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You're Being Less Helpful Than You Think You Are

You're Being Less Helpful Than You Think You Are

By Melissa Albert

Helpful people are the best, right? They just want to make our lives easier, often by giving us advice on how to live them! So it's really hard to tell someone that they're being a bit too helpful. Or that helping us looks suspiciously similar to helping themselves. We don't want to sound ungrateful, but there are a few "favors" we'd like to decline:

Bringing us the homework when we're sick. Getting out of doing homework is the silver lining on a day spent feverishly hallucinating that daytime TV hosts are our mom.

Telling our crush we like him. We don't totally trust you to not imply that we're stalking him. We're also kind of jealous that you're talking to him at all.

Letting us know what other people are saying about us. So our one friend said we're too obsessed with time travel contingencies, and another thinks our new pants should be illegal? Thank you for revealing this important intel! We realize it's completely for our own good, and not at all in the interest of your burning desire to manufacture drama among your friends.

Loaning us seasons 1–7 of your favorite show, which you can't wait to talk about with us.
But what if we don't want to spend the next six weeks eating, sleeping, and breathing the Gilmore Girls? Same goes for your extensive collection of Star Wars expanded universe fiction.

Heavily editing our short story. We're especially uncomfortable with the changes you've made to the lead character, who now looks a lot like you and appears to be dating Penn Badgley.

Organizing our room/purse/locker for us.
Now we can't find ANYTHING. What you call a disaster area, we call a carefully constructed ecosystem.

Staring at our new haircut in silence, before politely offering us your stylist's home phone number. Until five seconds ago, we thought we looked great.

Which "favors" drive you crazy?

Topics: Life
Tags: annoying things, frenemies, favors, pet peeves

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.