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Do you ask for favors?


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Just curious.

I hate asking people to do things for me.  It's not that it makes me feel vulnerable or weak or incapable, but I just hate annoying people or making them feel bad if they can't do what I've asked of them.  (I mean things like loaning me five dollars, picking up my mail, feeding my cat, babysitting in case of emergency, etc.)  And I don't want them to inconvenience themselves to accomplish some task for me.

My mom, on the other hand, asks everyone for favors.  She is constantly asking people for money, or to look at her car, to mow her grass, to fix the sink, etc, etc.  And she actually does get peeved if the answer is no, which is stupid to me.  She's asked me to do things before that I couldn't or didn't know immediately if I could and was highly irate that she didn't get a salute and a hearty, "Yes, ma'am!"  She has no sense of boundaries at all.

Case in point:  she and my uncle took it upon themselves to ask my best friend from high school, to help my recently widowed grandmother with her medication.  This has evolved into taking her to Wal-Mart, calling in prescriptions, running other errands for her.  It's no picnic (my grandmother has alzheimers).  I feel awful.  It's a lot to ask someone.  And I don't want her to ever feel like our friendship would be at risk if she didn't feel like doing it anymore.

So...are you a favor asker?  Or are you more like me and less likely to ask for even small things?  Do you mind when people ask you for favors?

38 Replies (last)

I tend not to, but really wish I did sometimes, I try and do things by myself all the time and it can cause stress on occasion...all because I don't want people to think I am needy.

I do loads for other people, doesn't bother me one bit.

I've asked for favours a few times, but only for stuff I really can't handle myself and can't afford to pay to have done.

Damned British stiff necked pride, I guess.

Original Post by piratekitty:

I really don't like doing it, but I have a couple of times. I always feel super guilty about it and end up over-compensating. Like if someone takes me out to lunch I'll thank them and then insist on paying for the next 2 lunches and bring them baked goods the next day; or if they help me move, I'll feed them, give them a six pack of beer and offer to help with their next move for which I will receive only a thanks (I don't want anything more than the thanks, I'm just illustrating my over-doing it).

I'm a wee bit of a control freak too, so I'd much rather do everything myself... but I've trained myself to accept help when offered.

Still would be less awkward all around if I could just sprout a few extra arms.

 this reminds me...i'm moving in less than two weeks.  it's going to take everything i have not to follow my boyfriend's dad and him around as they carry the heavy stuff going "oh god.  watch the wall!  careful, it looks like it's slipping.  is it slipping?  i think it's slipping.  don't drop it."

Hmm...I've only known one guy who was completely averse to asking for a favor. The other men I've known or know, either say "I hate to ask, but..." or "hey, if you don't mind, will you..."

Or they could be like my dad and be all, "I hate to ask, but this is what you're going to do..." :D

I'm a huge isolationist. I can't really ask for help without guilt or working myself up before asking or over compensating if I get a yes. Also because of my isolationism I have fewer and fewer people I could ask. Mostly I try to figure out a method to do things alone or not at all. 

I also have little to no problem giving others help, although I am learning to be more judicious of my time having gotten burned a bit by people who can really take advantage if they get an inch.

This is obviously an issue I should look more into.

I generally don't ask for favors even from people that I've helped a lot...now if they volunteer I don't mind.  Close friends no problem although typically I do far more for others.

Rides to/from the aiport, sometimes the 90 mile away airport...it can be arranged if you're someone I like.

Picking up something while I'm at the store anyway...not a problem.

Help moving...limited due to my knee issues, but I'll help where I can...so happy not to have to move myself for years.

I generally volunteer to do something for someone before they ask me.  That way I can put out what I'm willing to do and what I'm not inconvenienced by.

There are a few people that I've had to set strict boundaries with.  They generally are those who get pissy when I say no.

My husband will not ask for favors.  He will help others if asked but does not like asking for help himself.  He will say it is because he doesn't want to feel like he is obligated in some way.  In reality, I think it is because he sees asking for help as a sign of weakness.  I know other men who are the same way.

I will ask for help for some things.  I have asked for a ride from my best friend when it snows because she has 4 wheel drive and I don't like to drive in snow.  We work at the same place and it is only a couple of blocks out of her way.  I will also do favors for her so it doesn't bother me.

I don't ask for money and I rarely will ask for help at work.

In the grocery store, I will ask to "borrow" a strangers husband to get something from a shelf if I can't reach it.  It always makes them laugh.

Original Post by eninad:

I'm a huge isolationist. I can't really ask for help without guilt or working myself up before asking or over compensating if I get a yes. Also because of my isolationism I have fewer and fewer people I could ask. Mostly I try to figure out a method to do things alone or not at all. 

I also have little to no problem giving others help, although I am learning to be more judicious of my time having gotten burned a bit by people who can really take advantage if they get an inch.

This is obviously an issue I should look more into.

I share this problem.  I would rarely say "no, I can't help" and yet, I have an unbelievably difficult time asking for help -- and I'm pretty sure it's obvious, as I am rarely offered help (generally, I'm a "no, no, I can do this myself" person -- even when it's not true).

I learned not to say yes so readily, still working on the please help

It is very hard for me to ask for help or a favor from someone. Yet I don't mind performing favors and never feel inconvenienced when asked.

I know it's because of a sense self-esteem issues. I pretend it's because I don't want to bother anyone. The real reason is because I'm afraid they'll say no and I'll feel rejected. If I don't ask, I can't be rejected.

Well, I've learned to ask for favors when I really need one. I've always managed everything on my own and in the beginning it was always with a hugely bad conscience, but I don't ask for big favors unless it's crucial. And avoid the long-term ones too. I've gotten better at it. It's OK to ask friends and family for small favors. It's good to be needed too, you know? My friend asked me to cut her hair, which I'll do with a smile. She has picked me up from work because my car broke down - she had to drive for half an hour to get here and I felt really guilty to "make her", but she was all happy to do that for me. Friendship is give and take. I always ask first, and never expect them to do things automatically. And I ask for the same in return.

A family member though, has always been the needy type. She don't really ask for favors directly, she just implies that she needs someone to do things for her. I've long since seen through her methods, once she complained about rush hours and difficulty with buses and expensive taxis and oh I wish someone would drive me to the airport (for an expensive vacation - her 3rd that year...). I asked her directly if she meant to ask me to drive her, she completely overheard the question and thanked me for offering to take her, and then she ranted on about something else. I told her that I would be at work and couldn't take her that's why I asked, and she said she would then have to take the bus and carry her stuff and poor her. By then I gave a damn if she'd crawled to the airport.

So, it's a balance as I see it. If I'm at home sitting next to my boyfriend, I don't ask him to get me a glass of water unless he's already getting up for another reason. I'm perfectly able to get some for myself. If I get up, I ask if he wants something - he'd to that for me too. He'd get me the water if I asked him no matter what, but I don't really see the point unless I'm sick or otherwise "unable".

ASKING for a favor is OK.  (A favor is not a recurrent thing..)
EXPECTING someone to do things for me is not OK. Unless they're paid to do it.

I'm a person who used to not ask for any help at all ever. In the past few years I've mellowed out and learned that asking for favor can strengthen a relationship. A buddy of mine and I were never really close even though I've had him come over multiple times and have helped him on multiple occasions. Things changed when I asked him to help me with hoisting some heavy timbers. He came over for two weekends to help and his attitude was different than in the past.

As an engineer, I surely could have constructed a gin pole and hoisted the lumber up without any help but having him over to help, then having his wife over for steak dinner afterward definitely was great.

If you are a parent, remember that asking your kids to help is essential, kids don't learn how to do things well unless you let them.

Original Post by cajunrider:

I'm a person who used to not ask for any help at all ever. In the past few years I've mellowed out and learned that asking for favor can strengthen a relationship. A buddy of mine and I were never really close even though I've had him come over multiple times and have helped him on multiple occasions. Things changed when I asked him to help me with hoisting some heavy timbers. He came over for two weekends to help and his attitude was different than in the past.

As an engineer, I surely could have constructed a gin pole and hoisted the lumber up without any help but having him over to help, then having his wife over for steak dinner afterward definitely was great.

If you are a parent, remember that asking your kids to help is essential, kids don't learn how to do things well unless you let them.

Hmmm....would it be reasonable to say that friends help fill in the parenting gaps with other friends who haven't had as balanced an upbringing?

Original Post by smw:

Original Post by cajunrider:

I'm a person who used to not ask for any help at all ever. In the past few years I've mellowed out and learned that asking for favor can strengthen a relationship. A buddy of mine and I were never really close even though I've had him come over multiple times and have helped him on multiple occasions. Things changed when I asked him to help me with hoisting some heavy timbers. He came over for two weekends to help and his attitude was different than in the past.

As an engineer, I surely could have constructed a gin pole and hoisted the lumber up without any help but having him over to help, then having his wife over for steak dinner afterward definitely was great.

If you are a parent, remember that asking your kids to help is essential, kids don't learn how to do things well unless you let them.

Hmmm....would it be reasonable to say that friends help fill in the parenting gaps with other friends who haven't had as balanced an upbringing?

 Absolutely, great as my father was, he was also a military man. That means extended absence at times. We kids hook up with one another and the discussions about fathers definitely came up.

Despite recent rumors, I am a guy.  And I don't ask for help or favors.  Like Sweetpea said, at the root of it it's not because I worry about offending other people by asking, it's because I'll worry that I look weak.

On the other hand I love giving help.  I'd like to say that it's because I like helping people, and that's probably true, but I know that if I stare too long into myself I'd probably find that there's a bit of showing off in there as well.

Original Post by nicepumpkins:

So...are you a favor asker?  Or are you more like me and less likely to ask for even small things?  Do you mind when people ask you for favors?

No! I have huge pride issues. If I'm capable of doing it myself, I'll do it. [Except for sex for you wise-guysTongue out]. I hate asking. I'd rather die. I was the kid who was a slow learner and doer. People were always rushing me when I asked for help, so I just developed an attitude that I'm not asking for any kind of help. I'll do it myself, no matter how long it takes.

Yes, I do mind, if I feel you're capable of doing it yourself or if I feel you're going to do something foolish with what I give you. I probably have selfishness issues too.

I ask for car rides because I don't drive. I've been driving now (in parking lots) trying to get over the anxiety but it's very very hard.

Otherwise, I NEVER ask for help.

Original Post by coach_k:

Original Post by eninad:

I'm a huge isolationist. I can't really ask for help without guilt or working myself up before asking or over compensating if I get a yes. Also because of my isolationism I have fewer and fewer people I could ask. Mostly I try to figure out a method to do things alone or not at all.

I also have little to no problem giving others help, although I am learning to be more judicious of my time having gotten burned a bit by people who can really take advantage if they get an inch.

This is obviously an issue I should look more into.

I share this problem.  I would rarely say "no, I can't help" and yet, I have an unbelievably difficult time asking for help -- and I'm pretty sure it's obvious, as I am rarely offered help (generally, I'm a "no, no, I can do this myself" person -- even when it's not true).

I learned not to say yes so readily, still working on the please help

OMG! I am so with you guys on this.

I'll ask for favors if I need to and if it's not much of a bother to the person I'm asking (e.g. asking my SO to pick up my contacts if he happens to pass near the optician) and said person needs to be someone relatively close to me. Not only I don't want people to find me a burden, but I also don't like being helped. It DOES tend to make me feel weak and incapable, although I do know that it's okay to ask for favors... Within boundaries, of course.

However, I'm happy to help if someone asks me for a (reasonable) favor. It's when people assume that I'll do it that makes me angry.

 

38 Replies (last)
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