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Thread: Friends and favors

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Applewhite's Avatar
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    Friends and favors

    I'm am not one of those people that always asks for favors. Typically I do not ask unless I am really in need.

    A while back I ended a relationship with a 'friend' who basically turned our whole relationship into her asking favors from me, me always offering favors and this was basically out whole interaction. In addition to this she also stole something from me and lied about it! I am pretty generous with my friends and I don't keep tabs on everything and so this went on for a while without me realizing what was going on. The way I realized is when one day my phone rang, I saw it was her and I immediately knew (without talking to her) that she probably wanted something - and in fact she did! I also realized I don't feel comfortable enough asking her for any favors and on the one event I did (something really easy like borrowing an office key for a couple of hours) she declined! I have to mention here that I have done this person NUMEROUS favors, when she asked or even when I just suspected she needed me. I have been very generous over a long span, with my time, money, support etc. and never expecting something back other than friendship and goodwill. Anyway that relationship is now over and since then I have been very careful with this to not put myself in a similar position. Here is more on that situation if you want more background.

    Now I want to know if I am overdoing it. I want you to tell me how you would have handled the below situation - and what you think about how I handled it.

    I a friend/acquaintance. We met a year ago as she is a new grad student in my department. I had told her to call me for anything she needs or just to hang out. She never called to hangout and she once called to talk about her problems - which is fine. On one occasion I asked to hang out drive her to a beach she declined - which is fine. This was the extent of our social interaction. At one point I asked her a small favor (as small as forwarding an email - would take a couple of mins at most). She did not even respond (I wish she had at least declined and answered the request). Since then she has called me twice both to ask for favors.

    The first time I never saw her calls/texts but she sent a few text and there was a few missed calls, voicemails etc. Her car broke down and she needed my help. It turned out I saw this too late so I couldn't help anyway.

    The second time I also didn't see the call but I heard the voicemail that said she needed something (didn't say what). I didn't call back immediately. I got texts later saying she needed to be taken to a driving test and would I take her. Now this annoyed me. It is ok if you don't want to do favors for me, although not even responding was rude I think. But now every time you call me you are asking me for big favors? I declined saying I am not available to help even though I could probably have made time for it that day. (And she was calling me the day before she needed me?!) I don't feel like doing favors for someone who calls me just for favors. Especially if I cannot feel comfortable enough to ask this person for favors for whatever reason. What do you think about this? Is this the same as me not wanting to do favors unless I get something back? Because that is really not the way I mean it. Am I being too strict because of the bad experience I had with the other friend?

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    Bronze Member SpiritofFire's Avatar
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    That's rather unfortunate that you had to deal with this situations and so called "friends" more like acquaintances. I basically feel the same way when it comes down to friendships, etc. I am there when someone needs me, and I usually don't ask for favors unless I am in big need. But when I do need support, those who usually ask for support turn you down, or busy so easily it seems. I find this rather silly, because if I cared that much I would certainly make it one way or another. Unfortunatlly I must warn you that once people find weekness in you, they tend to exploit it to it's full potential. Like many do, perhaps unintentionally, or internionally. That's just the lesson you'll learn while going through so called life. You are doing nothing wrong in my book, in fact you are playing smart. All you need to do is play by their rules and be on look-out, and perhaps let them figure out why you turned their favor down next time. I personally met many many people like that, and trust me not everyone has good intentions, they only seeking attention, and someone to lin on when they need the help, but when it comes down to return the favor, they are not available. Sad, but it happens to often. So just be catious who you choose to lend your hand to, and make the right choices and learn from mistakes. Just don't let others walk over you when they feel like it. You getting there, be strong and find better buddies who would apprutiate you.

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    Platinum Member Applewhite's Avatar
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    Why do I feel like I was sneaky by not helping when I really could have done it. Is it normal to feel this way?

    I should only help when I feel I want to, isn't that right? Is it bad that I didn't want to because we haven't socialized and because she refused to even reply to me when I was asking for something that was important to me?

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    It is not bad that you didn't want to give to somebody who basically is using you. Life is a give and take and even though we all want to be forever altruistic, we can't be. You have needs and they need to be met by your friends, if they are not, then they are not your friends.

    You do not have to give to everybody who asks. There is no rule/law/etc. that claims otherwise. If there is, rewrite it.

    There are many people I give to who don't give back. Some I'm ok with that because of their situations, others, I just stop giving to. It's hard, but I do it for self preservation. Because otherwise the well would run dry and I will have given away everything, leaving nothing for myself.

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    Platinum Member Applewhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livelarge View Post
    It is not bad that you didn't want to give to somebody who basically is using you. Life is a give and take and even though we all want to be forever altruistic, we can't be. You have needs and they need to be met by your friends, if they are not, then they are not your friends.

    You do not have to give to everybody who asks. There is no rule/law/etc. that claims otherwise. If there is, rewrite it.

    There are many people I give to who don't give back. Some I'm ok with that because of their situations, others, I just stop giving to. It's hard, but I do it for self preservation. Because otherwise the well would run dry and I will have given away everything, leaving nothing for myself.
    Thanks. So you don't think I was being petty in this particular occasion?

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    No - you don't have to do favours for people who don't even want to hang out with you.

    You did the right thing. She was rude to ask.

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    Bronze Member SpiritofFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hike14 View Post
    Thanks. So you don't think I was being petty in this particular occasion?
    Not at all. Livelarge really said it perfectly, basically summaried what I was trying to say. Question is, do THEY (friends) think that you were UNFAIR by denying them your favor? If yes, why? What would they do if they were in your shooes? Hell, sometimes I just want to get into someones brain and just see how some certain people think and why? To get the leverege over someone, to take advantage of someone, to be truly honest? Not sure, but as I mentioned before I think you are doing well, continue doing what you doing, and be on look out. Make sure your needs are met too, otherwise you'll be in frustrating zone. Question things if they don't make clear sense? There are plenty of peeps who will take advantage of those who is willing to give favors. Find leveredge. I am speaking from my personal opinion, because I've met plenty of peeps like you described, friends too, sometimes you need to put your step down, and say enouph is enouph. I want a peice of pie too.

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    Platinum Member Applewhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofFire View Post
    Not at all. Livelarge really said it perfectly, basically summaried what I was trying to say. Question is, do THEY (friends) think that you were UNFAIR by denying them your favor? If yes, why? What would they do if they were in your shooes? Hell, sometimes I just want to get into someones brain and just see how some certain people think and why? To get the leverege over someone, to take advantage of someone, to be truly honest? Not sure, but as I mentioned before I think you are doing well, continue doing what you doing, and be on look out. Make sure your needs are met too, otherwise you'll be in frustrating zone. Question things if they don't make clear sense? There are plenty of peeps who will take advantage of those who is willing to give favors. Find leveredge. I am speaking from my personal opinion, because I've met plenty of peeps like you described, friends too, sometimes you need to put your step down, and say enouph is enouph. I want a peice of pie too.
    Thank you. It is just that I am not used to saying NO and it is not my character. But I need to make it part of my character because not everyone is as generous as I am. I used to go out of my way to help people, I will no longer do this for people that I don't feel will do the same for me or have proven to do the same for me. And especially if they have refused favors for me in the past, I don't want to be doing them any favors.

    Does this policy sound reasonable? This is all so new to me - and it makes me feel half guilty even thinking about it on these terms!

  10. #9
    Bronze Member SpiritofFire's Avatar
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    I understand how you feel and think. I am the same way, I really am generous person and I go far to accomodate my friends. But truly there are only few who stand out, others are just acquaintances who you should have a watchful eye on, and prioritize whats good for you and them, and most of all whats reasonable when it comes to favors. It really depends on situation, time, and availability. I belive you are in the right direction with the policy you came out with. Not that you want to be mean, but you want to protect your senity and self worth, that you are better than that. If you take care of yourself, and be stern I belive peeps will notice it, and be more catious of approaching you for favores, and respectful of your opinion. Like I said, there are some individuals out there, are sneaky artists who'll take advantage of you if you let them. And some peeps take kindness for weakness. That's a goodone to remember. I used to say Yes often, then I question everything. If it makes sense and I am available Ill help. If they are unreasonalbe, and have other means of getting the favor, they tell them to try other options. Perhaps you can always recommend something to solve their problem to their so called favor. Eh? good thought. sorry I am getting deep into it lol.

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    Platinum Member Applewhite's Avatar
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    Thank you. This makes me feel so much better.

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