it.

Business Lesson No 3: Unless you are working pro bono, do well not to commit to a business bargain without a down-payment. People can be funny.

So I finished the work and delivered it to my dear friend even before the time agreed upon. She thanked me profusely for a job well done and then dropped a bomb on me:

I have to be ‘sincere‘ with you. But I’m not sure I can afford the fee. You are my padi (friend) na. You of all people should understand. Just let me pay you XYY (way below what I charged for the job)”.Note that I had already undercharged for the service while putting more finishing touches than what is generally obtainable. Meanwhile, she knew all along she couldn’t afford the agreed fee but chose not to say a word about it until the work was done and delivered. And why is that? “Isn’t it my friend ABC? What can go wrong?”

To cut a long story short, she didn’t pay me the much devalued fee until weeks later. What was more baffling was her attitude to it all. ‘I’ll pay you when I can’ πŸ’β€β™€οΈ. And why is that? She knows me too well: ‘Mr Nice Guy’ who will turn the other cheek when slapped.I chose not to take offense or let her conduct cause a rift between us. Took some doing though. But one thing is sure. She had lost my goodwill as far as business dealings with her was concerned. I won’t be doing business with her anytime soon.

By implication, she has lost out on:
πŸ“Œ Having a friend who can get the job done promptly.
πŸ“Œ A fellow who will execute the job as if it were his own.
πŸ“ŒOne who won’t rip her off but willΒ  charge her reasonably well.
πŸ“Œ Someone she can fall back on to help her with the kind of service even when she is broke.

You see, it’s not a cliche when folks say too much familiarity breeds contempt.

I believe familiarity, in the real sense of it, shouldn’t breed contempt. After all, how can you claim to have a good relationship with someone if you don’t have a level of familiarity with them? But then, my people will say ‘when a handshake goes beyond the ankle, it has become something else’.

It’s great display of wisdom and maturity when we don’t allow the privileged information or access we have to people cloud our sense of value and regard for them.I believe it’s a terrible lack of judgment when we treat those close to us or care about us with less regard while we worship at the feet of folks who care less about us.

You go out of your way to treat an outsider nicely and respectfully while you disregard those you know closely. Seriously?

There is an Algerian proverb that says “there is an excess of familiarity at the root of all hostility“. I think it’s not far from the truth.

Remember what transpired between Jesus and his kinsmen? They couldn’t receive the blessings he had to offer because of the background knowledge they had of him: “Who does he think he is? Isn’t he the son of the carpenter we’ve always known?”

Someone once said that too much familiarity makes us devalue those we love the most because we are used to them being around. πŸ’―

Nigerians have a colloquial way of referring to this malady. They call it SEE FINISH.

Oh, you mean Mr. XYZ? I know him too well.”

” Don’t mind her. Isn’t she the same girl I know? She doesn’t have much to offer.”

πŸ“ŒA family member of a man of God fails to receive healing from him while other church members do.
πŸ“Œ A wife is bemused when outsiders speak highly of her husband 😏
πŸ“Œ A friend fails to take another seriously and misses out on a vital information passed on by the friend.

I can go on…

Whatever you do, avoid being too familiar (SEE FINISH) with people. You will lose value for them and not make the best of your relationship with them. You will shoot yourself in the leg!
Thank you for reading.


24 thoughts on “THE “SEE FINISH” SYNDROME πŸ‘€

  1. That seriously sucks that your friend took advantage of your services and your kindness. I’ve lost friends by being way too kind and forgiving…. and once they figured out that I wasn’t gonna go out of my way for them anymore, they dropped me and moved on. Can’t stand being taken advantage of but they lost out on a good friend. They chose to leave and I don’t like playing mind games with ppl. I stopped chasing. It’s their loss.

    As for pugs, they’ll never take advantage of you but they might steal food out of your hand when you aren’t looking! Dogs make better friends than humans, anyways. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. πŸ’― Some boundaries are not meant to be crossed. Sometimes, it’s good that one has such experience in one’s dealing with people. You get to know who your true friends are. Folks who try to milk you at every given opportunity and never add value to your life are not meant to be in your life. And like you rightly said, it’s their loss. I’ve come to a point where I don’t stress myself to keep people around me.

      😁 The picture just seemed apt to stress the message of the post. I found it hilarious too.

      I do appreciate your time reading and contributing to the post. Thanks a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The first picture made my eyes go wild but as I continued to read, the whole thing dawned on me. That’s exactly how some people treat privileges. They could sit on your face just like that dog, wee and poo there and except you to smile.
    This post resonates with me and that’s why I’m somehow mad about the treatment you received from your friend. I did business with my very close friend and …. ate both the profit and capital up till today. Before then my other half was totally against it as if he knew what the end of it would be.
    I decided to let go because… was a good friend – good to the core and I cherish our friendship. I couldn’t allow money to ruin such beautiful relationship. I understood what happened. At the time I lived abroad and you know what they say about people who lived abroad; they pick money from the street made of gold and diamonds.
    I forgave… when….. apologised and gave lots of reasons behind the attitude.
    We are still very good friends. But in my heart I know I can never trust… business-wise.
    There was once a time I blamed a man who would never allow his brother for enter his commercial bus without paying his transport fare – we called him wicked. “He is your brother, why collect money from him to carry him to his destination? He explained that business was business. His brother sold tyres and whenever he went to his brother to get tire for his bus, he didn’t give it to him for free. He said he respected his brothers business, so why won’t he respect his?
    I believe you can still render your service to your friend but….has to pay before service, else, your hands will be tied.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your personal experience is the story of many people (especially those abroad) who have trusted friends/loved ones with financial stuff but were let down by them. It’s sad. I respect the sanctity of friendship a lot and do my best to ensure I don’t mess it up. I’ll hate that money was the reason I lost a friend so I’m careful in my dealings with them. Friends should always look for opportunities to add value to another rather than look for avenues to milk them. Meanwhile, one should know how to draw the line in business dealings with friends.

      You are right. I may still render my service to her. However, this time, I’m going to ensure that I do the needful.

      I’m always gratedul for your support – profound contributions and all. Means a lot to me. Thanks a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. After more than 20 years of providing services to friends, it still rings true that no good deed goes unpunished. The services that I was paid for while working, were provided for free to friends. They always wanted more, and felt that they could call morning, noon, night, midnight, Monday through Sunday. There is a boundary drawn when it comes to disrespect, and when that line was crossed, I stopped communicating with them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True. There’s got to be boundaries or folks will keep taking unfair advantage. Friends should help each other to grow in every area rather than be a clog in the wheel. Thank you for taking the time to read through and comment. πŸ™


    1. ☺ Don’t mind me. I was at a loss for a display image to use when I ran into this. I found it hilarious and apt at the same time.

      Well, no hard feelings. It’s a learning curve. We’ll be fine.

      Can’t thank you enough for your continued support.


  4. I definitely get this familiarity. There is that idea that you teach someone how to treat you by the things you let slide and ignore. I know it’s petty to hang onto every nitty-gritty but it’s important to emphasise the lines when they have been crossed and I hope you set your friend right. Its important that we know our friends will uphold our principles rather than to be the ones trying to break them down.


  5. Whoa! This is really a thing and your story reminds me of someone I know, she’ll hardly allow friends take “credit facility” and thanks to that, her business is currently performing well. I’ll imbibe your thoughts. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Such happens anyway. Sometimes, I ask myself; why is it that the people who know you well are the ones who are willing to take advantage of you?
    They tend to play “Mr wise”.
    It’s really not fair. Infact, they are the ones who should pay to support your business. What your friend did, she can’t try it with a random business man.

    Lesson: Good relationships are important and don’t take advantage of people just because you feel you can and you know them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right πŸ’―, Pamela. People can be funny. Meanwhile, they end up shooting themselves in the leg with such terrible attitude. You aptly summed up the post with the lesson. I’ll like to be like you when I grow up.

      Thank you for taking the time to read through and sharing your profound thoughts.


  7. Sorry but this sucks and I have seen something similar, just that in his case it was a family member and a business partnership. You know once you mess things up the relationship suffers for it, you simply won’t do business with the person again and nobody should blame you for it. We all have to protect our source of income.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. I’m now wary of how I do business with folks I have close relationships with else one makes a mess of both the relationship and the business. It pays to know where to draw the line to avoid stories that touch.

      Thanks, Bridget for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment.


  8. Friends and family are the worst customers ever!!!
    Just like a prophet is not recognized in their own town – as JESUS had to experience – the ones closest to us will often not appreciate our value.
    I feel you, my brother!
    And it’s even more difficult when you are a counselor, because then people will tell you all their problems and expect free counseling because “we are friends”, but they forget that friendship is mutual and when you have a problem, they brush it off and say “you, you will handle it, you always do!”… I know what you are talking about!
    But I think it’s a good learning process for us, to actually learn to make the rules clear before we give – and if we want to give it without charge, that’s fine, but it should be up to us – and if we name our price, then our friends can still decide to agree to the deal or to look elsewhere, which may be better for the friendship anyway πŸ˜‰
    I go to a church where most people are Nigerian and I am glad I came across a very good explanation for “SEE FINISH”!
    I had heard it before, even in a song from Freke Umoh, perhaps you know it, and I had not been 100% sure what it means – thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    I actually do hope your friend will understand what she did and that she was very wrong – and will apologize…
    But good for you, you have been kind!
    GOD bless you!


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