Ways to Ask Your Friend to Pay Back the Money They Owe You
How to Ask a Friend to Return an Item They Borrowed
When you lend a friend an item, sometimes you never get it back. The item is forgotten or just kept as a gift. Many people feel awkward asking a friend to return something they borrowed because it’s often confrontational, and could damage the friendship. Try a few different approaches to minimize the stress of the situation.
Asking Your Friend for Your Item Directly
Be forward about asking for it back.Be bold and come out with your request. Even if they’ve had it a long time, just assume they have intended to return it, and say, "I’d like to get my copy of X-Men back when we meet next." With that direct approach, embarrassment or common courtesy will likely cause them to return your item.
Ask a question about it.By inquiring about the item you’ll be less confrontational. It suggests uncertainty, and allows your friend to be confident in their reply, as if they were the one who decided to return the item. Try a few of the following approaches:
- "Are you done with my copy of Twilight? I’d like to have it back when you’re done."
- ”Hey, I’m looking for my hat, do you still have it?”
- ”Would you mind giving the video game back to me?”
Send a message regarding the item.A message allows you to be direct without having to confront your friend. It’s easily less personal.There is possible misinterpretation, so be careful with your wording.
- Facebook allows you a great way to send a message. Send a private message with just enough information to let your friend know you’d like the item back.
- Shoot your friend a quick email. Nothing extravagant is needed. Just ask for your item back.
- Text your friend. Ask for the item and include their favorite emoticon to make it less harsh.
Constantly bring it up.Whenever you talk to your friend, bring it up. No matter the conversation, steer everything back to the loaned item. Your friend will quickly get the hint.
Using Humor to Get it Back
Shame your friend playfully.Sometimes a bit of ribbing might be enough to prod a reaction. If some of the more subtle, painless approaches haven’t worked, you may need to ratchet up your approach.
- Post on their Facebook wall. Be playful, and you’ll likely get some other friends joining in. If you have art skills, make a digital missing-poster of your item.
Joke about calling your friend's mother.There is nothing worse than maternal pressure. Be sure to let your friend's mother know not to be too harsh.
Ask to borrow it back.Technically, you’re not borrowing it since it’s yours, but it could be funny to ask in such a way. Play it up by begging a bit, "Could I borrow it back? Pretty please? I need it! I’ve always wanted one like that.”
Be sarcastic.A slight bit of embarrassment can be minimized if sarcasm is used. Find a way to bring irony or humor to the situation.
- ”You’ve had it forever. Is there any tread left on the tire?”
- ”I’m pretty sure the shirt you borrowed won’t be in fashion by the time you give it back.”
- ”How many times have you beaten the game I lent you by now?”
- "It's been so long since you borrowed it I forgot if it's a DVD or a VHS."
Being Nonchalant to Get it Back
Visit your friend.Go on a social call to your friend’s house and act as if the visit is unrelated to the loaned item. Eventually get around to talking about the loaned item, or about something related to your loaned item.
- A movie: “Remember that Halloween dance scene in Karate Kid?”
- A tool: “My yard is a mess. I’ll have to weed eat for days.”
- A clothing item: “What I really need is a black scarf to complement this outfit.”
Mention its presence during conversation.Note the object in the room, something close enough to be picked up. When calmly talking about the item, mention you had the same item once. Maybe even say how much you enjoyed having it.
Pretend you forgot it.When you’re near your friend and see the item, say, "You know what? I think this one is mine! Did I leave it here?" Playing dumb is often a good way to be less threatening. They won’t be able to deny the truth. They’ll likely mimic your feigned ignorance.
QuestionHow do I get a friend to return an expensive item if they won't respond to my texts?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerConfront them in person. If they still refuse, tell a reliable adult.Thanks!
QuestionI loaned something to someone who isn't really my friend, and when I asked for it back, he refused. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerConsider how you asked for it -- were you polite or accusing? Your manner may have disturbed this person or maybe they thought you had given it, not loaned it. Then, consult your parents if you know they could help you retrieve it, but also be aware of the results (how he will react). If you plan to do this on your own, ask him why he will not give it back. At this point be understanding as well as bold and confident about retrieving your possession. You may need to make it clear that it was only ever a loan, not a gift.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get my Bluetooth speaker back for from my friend who borrowed itwikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerContinue to ask them, if they don't return it, then go to their house and tell them it's yours and you need it back. If they don't give it back, tell an adult if you're in school, or contact the police. It's yours and that's technically stealing.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if he won't return my money?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell him that along with the money, you gave him your trust. Explain what that means to you, and what it means if he loses your trust. Do be understanding if he has a valid reason, though, as you don't want to lose his trust either.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend will not answer the door, phone or messages. What should I do?Top AnswererYour property is yours. If you have exhausted all social means, it is time to make a choice: either forgive and forget, or pursue the matter in court. Eventually, anyone can be forced to answer for their actions. Get legal counsel, build a solid case and don't give up.Thanks!
QuestionIs twenty years too long of a period to ask a friend to return an item?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the value of the item. If the item is more on the expensive and valuable side, then try asking for it back. If it is something of little value (to you), then you should probably leave it alone.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I exchanged something with a friend and I want mine back?Community AnswerThis is more complicated than asking a friend to return a borrowed item. If you exchanged the items with no expectation of ever unexchanging them, then it was a fair trade and that person essentially owns the item. However, simply talking to your friend can be helpful. A lot of friends would be understanding with the situation and trade you back willingly. If they don't want to trade back then there might not be much else you can do, except to be more careful with what you exchange in the future. If you both traded expecting to return each item in the future, just ask for your item back.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I legally get it back? The estimated value is 1800.00.Top AnswererLegal matters depend on the laws of your country. In general, though, if you can prove ownership, the law will be on your side. Be prepared that it might take a lot of effort, and money, before you start down this path.Thanks!
QuestionI let my 'friend' borrow my favorite necklace but she won't give it back. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk for it back. If she won't give it to you, tell her parents. If that doesn't work, threaten to call the police and report her for stealing.Thanks!
QuestionI gave my crush two expensive magnifying glasses that weren't mine, and when he returned them to me I noticed he exchanged them and gave me other ones. What should I do? I'm about to get my mom involved.JroseamonthornsCommunity AnswerI would confront him about it. Make sure he did it on purpose before you get your mom involved. If he did it on purpose and refuses to give them back or admit it, I would let your mom handle it.Thanks!
- Put your name on the item before you lend it. A sticker or piece of tape will do, or you could use a preprinted return address label.
- Be upfront when you loan things in future. Give a deadline of a short period of time and don't let this deadline pass without following up on the item you have loaned. Even if your friend wants it for a while longer, at least they will remain aware that you expect the item back.
- Recognize that different people respond to different communication styles. Some people just don't pick up on hints or respond well to confrontation. Use the approach best suited for your friend’s personality.
- Don't accuse your friend of not returning it on purpose unless you feel there is no other way to get your property back. It's very difficult to prove legally, and you'll likely lose a friend.
- Evaluate whether the friendship is more valuable than the item. If the item can easily be replaced, and if your friend has proven to be trustworthy and honest in the past, then it might be best to forget about your friend returning it rather than risk losing their friendship.
- If you loan someone an item, it's a good idea to take a picture of them with it so you don't forget.
- Sometimes friends are too scared to return something because they have damaged or lost it somehow. Be aware this may be the case and be ready to forgive them. If it had been so important and valuable to you in the first place, you shouldn't have given it to them as this is always a possibility.
Video: Ask For Returning Money To Friend...
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