Recently I was denied an application to work as a teacher's assistant for my school. My friend also applied, and he was denied too.
My friend calls me, and asks me if I got the role or not. Before I could answer the question and tell him I didn't, he says the following:
"I know you did. After all, you help out so much on the online discussion board and have so many contributions to the class, there's no way you didn't get it. I'm going to help out more now so I can get that TA role next time"
I tell my friend I didn't check my results yet, and would contact him later.
Now here's what I don't know what to do about.
If I tell him yes, then he will decide to help out more on the online discussion boards (which is what I want, helping is good, I want him to assist others when he can). But also, during the semester, he will see that I am not actually working, and realised that I lied to him this entire time.
If I tell him no, he will get the idea that "no matter how much you help out around class, you will still not get the TA role", and this will discourage him from helping others because the motivation is lost if he cannot secure a TA role.
Even if I tell him yes, and he finds out that I was lying, then he eventually will stop helping out others because "what's the point, if my friend helped out this much and didn't get the role, how can I?"
You see, I want him to help out others, and participate more in online discussions since he is very smart and spreading knowledge and assisting others is something great, essentially what the Stack Exchange network is.
That being said, whether I say no or yes, I still don't know what to say, as they both end up with him discouraged not to participate.