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dearmargaretDear Margaret: I have a friend who is always asking me for favors. I never mind helping out a friend, but I’m a bit tired of being her go-to person. She would probably help me out if I were in a bind, but I seem to manage on my own. How do I turn down some of her requests without appearing rude? Should I suggest she ask another friend, or help her find a workaround that doesn’t involve me?
Not the Go-to Girl

DearNot the Go-to Girl: Have you ever heard that 'No' is a complete sentence? You neither owe your friend an explanation for why you choose not to help each time she calls, nor are you responsible to help her find another solution. A softer response might be, "I'd love to help you, but I can't." If she's so bold as to ask why not, either smile and say nothing (that can be really uncomfortable – for her) or simply say it's personal. By always being on call for her, you've trained her that you are the solution. Now it is time to retrain her that you are not. Believe it or not, this is the best way to help, that is, to grow and be responsible.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

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