Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A to Z Blogging..."F is For..."

"...Favors...Offering Favors and Asking For a Favor" 
From the series "Words Matter"
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Publisher, "Nebraska Family Times" newspaper

Offering a Favor

Remember that the people who need a favor the most are often reluctant, embarrassed, or ashamed to have to ask. In times of crisis, people might not even think to ask for help.  Be alert to situations where your offer of a favor could bless someone. 

What to Say

  • “I would like to do  ____________ for you.”
  • “What can I do that would help you the most?”
  • “I will come over tomorrow and help you clean your house.” 
  • “I can pick up the kids and watch them tomorrow; when I bring them back I’ll bring supper, if that‘s OK with you.”

Offer to do specific tasks, especially if the person is in the midst of a crisis; 
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  • “Do you have someone to stay with the baby during the funeral? I will be available.”
  • “Can I pick up some groceries for you? What do you need most?”
  • “Are there any phone calls I can make?”

What Not to Say

  • “What can I do for you?”  (Offering to do something specific is better.)
  • “Let me know if you need anything.” (The person might not feel comfortable asking you for something, or might not even know what to ask for.) 

What to Do

  • Offer to do specific tasks that the person might be too overwhelmed to do, or even think of asking you to do.
  • If you know the person well enough to know that it won’t upset or offend her, just  do what needs to be done, like laundry, cooking, or cleaning. 

Don’t . . . 

  • . . . do so much that the person feels uncomfortable with all that you are doing for her or becomes dependent on your constant help. 
  • . . . insist on doing a favor if the person strenuously objects or repeatedly tells you not to. 
(For suggestions for turning down a request for a favor, stay tuned to the A to Z Blogging Challenge where "N is for...How and When to say "NO"". Sign up on the right sidebar to receive new posts by e-mail!)

Asking for a Favor

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for a favor, but when you truly
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need one, friends will probably be more than happy to help you out if they can. Remember that it is a blessing to be able to help someone; when you ask for help, you are giving that person the opportunity to bless you, which in turn is a blessing to her.   

What to Say  

  • “I have a favor to ask you, but I understand if you can’t help me.”
  • “It’s difficult for me to ask for this, but it’s really important. Please be honest if it’s not something you want to do.”
  • “Could you help me out? I was wondering if you would  . . . “
  • “Would you have the time to look over my resume’ and give me any suggestions as to how to put it together?” 
  • If you feel it’s appropriate, provide details; “My husband and I are going through a tough time. We’re seeing a counselor tomorrow afternoon; could you watch the kids for a few hours?” 
Consider a trade-off:
  • “As a favor, could you watch my kids Saturday morning? In turn, I’ll watch your kids any morning next week.”

What Not to Say

  • “What are you doing next weekend?” (Don’t put the person on the spot about their plans before asking for your favor.)
  • “Since I helped you with that favor last year, now it’s your turn. I need you to . . . "

What to Do

  • Pray about who to ask to do the favor for you. 
  • Explain what the favor is, when you need it by, and other details, when you ask for the favor.  
  • Be clear about when you’d like an answer so you can make other arrangements if necessary. 

Don’t . . . 

  • . . . imply that the person “owes” you, even if you have done many favors for him.  
  • . . . press for an immediate answer unless you really need the answer right away, and if so, apologize for the short notice. 
  • . . . be vague about what the favor is. 

This post is an excerpt from “What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky Uncomfortable Situations”
by Shelly Burke, RN. Coming soon!
 Download “What Should I Say” and be prepared for any of life’s sticky, tricky uncomfortable situations!

The mission of the “Nebraska Family Times” is to “inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk.” To receive local, state and national news from a Christian point of view, as well as devotions, Bible Study and articles about all aspects of Christian life, in your mailbox every month, subscribe for only $20 for 12 issues! Click “Subscribe” on the sidebar or send your address and payment to Nebraska Family Times, 209 27th St. Apt. #13, Columbus, NE 68601.
I am also taking the Blogging A to Z Challenge at www.achristianmomsguide.blogspot.com,

where the theme is “Lifehacks for Christian Moms.”

1 comment:

  1. Loved what you said about how to offer something specific, and it makes perfect sense. I need to remember this and pass this along to others. Awesome post.

    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond


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