Some people think that you should share at every opportunity, but this is not true, and it’s not always ideal. As a child, sharing was a struggle for me. It was only after mom gave me a lecture about ‘keeping friendships‘, that I reluctantly shared my possessions. Eventually, I learned the value of sharing in relationships, and I willingly share (when I want to).
I don’t always share. Folk can judge, but I won’t budge.
When my mom was not looking, I devised strategies to make sharing nearly impossible. My main goal was to prevent individuals from asking in the first place. I got some curious looks, and I lost some fair-weather friends, but at least I kept my delicious cookies. Below are some tips that will help you avoid sharing the cookies that you don’t wish to share. Oh, and don’t allow puppy eyes or accusations of your selfishness to move you!
Tip 1: take a bite
I watched her as she approached my table. I knew she was going to ask me for a cookie because she was the type that ALWAYS asked people for some of their lunch. This time I was prepared. I carefully placed four cookies on a napkin in front of me and sipped some of my orange juice. She stopped at my table and peered down at the cookies.
“Are those teeth marks”? she asked inquiringly.
“Yes”, I said. I casually picked up one of the cookies, pretending to admire it.
“You took a bite out of ALL THE COOKIES”? She remarked, a tone of indignation in her voice.
I looked up at her, a gleam of mischief in my eye. “Last I checked, they are MY cookies.”
She stared at me dumbfounded for some moments, sniffed, and then quickly left.
I laughed inwardly. That was easy!
As a child, If I didn’t want to share my cookies, I took a bite out of each one. This is a very effective way to prevent people from even putting in a request. This works best if you have a handful of cookies (particularly homemade), but it’s not impossible with packaged cookies so long as you have the patience to bite each one, and put it back in the box.
Tip 2:Break them up
Have you ever opened a box of cookies only to find many of them in pieces? it can be quite deflating! Most people want to enjoy a whole cookie, or they feel cheated. It’s only when they aren’t sure of the taste, or they are watching their sugar that they will settle for a piece.
I found that broken cookies derails people from asking because they get the impression that the cookies broke due to an outside force. As a cookie monster, I acknowledge that breaking up your cookies can be unpleasant, but would you rather share them? If you don’t wish to share, break the cookie into 2-3 parts and put them in a Ziploc bag. Your friends will think you settled for broken cookies and pity you for not returning them. NOTE: this is also a good way to share only a piece of your cookie instead of the whole.
Tip 3: Eat them when people are gone
The most practical advice on this list, and the one I employ most often. Simply eat your cookies when everyone has left the building. I have waited for people to exit the cafeteria, and for roommates to leave before I bought out decadent treasures from my lunchbox. This tip requires more self- control, but a delay doesn’t mean a denial of pleasure. BTW, If you are going to use this tip, be prepared in case someone suddenly re-enters the room. (Apply tip 1 or 2)
Tip 4: label them as laxatives
Pack your cookies in a tin with a label that reads: ‘laxative cookies’. Make sure the label can be clearly observed. In addition, use a little melodrama to improve the effectiveness of this tip. For example, while you’re chewing, touch your belly, close your eyes periodically, and sigh with expression.
Tip 5: Create a diversion
Create a diversion by bringing something that you are willing to share. For example, to avoid sharing homemade macadamia cookies, purchase a box of chocolate turtles and write a note to the staff explaining that you really appreciate their work. People will be so flattered and distracted by the turtles, that they are unlikely to ask for your cookies.
TOP TIP: Simply Say NO
I’ve met people who share to feel better about themselves, or to comply with the expectations of others. Sharing should be a personal decision, and should therefore not be forced through provocation and condemnation.
If you don’t want to share, don’t! This doesn’t indicate that you are a mean person. There are times to be unconcerned about what others think, and you don’t have to give a reason for everything. Of course the refusal should be tactful because there is a soft and hard way of saying “NO”. If you choose to say no, make sure you immediately change the topic and steer the conversation.
softer ways to say No: (When someone asks you for a cookie):
– I rather not share today, maybe next time. Do you bake cookies often?
–Oh no, these are not shareable. Have you ever followed the wrong recipe and it still turns out?
–No, but I can tell you the recipe so you can bake them yourself . BTW where do you go for recipes ?
Changing the topic quickly, and initiating a discussion can help your audience deal with the rejection.
How do you avoid sharing? comments are welcome