Earlier today my poor car decided to utter its last few combustion cycles. It’s the day before I usually purchase groceries for the week. Waiting a few days for repairs has me stuck in a tight spot for a bit.
I followed up my saddening situation by asking if my friend could buy a few things from the market. I made sure she’d understand that I would compensate her for both what she got and her efforts getting it.
The first thing she did in response was bring up a problem. She told me she was somewhere she’d be at for awhile. Which, I completely understood; she had prior engagements.
So I told her it didn’t have to be that day and it could instead be another. I started to suspect that she was just trying to tell me she didn’t want to at all.
After I had told her this, she brought up another problem: she didn’t have cash on hand to purchase it. In this situation, I knew she probably could have purchased it because she has several credit cards. I took the benefit of the doubt though; suggesting that maybe she could pick me up and take me there and I’d pay her for petrol and time.
Again, instead of saying “no, sorry I can’t”, she brought up another ‘problem’. She thought she would be too busy the next few days.
This is when I gave up on asking her further for help and opted towards someone more direct and helpful.
I was receiving consecutive excuses and not getting to any hard realizations; it was a waste of both our time.
Early on I realized that the conversation would likely lead to nothing being accomplished. I continued to ask because when someone describes a problem I’m inclined to follow up with a solution. It leaves it open to being resolved rather than simply closing it off.
Maybe I should have dropped it sooner and perhaps it was naive of me to not listen to ‘the signs’. I was just hopeful that any issues brought up could be fixed.
I really don’t want to waste time like this with people again. I am content and fully accept that some people don’t want to help me (for whatever reasons they may have); I wish they simply told me they’re unable to, rather than leaving open statements that end up wasting both our time.
How can I ask something from my friend and get a direct (yes or no) response from them?