Dear Straight Talk: I work full-time and live on my own while attending community college. A close friend is constantly leaning on me for emotional support around guys, school, body image, etc. I like her, but she is often depressed and can be exhausting. She’s collecting unemployment, which isn’t much, and now she wants to borrow money. While I make more than she, I don’t feel I can help her does financially. How do I say “no” and still keep her as a friend? — Salinas
Carlos, 18, Fairfax, Va.: I doubt she will be offended if you tell her that paying for school and your pay doesn’t allow you to support her. Be very clear, though, or she will relapse into asking again. Friends give a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear, but once you mix in money, the friendship is at risk.
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