Debt is largely a misunderstood financial instrument, especially at a consumer level. Somehow taking debt is not considered being financial prudent. While there is enough literature to suggest that debt can be a fantastic lever for growth, if managed well. 

Reason it carries a bad reputation is because of all the horror stories when the debt cannot be serviced. You can lose everything you had, because the debt providers have the first right to your property. 

But the normal world, where debt is serviced well everyday and individuals gain from this debt, largely goes unnoticed. Because hey, it’s the normal. 

There is another kind of debt servicing that rarely talked about. And I consider sheer evil. 

Emotional debt

Debt that we take on our head. Either by choice, or artificially planted. 

There is a fancy name for that too. Emotional blackmail. 

It’s debt, at the end of it. 

Because you tell yourself, irrespective of my situation and my need, I need to service this debt first. 

I cannot leave this job, because I had promised my boss I will stay

I cannot go back to work, because I had promised my kids I would be around 

I cannot take this decision, because it will betray the trust you have in me

I have to tell you how much I love you, and care for you, before I express my love for anything else

I have to fulfill my destiny here, before I fulfill it somewhere else 

Emotional debt is an intangible. It doesn’t exist. We created it. And we allowed it to grow. Because we don’t pay for it everyday. We accumulate interest for that one day when we will repay back the debt in all. 

And this fucks up our judgement. 

Here is what helps

Treating emotional debt as financial debt 

Take it only when you need it 

Pay it in monthly installments

Emotional debt has killed more people than financial debt ever will.