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I am possessive about nearly all my things.
I do not want to lend my camera/headphone to anyone since they are delicate items.

My boss and peers know what gadgets I have and they tend to ask me to lend them the same for some hours or days. I do NOT wish to lend them any of my gadgets for any reason.
They are my property bought from my hard earned money.

How should I tell them no without sounding rude?

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"I need them during that time. Sorry". –  Oded Feb 6 '13 at 10:14
    
@Oded HA! won't they tell - okay give them to me on the day when you don't need them! –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 6 '13 at 10:16
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Except from plainly saying no? Those are your possessions - it is not rude to tell someone that. "Sorry, but you can't. I do not want to share them. If you want a camera/headphones/whatever, buy some.". –  Oded Feb 6 '13 at 11:11
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I'm guessing this is a cultural thing. Where I come from, there is no implied obligation to let people borrow your stuff just because you have them and they want to, and just saying "no" would not be rude and really wouldn't require any further qualification. In fact, it would be considered rude and presumptive to ask to borrow something and just assume the answer would be "yes". As such, it's hard at least for me to give an answer that works in your cultural context. –  pap Feb 6 '13 at 11:57
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In which case, tell your boss to buy his own stuff. If you're not comfortable doing that, not bringing them into the office for awhile might break him of the habit. –  Blrfl Feb 6 '13 at 14:17
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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

"Sorry I don't know when I will need it next, you can get a good cheap one from XXX though"

"Sorry I use this/these a lot"

"No, sorry, i like to keep these things with me just so i know where they are / dont lose them"

"It's nothing personal, i just don't feel comfortable lending out my XX"

Alternatively like you said in a comment, if you dont need these things dont bring them into work, they cant borrow what isnt there. If you bring them in to work because you do need them then you can reply "Sorry but i need it".

The main point is to stay polite and respectful. But remember they are your things and you do have a right to say "No", just try not to be rude to your peers in the process!

Sometimes just saying "No, sorry" will work brilliantly, they cant formulate an argument against why youre saying no if you dont give a reason for it. This can be seen more as rude though so be wary.

As an edit: Some people will always think its rude if you say no. No matter how you say it, there are lots of people who think they are entitled to everything they want when they want it, and even the politest of no's they will take as a personal attack.

For these people there is nothing you can say that wont be taken as rude. So sometimes you do just need to be firm and say no (still politely) and more importantly dont feel you have to give in to the pressure from these types of people.

Giving in might be the easiest option at the time just so they arent angry but then you will have the situation where people will wonder why he is the special case. Why do you lend your stuff to him but not to the rest of them etc.

So stay firm, give a polite decline, and continue with your day, after all, you have a job to do.

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I would personally be a little wary of the first suggestion (although polite) as this may simply be deferring the issue - your boss might say "well you're not using it now, so gimme". –  Dibstar Feb 6 '13 at 16:12
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+1 "No, sorry". –  Fel Feb 6 '13 at 17:53
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Are these "gadgets" with you at work?

If so, why do you bring them there? Are they for your job? If not - don't bring them to work.

In Gurgaon India and more specifically at your work, do most people freely lend gadgets to each other? Are you are the only one that doesn't like to? If such is the case, maybe you can learn to lend your items as long as you are not using them...

If this is an isolated situation and a more general problem of not being able to say NO remember this; it is how you say NO that matters more than anything. Are you crabby, dark and irritated?

If so, try this: With positive energy, a smile, and still caring for the other person, simply say "sorry I do lend those out but hope you find a pair." Here your tone says thanks fr respecting that, we are still friends if you want to be, and I'm ready to focus on work with you.

You are being honest, not making up lies, feeling good about how you responded, and happy that Vipul's ear wax is not on your headphones!

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Just talk to them sincerely and say "I'm sorry and hope you'll understand because I can't lend you my gadgets". It may sound rube but its your things and you have the privilege to do whatever you want on them or who could only use them. There are no reasons for them to get mad at you because you haven't lend them your gadgets. In return don't expect someday that when you ask something on them they'll also lend you. However, if you trusted that person that he/she will take care of your gadgets carefully it depends on you.

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