How to Handle a Friend Who Asks a Favor
When a friend asks a favor, a true friend will be open to their response. They should be ready to accept “no” for an answer.
Dear Friendship Rules,
Recently, a friend asked me to store one of her three cars in my garage. She said that otherwise, she will have to pay hundreds of dollars a month to rent space for car storage.
I don’t want to do it, but I feel like she will be angry if I say no.
If I say yes, I’ll resent having the car in my garage. This seems so small compared to being asked to provide health care or a taxi service but still, it’s bothering me.
Confused About Saying No
It’s hard to say no to a friend. Yet, many times, friends ask for favors beyond our reach or our desire.
If this was a temporary request, we’re confident you’d oblige. But the idea of keeping it open-ended, and perhaps permanent, seems unfair to you. Even the idea of your friend asking you, without offering to pay, seems like she’s taking advantage of the friendship.
It’s possible she is totally unaware of it being an imposition, and if that’s the case, that complicates it and puts the onus on you to explain your feelings, unfortunately.
When a friend asks a favor, we all should feel comfortable saying no if the favor is an imposition. If your friend is a true friend, she will accept your decision and may even apologize for putting you in this awkward position.
You might not want the responsibility of taking care of someone else’s car or having their car take up space you’re used to having. Imagine going out to your garage and seeing her car out there each time you do; that can certainly get annoying, and conjure up feelings of resentment. And it’s never good to let resentment build up in a friendship.
In this case, saying yes might do more damage to the friendship than saying no.
Hope this is helpful.
Irene & Sheryl
P.S. You might find this post, about having tough conversations with friends, ALSO helpful to read.
Saying no when you don’t want to say yes is better than stewing and building up feelings of resentment.
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