Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Art of Borrowing

With the way things are in the economy, sometimes it becomes necessary to ask those around you for help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We were made to be here for one another and SHOULD help each other. Sometimes we’d be surprised at just how much making an effort, helps someone else.

Whether it’s needing to borrow tools, childcare, money, or time – borrowing can be a tricky thing.  If it isn’t handled with integrity and respect for the person doing the lending, it can even put a dent in relationships – sometimes damaging them for good. So let’s go over a little protocol.

1.     If you need to borrow someone’s car or something tangible that they have – give them a deadline when you will have the item returned by. It doesn’t show a lot of respect for someone to keep something for months and months without thought to the fact that they might need it back. Also, make sure you return the item back in good shape. If you borrow a car, don’t return it with an empty gas tank or all dirty inside. Show your thanks by putting at least as much gas as was in it when you borrowed the vehicle and clean out or wash the car. 

The same goes for other items. Always wash or return an item in good shape.

2.     If you need someone to watch your children, don’t take advantage of their time. They are probably saving you money by allowing you the option to use them instead of a daycare or babysitter. Be punctual when dropping off and picking up your children. Bring over snacks or extra supplies to help supplement what they might be using while caring for your children. If you’re not able to purchase extra diapers or things that might increase your expense more than you can handle, bake some cookies or do something else that is a gesture of your thanks.

3.     If you need to borrow money…..don’t take it for granted.  Write down how much you borrowed and when and keep a record of it. Don’t let months or years go by without not only paying back what you borrowed, but failing to mention it. This again, shows a lack of respect towards the person or people who were generous with you.

             If time goes on and you are unable to pay back the full amount, figure out a      way to make a small payment or even come up with a pay schedule.

Continuing to ask to borrow things or asking to “have” things from another person is rude, selfish, and careless. Most people don’t mind helping someone out if they are really down and out on their luck. But they don’t like to be taken advantage of. This can be especially awkward if the lender is a family member. They don’t want to ruin their relationship with you by speaking up so they remain silent. Don’t mistake that silence to be a sign that they are okay with the situation as it stands.  Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

Continuing to borrow things from people can often put a wedge in relationships. Once or twice is okay, but anymore often than that it can get to be a strain.  Think of ways that you can earn a little extra income if it’s possible or a way that you can give back to the person who has been so generous with you.

It feels good to not have to rely on others. It feels good to support yourself, even if it’s not on the level that you would prefer.  But if you truly have a need and someone else can fill it temporarily, show class and respect by doing whatever it takes to care for someone else’s time and belongings as much (or more so) than they do. It is a reflection of who you are as a person. And the reflection and image you give off – says a lot. Your reputation will precede you and will affect you in your future. Give it weight and effort by holding yourself to a high standard. For courtesy goes both ways.

No comments: