I Don’t Like to Share§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: August 10, 2008; revised: April 24, 2018; readers in past month: 633

Young Couple
Piazza Mercanti, Milan

When I was a child, like most children I imagine, I was told that I needed to learn to share. I tended to comply to that instruction with reluctance and at times without thinking. If I had something that someone wanted, I had no problem handing it over. I wasn’t greedy for it’s own sake. In that sense, I didn’t need to be told to share. My reluctance came from feeling humiliated by being told to share and irritated that by sharing naturally, I was seeming to be in compliance with the adult. I resented being put in a position of allowing them to feel they controlled or influenced me. It’s kind of funny to realize that even as a child, as early as the age of three, I remember resenting people in this way.

Now that I’m an adult, although I can be generous in many ways, I generally don’t like sharing. For instance, when I go out to dinner with people here in Italy, many times others that I’m dining with will offer to share their meal with me. I don’t like mixing meals: if I’m eating a pasta with a ragu sauce, I don’t want my fellow diner to give me a large portion of her pasta with a cream and pesto sauce. In general, I don’t like to mix like that. But more than that I don’t like the act of sharing. If I buy a bottle of iced tea and a friend comes up and asks if she can have some, it irritates me. Instead I either offer to order another tea for her or I just give her all that remains of mine.

It’s not that I’m greedy — I’m willing to give up what I have — I just don’t want to share. I don’t like the joint act, the act of sharing. I’m not sure why, but I don’t like it. I’d rather do my thing and others do their thing. If we’re both are going to drink tea, then let’s each get a bottle of tea. If I wanted pasta with cream sauce and pesto, I would have ordered it. Don’t disturb me, do mix with me, let me be.