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How Can I Say No To A Friend Who Keeps Asking For Favors?
Her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law continues to ask for favors. At wit's end, she wonders how she can just say no.
Is it possible to survive a one-sided friendship? We think the odds are stacked against it.
I have a friend that is about to become my sister-in-law. Her wedding is in two weeks.
She takes and takes and takes from me because I can’t say no!
I’m fed up and don’t know how to tell her. She has me sending out invitations, baking and decorating her cupcakes and the groom’s cake for the wedding, helping her with the music… and there’s no telling what else is yet to come.
I’ve tried to say no, but every time I do, she twists it and keeps pressuring me until I give in. Oh, and I’m her maid of honor, too. We had to pay for our own dresses and my husband had to pay for his shirt---that’s over $100.00 already. Besides all that, I paid to give her a special luau shower and I helped out with the bachelorette party. As you can imagine, I spent quite a bit of money.
The last straw was when my husband decided against paying for his shirt because we had already spent so much money. He just wanted to put an end to all the expenses. Now she is calling me, crying and upset, trying to get me to pay for the shirt!!!
This is just the beginning of your relationship with your once-friend who morphed into a sister-in-law. You need to set realistic boundaries for the future about what you want to do for her and when you need to tell her no.
For example, you shouldn’t feel obliged to spend more money on her than feels comfortable or that doesn’t fit within your budget---no matter what she thinks she deserves or is entitled to.
The problem may even get worse with time. She may think that now that you are relatives, she can ask you for anything and everything.
As time passes, if you keep acquiescing to every favor the Queen of Favors asks of you, as you have seen, she will continue to ask for more. You may need to speak to your brother to give him a heads up and ask for his help in giving the message to his bride-to-be that you are starting to feel like a patsy.
You don’t want to blindside him and create conflict between the newlyweds by confronting his wife without letting him know.
That said, weddings are always times of great angst for brides and their families. Maybe now isn't the best time to begin to say NO for the first time to your sister-in-law-to-be. Try to be gracious until the wedding is over and let her enjoy her special day. Then stick to your guns.
We hope this is helpful.
Irene & Sheryl
When friends ask for favors, you are not obliged to say yes all the time.
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