I don’t like sharing my stuff. By stuff, I refer to physical, tangible items. I know how that makes me sound. Like a selfish brat. And maybe that’s what I am. It’s OK. I have made peace with it. Really.
I think that it stems from being the oldest sibling and always having to share my pencils, chocolate, my bedroom, dolls etc.
I always just wanted stuff that I could call MINE!
Stuff that I wouldn’t need to share at some point.
I seem to have taken this ugly trait into my adult life. And it does affect how I parent. I get cross if my DH expects Child1 to share stuff with his little brother. Child2 is exactly like me. I know that I should teach him differently but how on earth do I teach him to share if I don’t even like to share?
And obviously it can also affect the friendship dynamic. My close friends know and understand this and (although they roll their eyes) they respect my non-sharing issues. Friend E told me that he will pray for me. I told him to go right ahead because I need all the prayers I can get. Friends that I am not that close to don’t get it and it is usually a hurdle that needs to be crossed. It can and usually does get awkward.
Interestingly enough, I don’t mind sharing information or knowledge or non-tangible stuff. I don’t mind sharing my time with you. Or talents. Or my emotions – I quite enjoy having emotional intimacy.
I do however mind sharing material, tangible things.
My kids AND my DH know not to ask me for my chocolate or for a sip of my tea or whatever. Child2 knows that he may NEVER eat out of my plate. Because I will go NUTS!
As an aside, do you also find that your kids don’t want to eat their food but that they would rather eat that same food out of your plate? Ugh. Drives me insane!
My kids even want to drink their tea out of my pretty cups! And they have their own nice ones so I have no idea why they would want to do that to me.
So. I am not that friend who will share/lend/borrow things like books. Or CDs. Or my hair iron. Or my shoes. Or my funky DKNY bag (only my Mom can borrow this) or my lipstick. Or my perfume. Or my black dress/skirt/jacket. Or ANYTHING for that matter. I would rather give you some money or a voucher so you can buy your own. I’ll even buy it for you as a birthday/friendship gift. In fact, I always had ALL my stationery at the end of the term because I was that kid who wouldn’t share my pencils/scissors/eraser etc.
And I feel really bad about this sometimes. Because I have friends who would give me their liver/kidney/heart if I needed it. I have friends who don’t mind lending me their books and CDs. I never accept though because I prefer to buy my own stuff. Of course if you GIVE me something as a gift then it is different. But seriously. I don’t share my stuff. And I won’t borrow your stuff either. I’d rather get my own.
Are you that kind of friend? The one who doesn’t share books/CDs/material things?
Or are you the friend who honestly doesn’t place any value on material things and will share, share and share alike? If you are this friend then really, I ENVY you. Because I have tried. Although I will admit, I have not tried hard enough.
How do I (as a 34-year old grown-up) learn how to share? Do you know other adults like me? Is this behaviour even remotely normal?