What To Do If Someone You’re Not Close With Asks You For A Huge Favor

how to handle favors


We’d all like to think we’re good people, right? Most of us don’t mind doing favors for others, especially if it really helps them. (Plus, we feel good about doing good deeds.). But what should you do if someone you’re not even close with asks you for a big one? Here’s how to handle a strange request from an acquaintance with grace.

If You Can Do The Favor

Even if it’s big, you’ve decided it’s something you can do. This response might seem easy, but you don’t want this person to assume that you’re always and forever open to helping with big asks. If you’re willing to help this person out but don’t want to be asked again, you can say something like, “I’m typically really busy, so I’m not sure I can do it again in the future, but I’d love to help this time around.” Also note that if you ever need something big, you should feel free to ask this person. After all, you deserve a favor in return, right?

Unsplash/Remi Walle

If You’re On The Fence

Not sure if the favor is worth doing? Consider three things: how much time it will take you, whether your daily tasks will be hindered as a result and, of course, if you’re in generous spirits. If the favor will take too much time away from your work or personal life, we don’t suggest you do it. But if you don’t think that offering your help will affect you negatively and you happen to be free, you could count it as your good deed for the week!

If There’s No Way In Hell

Let’s say you’re not just distanced from this person but you legitimately don’t like them or don’t know them beyond basics. Then, it’s clear you need to say no. Knowing how to say no is probably the most worrisome part, especially for those of us who love people pleasing and hate conflict. The most appropriate response would be something like, “Unfortunately I won’t be able to help you there because X.” The reason should be vague and have to do with what you have going on during that time or convey that you’re just not up to the task physically or mentally. One of the good things about not being close with someone is that they likely won’t be too phased by the fact that you said no. They might even expect it.

Doing favors for people is certainly a nice gesture, but we don’t suggest straining yourself over someone you barely talk to on a regular basis. If you happen to have the time and the heart for it, great. If not, no sweat. Just do your thing, angel.


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