Dealing with Ingrates

I did some work with a guy 20+ years ago who has, in recent years, repeatedly asked me for favors–advice, contacts, information. He thanked me at first for the help I gave him, but now he doesn’t even acknowledge that he’s received the information I’ve sent him.

Today he asked for another favor. I went back and looked at our last exchange and, sure enough, three months ago I spent an hour or so researching something for him, sent the information off, and he never responded.

I know the guy is busy, and we were friends 20+ years ago, but I’m pretty busy too. This sort of thing happens from time to time with people I come into contact with. In extreme cases, I’ve ended up getting hurt by the people I’ve helped out. “No good deed goes unpunished” sorts of situations.

How should I respond to this latest request? Ignore it and let him figure it out for himself? Send him a brief note to say that I don’t repeatedly do favors for people who are too busy to acknowledge them? Help him out again and not worry about it? None of the above?

I’m not looking for a reward when I do favors, but when there is consistently no recognition of the effort I’ve put in, I start to feel used. It becomes obvious that the relationship is one-sided.

I admit I suck at making these sorts of judgments. I suppose that I have trouble realizing that people who make a habit of taking advantage of the goodwill of others are often very charming and likeable.

Or, perhaps I just have an overweening need for acknowledgment. I’m open to suggestions.

Cheers,

Tomas

You could ignore it, but if you’re likely to dwell on that, just send a note saying “sorry to busy but you may want to look here{insert website] for the info.”

Tell him that although you’d like to help, he didn’t acknowlege it or thank you the last couple times you helped him, so he’s on his own this time. Or tell him you’re sorry, but you’re just too busy right now. Or ignore the request. Your call. Any of these would be perfectly appropriate IMO.

Having ingrates in one’s life is the norm. Consider yourself lucky you only have one in yours.

That’s what I’d do if I was back home in the states, but you’re in Taiwan where people express themselves circuitously. Just say you’re too busy these days, he’ll get it.

Hmm, I am lucky nobody from 20 years ago thinks they can just ask me a favor and expect prompt attention. I would move glacially on his request

[quote=“Incubus”]Having ingrates in one’s life is the norm. Consider yourself lucky you only have one in yours.

That’s what I’d do if I was back home in the states, but you’re in Taiwan where people express themselves circuitously. Just say you’re too busy these days, he’ll get it.[/quote]

He’s an American.

And I have an unfortunate tendency to attract ingrates. There are several I’ve run into in my life. Part of this is my responsibility. How do I stop attracting them? Or is it the same for most of you?

Although ignoring him would be warranted in this case, I doubt you will get satisfaction from it, as this is already causing an emotional reaction.

Telling him you are upset that he didn’t express gratitude before is a bit whiny. It doesn’t fit the Tomas I know.

I would second the suggestion to let him know you are busy, but pointing him in the direction of information. It seems a lot more like you. And this will be a start of resetting the boundaries in your relationship. To me this sounds like a case of being taken for granted. And anyone who is taken for granted has a lot of room for improvement from their side before confronting the other person.

This reminds me of a case of a dear friend and a forumosa poster who used to be (I don’t know if that’s still the case) taken for granted for his mad skillz in a computer application area. A bunch of people would go to him for “a quickie”, or so we thought. But it actually cost him a lot of time and the appreciation was not always on a par with the effort invested. I stopped doing that when I was made aware of it, but until then I didn’t even realize it. Even though my friends do the exact same thing to me! It’s human nature I guess. Not everyone is like that, but many people will automatically take until they’re cut off. I don’t take it against my friends if I haven’t set the boundaries. If they try to cross it after I’ve set them, then we have a problem we need to discuss.

I hope this helps. Even if you don’t find any of the suggestions useful, at least wait until you are less emotional to react. The build up of resentment on your side might cause you to react in a way which you yourself will later deem disproportionate to “the crime”. Not to mention less than constructive. Unless you want to get rid of this friend altogether?

You are always great at giving advice. Very rational. You would probably be the wisest to just look at this situation as if someone else was writing it and then give “them” advice. What Would Tomas Do?

I like Tash’s last suggestion.

And don’t forget to thank all of us for this advice! :wink:

Tash, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I am having a bit of an emotional reaction, so I want to get rational before I respond. It’s basic in emotional intelligence, which I work with as an executive coach. I’m not extremely upset, but I am thinking “You ungrateful bastard,” and that isn’t at the standard of empathy I set for myself.

I agree that I create these situations by not setting boundaries. I’ll think a bit more before I respond, and do so in a way that helps him and me both. This is one of a series of incidents along the same lines, and I need to do a bit of mindset resetting so that I reduce the frequency.

And DB, I am grateful for the responses. I get lots of good advice from Forumosa.

That was a joke, y’know. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do like Nick Burns.

You SAID you would put that 40k in my bank account. You SAID! Well, your loss. I just made enough butter chicken to feed an army – even your unruly brood – but hell, since you’re such an ingrate, IM’A eat the whole fucking potful by myself.

That was a joke, y’know. :p[/quote]

Ya, I know. A well-timed one.

I suppose I’m thinking of all of the good wheat that springs forth from the chaff here on the flob. Wise as I may seem to a few people (there are two or three of them), I don’t have all of the answers, and Forumosa has been a good place to get a bit of wisdom and food for thought from my friends and from people I don’t know so well.

Sandman, I wasn’t satisfied with your services. You danced okay and humped the pole pretty well, but the girls were mighty upset that you didn’t remove your thong. That’s why I didn’t drop that wire as I said I would. And you owe me for the butter chicken idea. I know where it came from. Punk.

When your buttocks are as tight as mine, removing a thong is NOT a simple procedure. Try to keep that kid awake, by the way. I am LOVING those shots. What a blast!

Tomas, you’re so brave writing about having an emotional reaction. I would usually cry it out, I dunno what men do. But yeah, when you do find a solution, keep us posted, it’'l probably help the likes of me.

Oh and you’re right, no good deed goes unpunished. Ever.

Brave? Well, there’s a thin line between bravery and bedwetting been-watching-too-much-Oprah weakness.

We drink heavily, annex small countries, or both.

Tomas, I hear what you’re saying. I used to post (and PM) useful info but no more. You get tired of the lack of appreciation. The best you can hope for is some semi-literate solo sentence that could have come from a chimp.

[quote=“Tomas”]I did some work with a guy 20+ years ago who has, in recent years, repeatedly asked me for favors–advice, contacts, information. He thanked me at first for the help I gave him, but now he doesn’t even acknowledge that he’s received the information I’ve sent him.

Today he asked for another favor. I went back and looked at our last exchange and, sure enough, three months ago I spent an hour or so researching something for him, sent the information off, and he never responded.

I know the guy is busy, and we were friends 20+ years ago, but you know, I’m pretty busy too. This sort of thing happens from time to time with people I come into contact with and. In extreme cases, I’ve ended up getting hurt by the people I’ve helped out. “No good deed goes unpunished” sorts of situations.

How should I respond to this latest request? Ignore it and delete him from my social networking accounts, let him figure it out for himself? Send him a brief note to say that I don’t repeatedly do favors for people who are too busy to acknowledge them? Help him out again and not worry about it? None of the above?

I’m not looking for a reward when I do favors, but when there is consistently no recognition of the effort I’ve put in, I start to feel used. It becomes obvious that the relationship is one-sided.

I admit I suck at making these sorts of judgments. I suppose that I have trouble realizing that people who make a habit of taking advantage of the goodwill of others are often very charming and likeable.

Or, perhaps I just have an overweening need for acknowledgment. I’m open to suggestions.

Cheers,

Tomas[/quote]

Just keep apologizing and putting it off. ‘Sorry, not a spare moment, will get to it when I get a free second.’ Fuck, I get the same crap from people I am actually in business with, should be a cinch doing it to someone who is taking advantage of you.

Ah the drink and annexation for an emotion, I thought the only men who resorted to those actions were the ones whose will was dictated by the willie. You know grandeur, ego, the woman you never got. etc

It’s a bit more complicated than that.
Annex for the glory - and no doubt with an eye to a fair maiden back in Simla - but for broken hearts it’s off to the Foreign Legion or perhaps exploring some barren wasteland.
But the drink is good for all situations. :slight_smile:

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