Monday, July 19, 2010

Manners Monday: Avoid Asking Favors

Don't ask for favors too casually or too often-recognize the amount of effort you're requesting. If possible, accomplish your task in some other clearly grateful for a favor done. Even if the task appeared easy for the other person, give full credit-the person may be keeping the difficulties or unpleasantness of the effort from you.    ~Janet Gallant

Some favors are simple such as asking a neighbor to borrow their hedge clippers as yours broke mid-way while pruning your shrubs, or borrowing a book from a friend who is done reading their copy (be sure to read this post first before borrowing ANY items) and yet others are very unassuming at first glance but somehow turn into a lot of hassle for the person who agreed to do the favor, whether you are aware of it or not.  I can assure you that nobody will be as enthusiastic to move you into your new place, or help paint your home as you will be. In fact, these are probably two of the favors that people enjoy being asked to do the least. If you are going to ask a grand favor such as this one-be sure to buy those helping you a nice lunch, dinner, or be willing to treat your girlfriends to a manicure after all that hard work as a way to say 'thank you'!

When it comes to friendships, some come to rely on these relationships and might be thinking-well isn't that what friends are for? Some believe and even judge friendships based on what the other person can and is willing to do for them, especially in times of trouble or need. This is dangerous territory. Friendship is really about how you feel when you are with the other person and how they love and encourage you, not about what can be obtained from them. An occasional exchange of favors is almost inevitable in any friendship, but no true friendship is based upon the expectation that friends will be there to provide favors.

Here are 4 Questions to ask Yourself before Requesting a Favor:

1. Do I really need to ask for this favor or am I really just looking for an easy way out?

2. Is what I'm going to ask reasonable, fair and ethical? If the tables were turned-would I be willing to do the same for this person?

3. Will this favor affect anyone else other than myself? Will this put others at a disadvantage in any way? Think about the smaller details and how this will impact this person's family, friends, colleagues or neighbors, etc.

4. If the person I want to ask the favor of agrees, how will this affect our relationship? What about if they don't agree to the favor?

With friendships, asking for favors can strengthen or weaken a relationship. It can create an awkwardness after the favor is asked or fulfilled; or it can build a closer bond, it all depends on the favor itself and how it will impact the person being asked.

Have you ever asked a favor that has strengthened your relationship with someone? Were you on the receiving end of a favor that really put you on the spot or turned into far more than you had bargained for? I'd love to hear your experiences.


  1. I think we are thinking too much about this. Helping each other is the key to a successful society.

    1. Perhaps. However, my wife asks for a mountain (10+) of rapid-fire favors literally every minute. Last night, I left the room in order to have some peace. "Why not confront her?" There will be a battle. I don't look forward to it.

  2. The question that makes it all very clear is the last one - have you ever asked a favor that has strengthened your friendship with anyone?
    I can't tell you how nice it is to hear these words. Well said. Lovely post.

  3. This is so interesting. I always wonder about things like this!

  4. Some good things to think about here, Karla, as always! Hope you're having a great summer.

  5. Great post Karla! I love helping people, makes me feel good. Real friends won't take advantage of the situation. I hope your having a great week!
    Love Kristin

  6. Someone gave me a great suggestion the other day. She said that we are all good at something, if you are going to ask a big favor, offer a service that you do well in exchange. I liked that.

  7. Karen-I love that suggestion!! It's very true and it's a great way to strengthen the friendship/relationship bond while using our best skills. :)


  8. Great Post! I think sometimes favors can bring friends closer and sometimes it can push friends apart and that's why I love this post. Everyone should ask those questions!
    p.s. Love your Blog!

  9. You write the best posts! Thank you.

  10. Thank you @Maillardville Manor and @Londen! Your kind words made my day. :)


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