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Communication Skills/Reasonable to Ask for Reimbursement



I have a friend who does not drive. Resecently, she called me up, and asked me to take her somewhere. In order to stop her from thinking of me as a taxi service, the next time, I'm going to say, "sure, if you're willing to chip in for gas." Don't you think this request is reasonable (even though she may resent it?), Even though she says she doesn't make much money doesn't mean I owe her: correct?

Thank you for your opinion.

Hi Gina - I think it would be be2tter for both of you if you were honest and respectfully assertive. That might sound like:

"[Name,] I know at times you need help getting around. I may or may not be able to drive you, so please don't assume I can. If I'm not able [or willing] to, I'll tell you."

I propose that you are not responsible for her life - she is; so you can say "I'm sorry, no." without guilt. See these for perspective on the communication skill of assertion:>

I hope this helps - Pete  

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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