Asking for favors is not a talent. It’s a skill really; you just have to have the few facts down. Some people are so annoying when asking for stuff, you want to say no before knowing what they want. Confused? Here’s a dialogue between me and one very ‘nerve wrecking’ human being. FIY there were three people in this conversation…Her (Z), I and my thoughts (MT)!
Me: Hey Hey
Z: Do you have a Bank Account?
MT: No, that’s why you were admiring my Hello Kitty credit card last week! Who the Heck doesn’t have a bank account?
Z: What Bank do you use?
MT: (First I check to make sure I’m talking to Z and not some Tele marketer) Why the heck is she interested in what bank I use? Oh Lawd what does she want now?
Me: Chase Bank why?
Z: You got some savings?
MT: Who the Hell are you?…A debt collector or the Revenue Services?…asking about my savings account like you fund me…what makes you think I would tell you my personal business…showing up here like you owe me something…ewww get out my phone…why are you even in my life?
By the way this whole conversation was via text…imagine…and the reason it ended is because I stopped replying…because my next reply was going to be like this…
Me: Listen, I’m not a child, I am twenty freaking three, and I am in pharmacy school, so I don’t have time to answer all your background-check questions over text, only for you to take from me in the end. Stop wasting my time and get to your damn point.
Some people have you contemplating your mood to see if you can pick up cos with them it’s always something and you have to sacrifice…Z is one of them. This one time she called me at 10:00pm asking to get a ride to the airport, at 4:00am. The airport is 45 minutes away and nope, she wasn’t offering to pay for fuel. Seriously this is what she said, “But it’s not so far away, I know you have gas in your car.” Yea I have gas in my car…for me, my journeys, where I want to go, when I wish to go…Honey I am not your mother, snap out of that fantasy you’re living in…where did these people grow up?
If you’re a victim of reject when it comes to asking for favors, here are a few tips that could come in handy.
- Don’t pretend. We can see right through you. If you haven’t called in a while don’t make cheesy conversation like “How do you like your new apartment?” (You know I have been living here for like five months now?) Don’t act like you care, that only triggers a fake attitude and everything you say after that is going to be scrutinized.
- Meet me half way. No more than two tasks per favor. You want me to help you mail your stuff? Ok. Make sure it’s packed and ready and I can be able to pick it up at my own time. All I have I have to do is pick it up and take it to the post office. Don’t make me have to pick up the box from Wal-Mart, then stand in the ‘never ending’ Wal-Mart line, then go to your friends house to pick the key to your house, then go to your house to pack the stuff in the box, then go the post office to pay for the mailing with my money, then go to my bank so I can I get my bank details, send them to you so that you can wire transfer the money I used, so you can pay me back. That’s too much. If you really need all this done, you better have a ‘Ride or Die’ bestie or ask favors from like three people, so each has a small task to do.
- Get to the Damn point. You’re better off surprising someone with the favor than giving them time to figure out a good lie which will lead to a polite no. People don’t like doing stuff for other people when they have their own lives going. Get them unaware and if they like you they will say yes without thinking twice. Start asking about the dog and they’ll start coughing to make their ‘I’m not feeling well’ lie valid.
- Be polite and precise. Instead of asking for information that is really nanya business, try something like, “Hey I’m having a bit of trouble paying my rent. Is it ok if you would please lend me $400? I should be able to pay it back in two months.” After you get your reply, then you can ask about the dog. Now you will sound like you care.
- Build some sort of trust. When it comes to lending money, the first question at heart from whoever is lending you is “Will you pay me back, and when”? When you mention the payback day in the request the lender is more inclined to help you because you come off as an honest person who can be trusted.
- Pay back on time. Please don’t be difficult. If you need them now, you might probably need them again. It’s so much easier to ask a favor from someone with whom you have already built a trust relationship. Don’t make them call you; they did you the favor remember? If you can’t meet your deadline have the courtesy to call and be honest about it. Even if you’re going to pay them one morning later, let them know. Some people have real trust issues (I do) with their stuff.
- Start small. Don’t ask a new friend to borrow their car to drive to another state for your job interview? Come on now!
- Don’t be a bitch. You need help, act like it. Some people ask for stuff like it’s theirs and get mad when someone says no. You don’t know what people are going through so don’t assume they are just being mean when they say no. Plus they could change their mind anyway but since you have excess attitude…whatever!
- Give it time. Give people time to fulfill the favor. Unless of course it’s an emergency, don’t call me in my sleep asking if you could borrow my shoes for your date tomorrow. I will tell you they got torn and I threw them away.
- Lastly and most importantly? Say “Thank you very much; I really appreciate your help”. Give the person the satisfaction of knowing that they were really useful to you. And on due date, remind them of how much help they were and thank them again. When it comes to being polite, there are only pluses, never negatives.