Col­lege friend will not stop ask­ing for busi­ness fa­vors that don’t pay

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

A guy who went to col­lege with me has kept in touch over the years, al­ways ask­ing me to do him fa­vors — for free — for his var­i­ous busi­ness ideas that he is build­ing in or­der to make a profit. When he first started with his re­quests, I tried to com­ply to be nice. We were not close in col­lege. I fig­ured it’s col­le­gial to help each other out. But his re­quests typ­i­cally come with great ur­gency and ab­so­lutely never with a pay­check.

He has worked on all kinds of things — many that have been prof­itable. Once I told him I would help if he hired me. I put to­gether a pro­posal, but noth­ing came of it. I think he was of­fended that I wanted to be paid. He has come back to ask me to do some­thing else for him. It wouldn’t take that long, but I al­ready have other fa­vors that I’m do­ing for peo­ple that have been post­poned be­cause of my work sched­ule. How do I man­age this man’s con­stant re­quests? He is al­ways tak­ing, never giv­ing. But he’s so smooth in his re­quests that I seem to agree to do what he wants with­out evening re­al­iz­ing it.

It sounds like this guy puts you un­der a spell, so to speak, and when you wake up later, you’ve been duped. Rather than feel­ing like you must ful­fill what­ever he has asked of you when you re­al­ize that he has pulled a fast one again, eval­u­ate what you have agreed to do. If you don’t want to do it or don’t have time, tell him. In this case, you can let him know via email that you can­not get to his project un­til you have ful­filled your work obli­ga­tions and the other fa­vors that are you your list. Let him know plainly that you have put him in a queue, and you will get to it when you can. If he can­not live with your re­vised time­line, apol­o­gize for not be­ing able to com­ply and sug­gest that he ask some­one else to do it.

I re­cently ran into one of my neigh­bors, who used to in­vite me over to his house for drinks and so­cial events with some reg­u­lar­ity. I re­al­ize he doesn’t in­vite me any­more. When I saw him, he ca­su­ally said to me that he looks for­ward to me invit­ing him over for drinks some­time. Nat­u­rally, re­cip­ro­cat­ing is what I should be do­ing, but I can’t. My house looks like it should be fea­tured on that show “Hoard­ers.” I’m se­ri­ous. I can’t seem to get it un­der con­trol. I con­stantly work on sort­ing through things and throw­ing stuff away, but with­out suc­cess. When my neigh­bor asked me to in­vite him over, I thought I would die. How can I climb out of the mess?

Get help. If you have been try­ing for years to clean up with­out ac­com­plish­ing your goal, you need pro­fes­sional sup­port. Con­tact a com­pany in your area that helps hoard­ers clear out their homes. It is not an easy process, but you can get there with the right help. Keep think­ing of be­ing able to in­vite your neigh­bor over as mo­ti­va­tion to take ac­tion!

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