I Don’t Want To Share!

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is “share”.  Here’s what I think about the topic:

Don’t want to share – it’s mine!

I’d recently read a post about teaching children to share.  It had many good points and I agree that children need to learn to share.  But honestly, as an adult, I rarely share anymore nor do I want to.

In my experience, others do not care about my time or possessions because it’s not theirs.  Something precious to me gets trashed and the person who did walks away, seldom caring what I think about it.  If it’s not important to them, they fail to see why it would be important to me.

I don’t lend out books.  They don’t find their way home.  I either give them away or I suggest someone buy it themselves.  I read my books over and over, so not getting them back does bother me.

An acquaintance recently went away for a weekend, leaving her dog behind to  be cared for.  The friend forgot and two days later, she came home to a very hungry dog and a mess.  What if she’d been gone for a week?

Evidence of this is all over work.  People make a mess in the kitchen, but don’t clean it up.  People walk out of conference rooms, leaving behind cups and paper, and it stays there the rest of the day.  It’s not their house.

I’ve done a lot of needlepoint over the years.  One of the truths in the needlepoint community is not give away your little treasures – others will not value their hard work or expense.  Needlepoint is an expensive hobby.  You can buy a Christmas stocking at the store for $20 or so.  To make the same stocking is hundreds of dollars.

People assume what you made was just as cheap and might not treasure it unless they do needlework themselves.  Very few people have needlepoint from me except for my sister, mother & daughter.  They’ve all done needlework and can appreciate its hard work.

I cannot count on others to cherish and nourish my relationships either.  It upsets me tremendously that people would rather believe what they hear about me than to know me for themselves.  I’m not talking about at work either – I’m talking within the family.  There are a lot of things I don’t share because others do not find our relationship important enough to value my confidences and keep it to themselves.

My mother tells a story about when I was little.  Friends came over to visit and had a child around my age.  I kept putting my toys onto my mother’s lap because I didn’t want to share them.  Eventually the pile got so big she figured out what I was doing and made me share them.

In my adult mind, I bet some of them got broken and that was too bad for me.  Temporary visitors caused me to lose a beloved toy.  I understand why she made me share, but I still don’t think I should have had to share.

So the next time someone wants you to share something, ask yourself – do I really want to do this?  If you don’t, say no and stay firm.

Have you been over to A Daily Life?  Recent posts include how to stop following a comment and the no comfort zone challenge.

Here’s the reaction of my favorite boy toy when I asked him if the dog could share the bed tonight!

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.

20 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’ve found that to be true of books, also. I imagine the boy toy was picturing the minpin taking over the entire bed! lol

    • Actually, it was the 55 pound Vizsla he was thinking of! And of course, I can’t leave the beagle behind. The last time I did that, he started howling at 5 am because he was being left out. The min pin gets crated – his nickname is Tinklebell for a reason.

  2. We always treasure handmade gifts. They take time, effort, and thought. But some people only value logos and “store bought major brands” so I don’t bother giving them anything else. A little sad, but pearls before…. Anyway. You are right about thinking – and saying no once in a while – it is after all a perfectly good response. NIce post.

    • I had a lot of trouble with my in-laws over this issue. As far as my mother-in-law was concerned, homemade meant you were cheap.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Oh BOY do I love this post. Perhaps sharing with someone that has a sense of entitlement–as in they are entitled to practically demand that you share with them—translates into them not valuing what they have demanded that you share. I am not only talking about material things. I am talking about creative things (like you mentioned), talent, time, pieces of your heart…..when they then turn around and traipse all over your feelings and the things you shared—well, they make it abundantly clear that they have used you or abused you…..if it happens repeatedly despite your attempts to explain your preferences, then it is deliberate. We are called to care for one another and love one another. We are not called to be doormats. Sometimes you can get caught in a web of one-sided sharing. It is painful.
    Thanks for your eloquent post.

    • I’m glad you liked it. Your points are really good ones – I’m glad you took time to write them out for me. I really struggled to write this post. It was important to me to write it up, but I never felt real clear on it. The comments have helped a lot with giving me clarity around this.

  4. Your comment about things not belonging to someone and their lack of investment in it is right on. I think they refer to this as the “law of the commons” If something has no owner, it will not be taken care of. This is why I try to get ownership from teens in youth ministry, so they care about the group themselves, not just the adults.

    • I’m chipping in with Derek here – personal value of the item in question is everything.

      When I worked as a consultant in my own business just for an expirment I attempted to hand out the same advice that people paid for. Things that I was paid literally thousands of dollars to do by companies I coulld not give away. Why? because the value was what they paid – or in their minds “zero.”

      No matter if it’s advice or physical object, make sure the receiver values the gift as much as you, the giver, does otherwise unhappiness results.

      • I’d forgotten about that from my consulting days. Giving it away never worked. My husband creates and sells fine art photography. He learned the hard way to avoid the low end items as so often customers wouldn’t buy anything because they thought it was too cheap. Since going with bigger pictures and bigger prices, he sells more consistently with less effort.

  5. Once I had children, I realized why little kids learn the word “mine” so early. They hear it all the time from their parents, “No, that is not your [insert object]. That is mine.” While we want our children to learn to share, we don’t always appreciate the importance of being able to own an object. Thank you for your honesty on this post.

    • Oh wow – another good point! You’re right, that is what the kids hear from us. As parents we do need to set boundaries though or they will run roughshod over everything. But yes, there is tremendous value in owing something.

      That always puzzled me as a kid. My parents wanted me to share, but if it got broken or stolen, I had to do without. I never found that to be fair.

    • You’re right – I do share hints and encouragement, both in the blogging community and at work. That doesn’t bother me as much, I think because for the most part it is appreciated which gives it its own value.

  6. You are so right; either give it away or consider it a gift if you lend and it comes back in any shape!

    Tell your hubby Jaimie thought the photo was very funny. :)

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