how to politely say no
June 30, 2011 11:36 AM Subscribe
Someone that I have a professional relationship with just asked for a personal favor that implied they see me as more of a friend. How do I politely explain that I'd like to keep things professional only?
posted by bizzyb to Human Relations (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For the past year or so I've been getting my eyebrows threaded by a woman in my town. For a while she worked at a booth at the mall, but she recently had a second child and now works out of her apartment or from her family's convenience store. I realize that it seems a little unorthodox to get your eyebrows done where you buy your gas, but she's amazingly talented at what she does.
Our routine now is that I give her a call when I want to come by and we work out those details. So, she has my number in her phone. I just received a phone call from her, asking what I was doing this weekend and if I could take her to get her hair cut and maybe shopping. At first I thought she had me mixed up with someone else from her phone list, but confirmed that she didn't. I really don't know her that well, aside from chatting with her for a few minutes each month. I know that she doesn't drive, and is probably a little stir crazy with two young children at home all day, but I feel uncomfortable about taking her anywhere given that I don't know her that well. I also have anxiety issues that act up when people ride in the car with me, but I don't want to get into that with her. I am also considering that there might be cultural factors at play here with both of our expectations of each other, given that she has recently (~3 years?) come from India to the US and I am a lifetime resident of the US.
My question is -- how do I deal with this to get to my desired end result -- just a professional relationship, but without being insulting or hurting her feelings?