Ask if I should help, or just help

by Mindy
(Mass usa)

My friend was putting up a fence. She sometimes likes to do things her own way. I asked if she wanted any help. She said absolutely not. I was surprised and asked if she really said no. She said no again. I said I would be eating dinner and if she changed her mind to just let me know. As soon as I finished I went out to see if I could help. She had stopped working and was having a cigarette with her tenant. I stood there but they ignored me so I left. Later she was angry and said I showed a lack of character by asking if she needed help. Instead of just going out and starting to help.

Should I have just started helping? Was I wrong to ask and then believe her when she said no?

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Helping Hand
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Mindy,

Your polite offer of help was appropriate. Your friend/neighbor's answer was an emphatic no. Not much wiggle room there. The rude response later from your neighbor was highly inappropriate; certainly not the response one expects from a friend. I think your character is fine but your neighbor needs to brush up on her own etiquette.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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