Avoid Being at People’s Beck and Call When It Suits Them

November 16, 2023

How do you feel when someone you’ve not heard from for a while suddenly reaches out and asks for your help?

I’ve had two examples of this recently, one business related and the other from someone I know, but not as a close friend.

The business is one I have known for about 16 years now; they have been friendly and accommodating over the years, but it just didn’t feel right when they emailed me in an over friendly way to ask for me to give them reviews on social media. The same email probably went to other businesses they deal with and may not have been written by anyone I know but it just came across as too much.

The same weird feeling comes up when I get messages from people I was never really that close with and yet they seem to pop up when they are in need of emotional support. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I will try to help people wherever possible, but sometimes it just feels like you’re being used and that doesn’t sit right.

Don’ t get me wrong, there is no harm in reaching out to ask an acquaintance whether it’s grey or black bin collection in the morning, but don’t be expecting me to get in a car and go meet you for a coffee in Costa (probably at my expense) to listen to you moaning.

We all have friends from school days who we can not see or speak to for perhaps even years, but when you see each other again, you just pick up from where things were left off. It’s no biggie that you haven’t done anything more than like each other’s social media posts in the meantime. There is a basic bond you have which means it’s OK to pop in and out of each others’ life; we are all busy and it’s not easy to find mutually convenient times to catch up.

I used to feel really mean when I didn’t respond to someone’s cry for help if they weren’t someone I was close with; it’s like I was letting them down. But it’s given me a peace that was needed and also more time to do the things that I need or just have some “me” time.

And sometimes saying no needs to apply to people you know really well too, including family. As mothers, we can bend over backwards to help our children, even if they are grown up, something that can backfire when they don’t reciprocate in the future. It’s amazing how people can forget what you’ve done for them in the past when it suits them.

Do you have people who suddenly pop up and expect you to drop everything when they are in need?

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