General Question

loverainx33's avatar

How can I politely refuse to give my class notes to someone?

Asked by loverainx33 (67points) April 4th, 2010

So I have a friend who asked me to copy the notes I took in class, but I dont want to because they just got lazy and didn’t take the notes themselves when I actually paid attention. I dont want to hurt their feelings or make them mad but I really dont want to help them out when they were just being lazy. What should I do?

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23 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I’ve seen 2 questions in 2 days about “how do I politely say ‘no’?”
Stop being polite and say “no” straight up.

Learn to be OK with saying “NO”
It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

Axemusica's avatar

I agree with @Captain_Fantasy, just say no. Cruel to be kind in my eyes.

If this person is too lazy to take their own notes than their too lazy enough to pass the class.

Jeruba's avatar

You might have to choose between not hurting feelings and hanging onto your notes. Why should you worry about hurting the feelings of a person who makes outrageous requests? Just say “Sorry, they’re not for lending.”

loverainx33's avatar

Yeah but I dont want to make that person mad and they’re my friend.

Trance24's avatar

I would ask whats wrong with theirs.

loverainx33's avatar

Other than the fact that they have none?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

They should’ve done their own work then.
That’s not your problem unless you decide to be a doormat and make it your problem.

Jeruba's avatar

@loverainx33, I don’t see that your friend is worrying very much about making you mad. That request should have made you mad.

Brian1946's avatar


“Yeah but I dont want to make that person mad and they’re my friend.”

If they were your friend they wouldn’t be imposing on you and getting mad at you for not doing their work for them.

loverainx33's avatar

I guess so, thanks guys!

skfinkel's avatar

Well, what about helping them out? If you know your notes will come back, what do you lose? I wouldn’t be cowed into saying yes, as has been stated above, but this may not be the time to learn to say no. It’s not like they are asking you to do something illegal or wrong or bad. It’s just education, and if you can help someone else, that may be a good thing.

lilikoi's avatar

Why not offer to sell it to them?

lilikoi's avatar

Or, give it to them this time and accompany it by a warning that next time they snooze you won’t be bailing them out.

Likeradar's avatar

I’m assuming it’s notes the teacher put up for everyone to copy or tidbits the teacher said? From my experience, sharing notes is just something high school students do with their friends. It’s not cheating on a test, plagiarizing an essay, or anything like that.

Is your friend usually a decent student? If he or she was just having an off day, I say hand over the notes with a smile.
If not, learn to say no or tell your friend it’s a one shot deal.

Jeruba's avatar

“It’s just education.”

And what is the friend learning, then?

rahm_sahriv's avatar

You shouldn’t worry about their feelings. They should have been paying attention. You were, you did what was expected of you. If they didn’t, tough luck for them. Tell them tough and they should actually do their own work next time.

thriftymaid's avatar

If it was for a class he or she missed I wouldn’t mind, if I knew I could get theirs if I missed a class.

Just_Justine's avatar

If it were my friend I would do it in a heart beat, however I’d say “Don’t make a habit of it”. I have a knack of saying things to friends without pissing them off forever, but they know I mean what I say.

j0ey's avatar

It is always really hard when its a friend.

Being asked something like this isn’t exactly fair.

I guess it really depends on whether or not you have already said it will be okay. If you did say it was okay at the time, you better keep your word. If you haven’t given them an answer at all yet, then you have all the right in the world to say no.

Maybe you could cut a deal with them? I give you my notes….you give me $20.

YARNLADY's avatar

How do you define a friend? If it is your job as a friend to cheat, then you should give the notes without complaining. If it is your job as a friend to encourage the best possible outcome (learning) then you should feel comfortable telling (them) that you don’t want to spoil (their) chances of getting a good education.

skfinkel's avatar

@Jeruba “It’s just education” means that what we want is to have people educated. What I think each person has to gain is: sharing something of value that can help another; and the borrower can learn that he can get help in learning something he needs to learn. It is possible that the borrower has trouble taking great notes—and this is something his friend is good at. If the note taker helps his friend learn more, improve his grades, feel more confident, it seems all to the good. If the borrower doesn’t attend class on a regular basis, that is something else. “Just education” means this is not something illegal, immoral, or wrong. It is what we all need to help each other with as much as possible. I further think that students helping each other in study groups and by talking and clarifying the class content is a great way to learn.

Jeruba's avatar

@skfinkel, are you implying that the OP has an obligation to lend the notes? The OP stated clearly: “I really don’t want to help them out when they were just being lazy.” I think the OP has an absolute right to refuse to hand over to a slacker something she obtained by her own effort.

Learning that you can coast while someone else does the work for you is the wrong kind of education. That’s what I meant by asking what the friend would be learning here.

“It’s just education” sounds dismissive, as if it were something trivial, something of little worth. It seems to me that the OP attaches some value to it, and we ought to encourage that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I just always said ‘eh, sorry, I write all kinds of crap about the teacher in my notes, I don’t want them to be copied and spread around’ – of course, I wasn’t lying.

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