What I Look Like?! Favors You Should Never Let Anyone Guilt You Into
There’s a reason so many people consider their dogs to be their children — they require just about as much work! From walking and feeding, to making sure they don’t tear your house up, dogs are no easy undertaking. And though you may hate to leave your friend in a bind, don’t put yourself in one by taking on a lot more than you can handle with this favor.
See point one. Every parent lives for a night without the kids and it’s sweet to offer to provide that for friends. But unless its an emergency, don’t feel obligated to become a caretaker for other people’s kids, no matter the period of time. To put it simply, kids are a lot. Not only does your home need to be prepped for little ones, so does your brain. Don’t feel guilty saying no when you simply aren’t comfortable around children or (fake gasp!) don’t like them to begin with.
Being a bridesmaid
In theory, being a bridesmaid is the ultimate honor a girl can bestow on her girlfriends during this important time in her life. In reality, being a bridesmaids is costly, timely, and at times overwhelming. From dress fittings to planning and executing bridal showers and bachelorette parties, plus traveling to all of these events (particularly if you’re in a different city), when all is said and done you might be wondering, damn is this my wedding? It’s important to have the right attitude, in many ways, when you accept this role and if you don’t think you can come through, it’s better to say that in the beginning. The bride might be mad, but she’ll be furious if you don’t fulfill your obligation a week or two before the ceremony.
You probably don’t even need to be told this, but hey if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. And even if you do, but you don’t think the person is going to pay you back, don’t lend it. Friends and money rarely mix. Saying no to someone asking to borrow cash might upset them but they have no choice but to accept that. If you don’t get your money back, however, you might decided to cut them off altogether. The friendship isn’t worth the risk.
Taking extravagant trips
Along the same lines of the last point, people love to come up with plans for lavish 12-day vacations on Montego Bay and get pissed when everyone doesn’t have $3,000 of miscellaneous cash sitting around to be spent on this — let alone the vacation time. Friends can make you feel like a party pooper if you refuse to be the fourth person they need to get whatever Groupon Getaway they’re gunning for, but you know your wallet better than anyone else. They’ll just have to find another person to fill the spot or split the cost among one less person.
That word alone should cause a visceral reaction, because it’s alarming to even think of someone having the nerve to ask. But just in case you’re not sure if it’s OK to not help a friend get a mortgage or school loan or a freaking cell phone, it is.
Starting a business
When people think about fleeing corporate America and starting a business of their own, they often have grand ideas of what it would be like to work with close friends because if you get along so well on a day to day you can obviously work well together, right? Wrong.
It’s hard to match drive when it comes to entering into a business venture with other people. Someone may have their entire life savings on the line, while for the other partner this is just a pet project on the side. And when it comes to business decisions, things can get unnecessarily personal, causing both the relationship and the idea to fail. Feel free to lend a hand but you don’t have to jump in head first at this request.
Moving in together
By all means, please don’t leave your friend homeless. But don’t feel obligated to immediately sign up for college roommate life either. Sometimes when friends are thinking about moving at the same time, someone brings up the bright idea of moving in together, and that’s usually not such a bright idea after all. If you know you like your own space, don’t sign up for something you’ll regret. A year or two of daily strain isn’t worth it and neither is your friendship. Also, don’t feel like you have to let someone move in with you for free when they fall on hard times. It’s always nice to give someone a leg to stand on, but when you hit certain time points, like three or six months, you may want to start asking them to help out financially if they can.
Borrowing your car
Nobody is going to take care of your belongings like you do, and for a lot of people their car is one of their top — and most expensive — possessions. Offer to lend a ride when you can but when someone hits you with, “why don’t you just let me drop you off and I can take the car and pick you back up,” turn that same question back on them. You don’t owe it to anyone to let them use your vehicle as if it’s theirs because it’s not.