My co-worker is a good guy who has a lot on his plate at the moment. The issue is I just want to get shredding on the electric guitar he has promised me. How do I politely remind him of his promise to me?

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    Can you share a bit more context with us? In which circumstances did he offer it to you? Were there any further reference to the guitar afterwards? Is it possible for you to just go to his house to fetch the guitar instead of him bringing it?
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:00
  • Is it possible he has second thoughts about giving it to you (say, his niece expressed an interest in it) and he's kind of stuck not wanting to renege on his promise to you but also feeling an obligation towards a family member? Maybe you could remind him about it but give him an out in so he knows there are no hard feelings if he can't make good on his promise for some reason.
    – Vinay Pai
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest something along the lines of:

You mentioned your old guitar. I'm really looking forward to practising if that offer still stands.

It doesn't sound spoilt - it hopefully sounds keen or enthusiastic. I have had this sort of thing happen on various occasions - work colleagues or acquaintances offer something they then forget about, and I've done the forgetting occasionally too.

So in those situations I know I'd rather hear an open and honest reminder - as maybe I was busy and forgot, or it just slipped my mind with other things going on; and when I have reminded others, it always was an oversight on their part and they fulfilled their offer within days.

Very simple, no embarrasment required, no needing to feel like you sound spoilt.


There's really no specific Interpersonal Skill involved here other than patience and staying polite. After all, he is giving you something.

This has happened to me many time with all sorts of random items...and money of course. It's really not a big deal, so don't make it one.

In a work scenario, you can use a common communication system to remind him before leaving his home.

  • Ask him what time in the morning you can txt him a reminder.
  • Offer to send a recurrent meeting to remind him.
  • Just before leaving work, ask him about some possible accessory to remind him.

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