When itís appropriate to decline someoneís offer to help you
Iíve always wondered how to know whether or not a time is appropriate to turn down someone's request to do something for you. I know it may sound weird, but there are times where I actually don't like it when people offer to do some things for me, mainly because I feel like they will secretly regret it later or resent having to do so. Like, they will offer to pay for something or do something else, but then later on, wish they hadn't done so or secretly wish I had declined.
The reason for this was due to past experiences. One example is for a college organization outing a while back. A group of us were going to nearby Burger King to get some food while having a small meeting to discuss the upcoming semester. The sponsor for the Fellowship meeting offered to pay for just drinks for everyone, but we were allowed to get whatever food we wanted as long as we paid for ourselves. I decided to get a burger and a small bottle of coke. The total would have been close to five dollars, but she would have only paid for like a dollar for the coke. Not bad in my opinion.
When she saw I was going to buy that, she flipped. She asked if I was really going to buy those things. I said yes and didn't think she would care since I was obviously going to pay for the burger. For some reason, she got mad, took my wallet away from me out of frustration or something, and said she would pay for the whole thing. The whole thing came to around 5 dollars or so.
I wasn't going to make her pay for the burger, I was just about to pay for it myself. So I don't know what went wrong there. She wound up paying for it and that was it. I felt guilty afterwards and felt like maybe I shouldn't have ordered at all. From that point on, anytime there was an outing and I went along, I would actually secretly eat some food in the cafeteria before even meeting up to head out.
I felt that maybe I wasn't supposed to order food with them after all or maybe I misheard or misunderstood something. A couple times, I didn't even go along because I was afraid of that happening again. I felt bad but at the same time, wondered if she was secretly wishing she didn't have to do it. I felt guilty since I felt she was doing it out of obligation.
Other times Iíve accepted a coworkerís offer to give me a ride. I offered to give gas money but she declined, saying itís pointless since we live literally less than a minute away from each other on the same road. No back tracking either. I eventually came to find out she didnít really like doing that and got irritable towards me. I stopped accepting rides from her. I donít want to inconvenience her or anyone else.
I now wonder how to decide when it is okay to politely decline someone to do something polite. I find myself doing it more often now since I always worry people are secretly hoping I will decline. Is there something wrong maybe I am doing or do people tend to regret their politeness more often that I thought? Just confused and not sure if declining people's offers more often than I used to is the right thing to do or not.
There has been many other cases as well. I may be doing something alone or about to walk somewhere and someone will ask if I need help or a ride and if I said yes, they will give a sigh of annoyance. In some cases I even told the person never mind and that I really didnít need their help which in some cases was true. Other times I needed help but didnít want it from them due to how they acted. Do you find yourself declining peopleís offers to help due to a possible negative reaction from them? Just wondered what you guys thought?