“Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” That is according to Shakespeare’s Lord Polonius in Hamlet. Who am I to contradict Shakespeare? But I think borrowing, if done graciously, can strengthen friendships and lead to willing lending.
A few tips to being a gracious borrower:
- Don’t even think about asking to borrow something irreplaceable or of great sentimental value.
- Ask politely; don’t assume it’s available to anyone.
- If the answer to your borrowing request is “No”, respect that answer. No arguing, begging, or guilt trips.
- Pick it up and return it yourself. Borrowing is one thing, expecting a delivery service is quite another.
- Pick it up at the arranged time.
- It is not yours to lend to someone else. No third parties.
- Return it promptly.
- Return it in better condition than you borrowed it.
- Be sincere in your thanks. Depending on the item a thank you gift may be appropriate. Have borrowed clothing cleaned.
- Don’t be a frequent borrower. Occasionally is fine but making it a habit becomes tedious for the lender.
- Be a willing and gracious lender in return.
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”
Do you think gracious borrowing would ease the concerns of Lord Polonius?