Topic 90  Doing Yourself a Favour 7 February 2020

1. After you force yourself to do something you don't really like, maybe you give yourself a little reward. Can you give examples? What kind of reward do you give yourself? (e.g. You might study hard for a test, then reward yourself with a nice dinner).

2. One expression for 'doing yourself a favour' is 'self-indulgence'. Often self-indulgent people don't really earn the reward they claim. For example, someone might skip breakfast to diet, the eat such a big lunch that their diet is worse, not better. What are some more examples of self-indulgence? Are you self-indulgent?

3. Maybe you are really angry with someone and would like to fight. But you 'do yourself a favour' and walk away. This saves future trouble, especially if it is an important person or organization. Think of an example.

4. Sometimes you can do yourself a favour by not telling the whole truth. For example, if a job interviewer asks "What is your worst quality?", it might be stupid to tell the whole truth. What is an example like this from your life?

5. The opposite of doing yourself a favour is to do or say something which will hurt actually hurt you. For example, you might take revenge, even though the result will damage you in the end. (An idiom for this is: "Cut off your nose to spite your face"). Sometimes countries also take revenge on other countries like this with bad results (called 'blowback'). What examples of this situation can you recall?

6. How do you personally persuade yourself to do things you don't really want to do? Examples?

7. One of the big ways people actually do themselves a DISfavour (negative result) is to make an excuse like "I'm lazy, ha ha". What are some situations where you just say "I'm lazy"?

8. There is a big cultural difference (in many cultures) between "doing yourself a favour" and "doing someone else a favour". When you do yourself a favour, you probably expect a reward. When you do someone else a favour, you might not expect a reward. For example in Australian (Anglo-) culture people often help strangers, but don't expect a reward. In some other cultures you are expected to help your family, but rarely help strangers. What is your experience of situations like this?

9. One English idiom says "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". This often happens in workplaces. For example, someone might write a letter recommending you, but they expect that in the future you will help them too. Where have you seen this sort of thing happen?

10. If you want your English to improve quickly, what is the best favour you can do yourself?

 90 Doing Yourself a Favour ©Thor May 2020