If I ask you a favour, I’m asking. It’s not mandatory.
If you’re not going to help me out, don’t waste my time with bullshit. Don’t tell me that you’re busy/don’t have time. Don’t tell me “Not right now, but I’ll call you back”.
Here’s a list of answers to “can you do me a favour?” that are perfectly acceptable, but that nobody ever uses because they seem to think that a bullshit answer is more acceptable than the truth:
- I can’t be fucked.
- I’ll be busy sleeping.
- That sounds like effort.
- I would, but I’m just not going to.
- I’m far too lazy to do that.
- I don’t want to help you with that.
- I would rather gouge my eyeballs out with rusty sporks.
The worst one is the “Sure, but not right now, I’ll get back to you”, because you have no intention of ever getting back to me, and when I hear “I’ll get back to you”, I stop trying to find someone and sit by the phone waiting for you to call (well, probably not literally, but I’ll put less effort into trying to find someone else).
Another thing: You don’t owe me an explanation. If you’re not going to do it, say “No”, and we’ll move on. Nothing more is required (except in certain circumstances, like if you owe me a favour, but none of this really applies in that situation).
Don’t bullshit me. Tell me the truth. If you ask me a favour and I’m not going to do it, I’ll say so. Probably rather bluntly. I expect you to be big enough to be able to handle the fact that I’d rather watch Terminator 2 for the ten thousandth time than help you with your problem. This is a courtesy. You should return it.