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Assertiveness Honesty Friends

There is one person I work with whom I regard as a friend, but he is always borrowing one thing or another from me, and he rarely returns them. I have a lot of regular contact with him, and I don't want to create a problem by saying "no." What should I do?

Most people remember the Shakespearean line, "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be...." However, it is equally important to remember the very next line in this quote, "For loan oft loses both itself and friend...." The bottom line is that if you want to keep your friend and your things, it is time to close the lending office.

If this person is really a friend, you can be honest with him. Let him know that it is upsetting to lend things to him and never see them again. Tell him that you think he should build up his inventory of items needed for the job, and add that you are willing to help him select whatever he needs.

Part of being a friend is to help your friends develop into stronger individuals. Although it may initially seem that you are going to create a bigger problem by refusing to lend things to him, the fact is that you are going to create bigger problems if you continue to do so. You are going to become increasingly upset, and it will just be a matter of time before things burst.

Do not wait to take this action until your friend asks to borrow something. Rather, approach him now and tell him that you want to prevent a future problem. If he is a real friend, he will appreciate your efforts to help him and the friendship.

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