How to Get People to Stop Asking to Use Your Stuff in School

Does it seem like classmates ask to borrow your pencils, stationery, make up etc. every day? If you are a nice person it's often hard to tell others you don't want to lend them your things. This article will help you formulate the most effective response and/or action.


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    Politely decline. Just say "No." If the person asks why, you might say, "It's not important—I just don't lend stuff out." If that doesn't work, resort to other methods. If the person asking for a pen is your friend, smile and joke "What do you guys think I am, some walking-talking drugstore?". This is funny but the other people get the idea.
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    Use favorable items secretively and keep them out of sight. Try giving your friends things before class. Either bring enough for everybody or don't let everybody know about it. Naturally, if you have some sort of desirable item, everyone is going to want it. As soon as you pull out things like food, you will probably get requests, so eat snacks quickly and quietly.
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    Wait to get out your item if everyone needs it immediately. If the teacher tells everyone to get some paper, wait until the last possible moment to get yours. The moochers will borrow paper from other unsuspecting classmates and you will be free!
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    Attempt to distract the person and/or get away. If the item is not currently visible, there are many excuses that could enable you to get away from the person that is asking and avoid the situation altogether. Tell them someone else has the item. If they persist, pretend you have to go somewhere (i.e. your locker or home) to get the item. This is perfect if the teacher doesn't let you out of class. Most likely the person will forget.
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    Be polite to anybody who asks. Do not be snappy and mean when people ask to borrow something. Act like you are genuinely sorry that you do not have/cannot let them borrow the item.
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    Pretend that you either don't have the item(s) or cannot distribute it for some reason. If the person is asking, "Do you have a dollar I can borrow?", just say, "No. I don't have any money." Or even better, say "I don't have a dollar you can borrow." In most cases, the person will just find someone else to ask but if the person knows you have money, say, "Oh, no, sorry. That's my lunch/friend's/gas money." Pretending your parents don't let you lend money or other expensive things is also effective. Be creative!
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    Tell them that you have only a small quantity left. This works well with paper, pencil lead, tissues, gum, etc. Make sure that the item(s) are hidden away if you want to use this method.
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    Pretend to be sick if asked for items that you could contaminate. If people ask to have some of your lip gloss or balm, make-up, or drink, just say you are sick--like you have a cold sore or a cough. However, this will not stop some people. If so:
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    Tell others that you don't share items that could spread germs. For example, if you are in the bathroom, fixing your hair and somebody asks to use your hairbrush, you could potentially get head lice by sharing your brush. You might just have to say, "Sorry. I don't share hairbrushes because I'm paranoid about lice." In the case of lip balm or similar items the person might say they will wipe it off. A good reply would be, "No. Please don't, okay? I'm really picky about letting people use my (item) because I get sick easily."
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    Reserve items of lesser quality to lend out. For example you probably have a bunch of low-quality wooden pencils lying around or just have an old pen. Keep a few in your pencil pouch and lend those out. This way you won't be sad if they are lost or broken!


  • Be firm and stand by your decisions. Do not let people take advantage of your kindness. In most cases, these people ask to borrow things that everyday because they do not bring their own items. If you become a constant source they see no reason to bring their own. There are exceptions of course.
  • Consider changing the size of mechanical pencil lead you use. You're probably sick and tired of people asking for lead. If you're not picky, go buy a different mechanical pencil and lead size. Most people use 0.7 mm lead, so try to get 0.9 mm or 0.5 mm. This means fewer people can use your lead. Be careful though; it is easier to break thinner leads while writing.
  • Try keeping things in unlikely containers. For example you can also try keeping most of your lead in your pencils. Don't do this if you're forgetful and likely to lose a pencil however. For some people this might be a bit extreme.
  • Try not to be hypocritical. You may be in a tough situation some time and need supplies. If someone is having a major crisis you probably want to help them out. So do lend stuff out, just not all the time; use your best judgment.
  • If you'd rather just get to the point tell them, "I kinda don't want to give it to anyone right now."
  • If you get caught with a spare item, just say "This is my friend's. I promised I'll look after it," or just simply say "Sorry, I can't hear the teacher. I don't want to get in trouble!"


  • It is possible to earn a bad reputation as a mean or selfish person, so make sure you are extremely polite in these situations.
  • If you continue to allow people to use your things they will think it does not bother you. It will become harder and harder to stop them.
  • If someone actually threatens you because you won't let them use your things (yes, this can happen) tell a teacher or another authority figure. Don't think you're being a snitch, remember that you're ensuring your own safety and happiness.
  • If someone uses your property without asking first, and this bothers you, ask them firmly to not do it again. If they do it again it could be considered harassment.
  • Don't make up a big or elaborate lie. White lies are OK and generally go by unnoticed but larger ones could make you seem selfish or untrustworthy.

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Categories: Class Distractions