I asked for a favor yesterday. I tend to analyze to death whether I should ask or not. I try only to ask when I actually need something very specific or am in a bind.
I figure if I don't ask often I am more likely to be taken seriously; that's because that is how I tend to view favors when asked for by others.
Most of the time there is no real need to ask or offer: just do. Usually it's when still getting to know where you stand with someone or first building a friendship/relationship of some kind.
Sometimes it's for things that you have kept to yourself and finally realize you need some support or it won't get done.
But it's starting to get ok with me to ask sometimes for those things inbetween....just not too often.
Some people ask for every little thing, and to that I say no without any guilt.
I'm not keen on being used, nor trying to decipher what it really is the person is asking for.
It's interesting noticing how favors have worked in my family. My brother, when he asks for favors, he isn't really asking for the favor - he's usually looking for validation.
My mother is the same.
Otherwise, they don't ask at all - yet they really could for some things and it would be ok. Just to let me/others know what it is that could make life easier. Some hints or info.
Then maybe they wouldn't need to feel validated that we will be there! lol.
Perhaps because of that I am leery of jumping when someone asks for something. At work, it even took a bit of an anti-management/leave me to my own attitude. Do not like being managed.
I can be prone to the same sort of service-as-validation thing. Either with me working to show someone I care and wanting that to be recognized, or the other way around - wanting to see that I am cared about through freely given service.
Living and learning about being more specific and upfront when I could use a hand, before it becomes overwelming. And it's awesome. I like it.
It's helping when it comes to other areas too. Like work, making a living. Things are becoming a lot less personal, I don't feel so troubled when things don't work out or I make mistakes.
It's becoming easier to go for what I want without guilt, like my work is going further and getting richer. Less time wasted trying to do things perfectly.
I am pretty service orientated as a person, and it's probably no surprise that most of my work has been in the not-for-profit sector.
Being used pretty damn badly by an old friend has turned out to be a chance to look at a lot of these things in a different way. The surprise was that it is a sort of unlucky-lucky break. It could have been much worse, much further down the line.
I agree with you Boom. Favors can be quite nice. The 'flow' can feel so nice when it works.