3 things you should know about favours

Offering or accepting a favour isn't as simple or straightforward as it sounds

1 Finding favour
When someone asks you to do them a favour, it’s a tricky question which can leave you feeling the only answer is yes or no. Avoid both those responses. No sounds impolite, and yes could be foolish. Being too anxious to please can cause you to say ‘of course’ to a task you as yet know nothing about. This can obviously leave you in a very awkward position if the favour is something you don’t want to do. The safest initial response is a pleasant request for more detail.

2 Credit control
Favours are the currency of co-operation, and like any currency have a recognised value. Overall, it’s better to give than to receive, but an excess of either can be problematic. Making someone so indebted they feel they can never repay transforms gratitude to resentment. Those with a questionable credit rating in this area soon find service denied. Favours are also a power tool. Being the recipient of a favour can leave you in a weak position, indebted to the person who bestowed it.

3 Trading rules
Be cautious in your choice of trading partners. The safest bets are those who share your value system. You should be wary of requests for help disguised as opportunities you’ll benefit from. Make sure you have little to do with those who believe allowing you to complete tasks for them is a privilege. Doing favours you haven’t been asked for is often counterproductive. It’s possible that the beneficiary is more likely to see it as interference than assistance.

"Overall, it’s better to give than to receive, but an excess of either can be problematic"