How to refuse a cookie

by Ali on January 15, 2008

Picture the scenario, an all-too-familiar one in most offices. A colleague is celebrating a birthday (or anniversary, return from holiday, new pet…) and has brought in a batch of home-made cookies. You’ve just had lunch, you’re pleasantly full, and you’re saving some calories for a weekend treat. And you know that if you have one cookie, you’ll end up scoffing a second. And a third.

But how can you refuse without hurting your colleague’s feelings? Try this three-stage process:

  1. Praise the cookies (cupcakes/flapjack/unidentifiable chocolatey concoction): – - “Ooh, they look delicious.”
    • “Wow, what gorgeous cakes!”
    • “Lovely!”
  2. Offer an excuse:
    • “I don’t want to spoil my lunch…”
    • “I’ve just had lunch and I’m really full…”
    • “I’m about to go into a meeting…”
  3. Then say that you’ll have one later:
    • “I’ll grab one in a bit.”
    • “I won’t take one just yet, I’ll save it for a treat when I’ve finally finished this mind-numbing spreadsheet.”

Your colleague will carry on to the next person, and is unlikely to spend the rest of the day watching you like a hawk to check that you do take a cookie.

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