Looking out for #1 | Why Girls Are Weird

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Looking out for #1

 So here's the thing.  I don't like doing favors for people.  I know.  That sounds terrible.  But let me explain.

I had a coworker that I did several favors for.  He needed me to come in early so he could leave early and I did.  He needed me to switch shifts and I did.  I liked this coworker and he seemed like a pretty stand up guy so I figured if I was ever in need he'd help me out.

And then I needed him to cover a shift for me.  I don't even remember why but I remember calling him and I could tell he wasn't in the mood.  But he told me that if no one else could do it to call him back.  Lo and behold no one else could.  So I called him.  He didn't answer.  And he never called me back.

After that I decided no more favors.  I hate feeling like I help people out and I help them out and then I'm really in need and no one's there.  I find this happens mostly in work situations.  Outside of work I try to keep people around me that I know will have my back and I have theirs.

I bring this up because I feel like I get a little "hosed" as I like to say.  I won't say who or how or why but I will say that I'm pretty annoyed.  I basically tried to help someone out even though I typically make it a policy to deal with my own stuff and not worry about other people (again, when it comes to work).  But I felt bad and it was such a little thing so hey, whatever.  Except it basically ended up kicking me right in the face.

So here I sit.  Mud in my face.  And all I can think is I'm too old for this.  Seriously.  I'm 27 and this is high school stuff.  When I do you a favor and then you turn around and shove it back in my face don't think I'm not going to call you on it.  Because if I don't say something I'm going to walk around seething wishing I had said something.

And that is all.  I just needed to get this off my chest.  This has absolutely nothing to do with blogging whatsoever but it is my life.  And while part of me feels bad for admitting I don't typically do favors for people I also kind of feel like I need to look out for me first.  Does that makes sense?

41 wonderful thoughts:


Bravo to you Krysten! I think that's a great decision. I've had similar things happen to me and my reaction was the same "doesn't this stop in high school?!" Now Patrick and I make it a point just to look out for us and worry about us...We've both been treated like doormats way too many times...and I found since keeping my guard up, I've met people who pleasantly surprise me, who are kind and sincere...One of the reasons I started blogging and continue to enjoy it is because I feel like I'm meeting such "real" people xoxox


I agree with you, you only have one life and you shouldnt have to live it trying to make everyone else's stress free, thats their problem. I'm a bitch i know but a happy one:) x

The Favour Shoppe

I totally agree with everything you said!


I definitely agree! The only way to switch with someone is if its an even trade, "sure I will come in early for you this day, if you come in early for me on this day." do it right away! That is the only way I found that works.


I feel you! Everyone is looking out for themselves, so while they'll appreciate you helping them out, they will never return the favor.

That is also hard with new friends, you want to trust that they'll do the right thing and the only way to find out is to try it... but I can't help but set myself up for disappointment.

Diana Mieczan

It totally makes sense and its not too nice of that guy to never call you back. Have a great Tuesday

Cafe Fashionista

Hospitality starts at home. You need to look out for yourself and your family before you go bending over backwards to help others. I commend you for putting these thoughts into words, Krysten! :)

Jessie Szmanda

Man, it stinks sooo bad when you try to do something nice, or good for someone and it just comes right back to hit you smack dab in the face - NOT COOL!

Kristin H

Don't let the Bad (bed) bugs bite you!!! Another time it will pay you back plenty!!!!!


I know exactly what you mean and it's crap that we have to deal with it in our mid-twenties. :/

You are the bigger and better person K!!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

So true. I tell that to my friends in relationships too - look out for yourself because some people def. take advantage of you!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

The Jazzy Olive

Omg I totally agree. I absolutely hate favors for people and I know that's a bad thing to say but it's true. I hate devoting my time and energy to something that I doubt will ever be payed back to me. I especially hate it when I feel like the person I'm helping doesn't even really NEED the favor. Looking out for #1 is really really important and it took me a long time to realize that. Before I learned that myself I was spending a LOT of time doing things for other ppl and then one day I just stopped and felt so much better!

The Blonde Duck

I think that's really smart. I was just thinking that I'd done something nice for someone and they've been barraging me with crap because it's still not good enough. IT's like, why be nice at all?

Dancing Branflake

It makes sense to me. That guy was a coward and a jerk for not being able to say outright that he couldn't or wouldn't help you out. I guess where I differ is that I don't want guys like that to dictate how I react. If he's a jerk then I'm going to ignore him and go on my merry way without thinking twice about him. I probably wont help him out again, but I'll make sure I do what I want without thinking about him.

Does that make any sense? Oh dear, I ramble I know. But anyway... hugs to you!


That really stinks - I'm sorry he couldn't help you out when you'd helped him out before.


I'm also really hesitate to do favours for people for the exact same reason! I'm all about the "Do unto others ..." and all but where do you draw the line? Sometimes you really do have to just look out for yourself!


I feel the same. I love helping people out but if I ever need anything, it's like it's an inconvenience. I think it really depends on the person!

la petite coquine

I absolutely HATE that. I'm reluctant to admit it, but I'm pretty timid about helping someone, at least initially-I've lost whole semesters worth of notes, and days of my life helping someone else out of a jam. This attitude doesn't apply to the people I love or even like, but if it's someone I don't know well, I just can't put myself out there like that anymore.

I'm sorry, darling.


If you've covered shifts on several occasions, I don't think you're being fair to yourself my saying you don't do many favors :)


I hate when that happeneds. The least he could have said was "I totally owe you, but really can't do it this time, I'm so sorry".


Hi Krysten -- I found your blog some months ago via Claire from Felixtstowe :) -- one of you're 'where I'm from' guest posts. Although I think I might be closer to you mom's age (I have a 25 year-old son!), I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog, your writing, your voice, your honesty, your (and your hubby's) ability to work through difficult times, your courage and willingness to work at challenging (including food-serving) jobs, your great book reviews ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something!

Anyway, as I've lived overseas for many years, I've learned my own lessons around a corollary to your 'doing favors for people' (which is providing accommodation to all and sundry who want to visit, yet provide nothing in the way of thanks or appreciation in return). I wrote about it here ... http://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/moocher-madness-or-house-guest-heaven/

I think you're wise beyond your years and you've learned some important lessons at an early age. Cheering you on as you deal with these 'favor' issues. Stick to your guns (I'm sure you will)! I look forward to your first book and am sure your mum and dad are very proud of you!

Take care,
Carolyn at My Sydney Paris Life

Sandy a la Mode

ohh sorry that happened to you girl!! i am not a fan of high school drama at our age!!


I agree, favors need to be reciprocated. That's what it is all about.


There's nothing worse than feeling taken advantage of. I'm sorry you're in this situation! Hopefully your co-worker gets his act together soon. Drama free's the way to be! But it tends to find those of us who don't want anything to do with it!


Good for you girl! Take a stand and don't allow people to use you!
My husband continues to do favors for Everyone and their mother but when it comes time to help him out, no one seems to be there. Ugh it is so annoying!
I am sorry you are dealing with childish people. =/
Stick to your guns girlie -- no more favors at work =)

Amber Blue Bird

you have to have your own back. After you have worked there long enough I am sure you will be able to tell who would gladly do a favor for you if needed and then you will be able to weed out the bad apples.


I am so sorry. How annoying. Good for you for standing up for yourself though!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely

Agree! when it comes around and kicks you out its a pain! No more!

S and O

This happens a lot to my brother at his job and sometimes I wonder how on earth he deals with it! I know I would go insane covering shifts (and all that) for people on my days off who never return the favor...luckily where I work, most of my workers aren't "chumpy" like that so I don't have to go postal over that type of thing!
It sounds like your making the right choice here :)


S and O

p.s. sorry for the delay to the email you sent! I'm totally still interested :)
I'll get back to you tonight!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip

I totally hear you on this. I feel like people are SO rude. It's get real old, real quick.

Sorry that your co-worker is such a jerk! I hope he asks you to cover for him again and you can give him a big fat NO!


I say yes wau too often, I am moving next week and yet no one will be there to help...they all have other plans...

Dana Leigh

I'm right with ya, girly. I borrowed a large sum of money to someone and a week later asked if they could drive me to the airport and they said they wouldn't because it was too early. Really?! I just borrowed you thousands of dollars and all I want is a ride. My problem is I feel guilty if I have the means (whatever it may be) to help someone and then I don't. I have to get over that.


I think you are completely in the right with this one! You did your co-worker a favor TWICE and that means he owes you. To not even return your call? That's just immaturity and rudeness. I'm just sorry it made you have to take action like this, but it is action you HAVE to take.


Mr. B and I are known for doing favors for people A LOT and we have gotten kicked in the face way to many times. You would think we would learn but we don't.
The one thing that I did notice is when B got cancer I felt that we would have more help from all the people that we have helped but we didn't. We have been blessed with some help from some pretty amazing people but the others are no where to be found.

Hang in there Girl!


I'm sorry to hear such negative actions from other people. Just remember what goes around comes around and that person is going to get slapped by karma.

Eternally yours,


Ooph, that is so annoying! I'm sorry to hear that you had do deal with this. People are so.... I don't even know. I get we're all busy and have our own agendas but when you've taken out the time to do him a favor the least he could do was try to return it instead of giving you the brush off.

I would totally be needing to vent today. Hope today is significantly better! xx

The Blonde Duck

Happy Wednesday!


That totally makes sense. I hate when people do that. It's like "hello, I'm doing YOU a favor" I try to be that person who is there for people when something comes up, but sometimes people just make you not want to help them.


This totally makes sense. I don't even like asking for favors. It makes me really uncomfortable...and then there's the whole pride issue. I've got too much for my own good sometimes. ;)
I'm sorry you had this rotten experience!


Makes perfect sense. After getting hosed a few times myself, I know this feeling all too well. Seems the ones who are always asking favors from us are the ones who conveniently disappear when we ask them for a return.

Always put yourself--and your needs--ahead of all else. It's not selfish and may save you from heartache in the future. *HUGS*