• Resolving Problems

When A Friend Asks A Favor, Are We Obliged To Say Yes?

Published: July 30, 2021 | Last Updated: March 18, 2024 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
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When a friend asks a favor, a true friend will be open to your response rather than assume that you’ll say “yes.” They should be ready to accept “no” for an answer.



Recently, a friend asked me to store one of her three cars in my garage. She said that otherwise, she will have to pay hundreds of dollars a month to rent space for car storage. 

I really don’t want to do it, but feel like if I say no, she will be angry. If I do say yes, I will resent the car being in my garage. This seems so small compared to being asked to provide health care or a taxi service but it’s bothering me.

Signed, Alicia


Hi Alicia,

If this was a temporary request, I’m sure you would say yes but the idea of you providing permanent storage for her third car seems unfair. Even the idea of your friend asking you, without offering to pay, seems like she is taking advantage of the friendship.

When a friend asks a favor, we all should feel comfortable saying no if the favor is an imposition. If your friend is a true friend, she will accept your decision and may even apologize for putting you in this awkward position.

I can understand why you might not want the responsibility of taking care of someone else’s car or their car taking up space you’re used to having,  and how seeing the car there each time you use your garage would certainly wind up being annoying. It’s never good to let resentment build up in a friendship. In this case, saying yes might do more damage to the friendship than saying no.

Hope this is helpful.

Best, Irene

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Comments (2)

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  1. Louisa says:

    I think this is way too much to ask of anyone. The garage is part of your home, your personal space, and you have a right to say “no” to this request. You are not responsible for your friend’s car. I agree with both Amy and Irene. It can be hard to stick to your boundaries when a friend tries to push beyond them, but you need to be firm.

  2. Amy says:

    Doesn’t matter what the favor, having a relationship with open communication is healthy and prevents resentment. Boundaries keep friendships healthy. Mistakes people sometimes make when saying no is feeling like they have to explain the no, apologize for saying no or giving ambiguous answers to avoid saying no.
    I usually end up saying sorry, not in an I’m sorry but sorry this won’t work out. “Sorry, that won’t work.” If the person pushes back, chances are she isn’t a good friend because we respect each other’s boundaries. “It just won’t work” then change the subject. Acquaintances are more likely to push limits, which is why they’re acquaintances and not friends.

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