Thursday, June 30, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 6/30/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting Freaking Rican On Blast with: Is it just me…when family members call from overseas and you hardly ever hear from them and out of the blue they call you for "A FAVOR" why is it that my stomach gets into knots. I know the next question has got to be about money...Why do they think that because we live and work in New York we can afford to send them money? Don't they realize that the rents, mortgages, food, clothes, etc here in New York is Off-the-hook!

Regardless of where you live, I recognize that families (and sometimes close friends) have a tendency to test and cross PC boundaries. This usually happens in small spurts that go unchecked over time, making the requests more outlandish each time. Recently, upon returning to NYC after living in DC for close to 10 years, I discovered that family began asking for small favors that became more imposing with each request. Finally, I was forced to show an uglier side of me to make my point clear – You will not take advantage of my kindness. This is obviously easier said than done, so here’s how it should work…Keep in mind that these suggestions are merely a framework for how to address family and friends to encourage mutual respect.

  • Barring true emergencies, you MUST make clear to family that as adults any favor needs to be posed/requested with enough time to allow me to consider the request.
  • Second, family need to recognize that your answer to any/every given question or request is not necessarily “Yes.”
  • Favors are deliverable based on need, not wants. That is, if you neglect to anticipate bill payment and spend carelessly, you cannot consider asking to borrow money.
  • Make clear the differences between a true emergency and lack of planning. For example, deciding to take a short vacation necessitating your family to baby sit your rambunctious three-year old without prior approval, is not an emergency, it’s a lack of consideration.
  • Finally, communication is key. In any given relationship (family, friend, romantic involvements) folks will take advantage of you if you do not communicate what is acceptable.

Ultimately, what is required of you by your family is normally determined by (drum roll please!) YOU. Today, my family knows that I am NOT the person to approach for a loan. I am NOT the person to drop-in on unannounced and I am NOT the person to ask to baby sit minutes before you bolt out of your door. You will need to accept that you will not be the most liked family member and that ill words may be spoken of you, but you will live and so will they – much happier I suspect.

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Cocoa Rican said...



Conquer your fears said...

I used to be taken advantage off (mostly by friends), until I put my foot down and starting analyzing things better. I now live reciting to myself and sharing with others, my grandmothers words of advice: "People will treat you the way you allow them to". Your suggestions are great and well taken.

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