To give an example du jour
, I'd like to ask a fellow parent, a friend but not super-close, if she'd be up for taking my son to a birthday party that I can't make it to. This kind of thing comes up for me a lot for me, though, because I'm very asky, and it often brings a lot of rumination over whether I'm putting people in awkward positions and how to alleviate it. I don't think I'm too terrible about it, usually qualifying requests with lots of it's okay if's etc, but it still feels like I could somehow do better---or like I might need to just be a bit more of a guesser (and live with not knowing if, for instance, my friend would be totally fine with bringing my son.)
In this case I'd be fine with taking her son were the shoe switched. That said, it's not like there are no situations where I could imagine feeling put upon by requests, especially if they came often---and I do have enough of this habit that I find myself asking or wanting to ask friends for things fairly often.
Any thoughts about how to phrase requests, and when to leave them aside?
I guess mine is the anti-question to this