Some people are very good at extorting help. They are the ones who never say die. They stalk you wherever you go, visit you wherever you live and call you wherever you are. They are omni-present. You cannot avoid them whether you are in office or home, meeting or park, market or movie house. Had they been investigators, their perseverance would have cracked several crime mysteries.
If you are a good human being, polite in nature and incapable of hurting others, you are an ideal target for them. They will ring you up so many times that you will start cursing Graham Bell who invented the telephone. They will meet you so often that you will see them even in your dreams. Their words will keep reverberating in your ears even when they are not around. Finally, a day will come when you will offer them the desired help if only to prevent yourself from committing suicide. You may not mind even if the favour is illegal or unethical. You will do for them what you will not do for yourself.
Sometimes, the seeker of help is a relative or a friend. He may present a deadly cocktail of perseverance and emotional blackmail. His sentences will be like, “What kind of a friend/uncle you are if you cannot do even this much for me ?”, “I always thought I could bank upon you in my hour of need ”, “My mother always told me that the whole world may shut its door on you, but he won’t.” Protecting yourself from such deadly arrows will be a daunting task.
What can you do? Of course, you can hope that you never have the misfortune of bumping into such people, but you are not likely to be so lucky. People are good at identifying soft targets. The best course, perhaps, is to try and politely but firmly say at the beginning itself that you will not be able to help. This may not be easy if you are not a plain talker by nature. Any basic change is difficult to bring about once a person has acquired a beard and a moustache.
So, what perhaps you may try out is counter-attack. Ask such extortionists for some help as soon as they approach you- “It is so nice to see you. I was thinking of you in connection with…” Remember to ask for something the other person cannot easily give. This may get him off your back quickly and force him to look for a ‘better’ human being. If you cannot do even this, I can only pray for you.