Coffee Break: Dos and don’ts when you’re cornered

This article first appeared in Capital, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on July 9, 2018 - July 15, 2018.
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Dear folks,

In light of recent developments, allow me, Dr Quack, psychologist extraordinaire, to share with you some dos and don’ts for when you find yourself with your back against the wall.

I mean, let’s face it. You’ll find yourself there at some point in your life. You might, for instance, get caught in a lie. Or — and the odds of this happening is probably 1 in 2.6 billion — you might be caught with cookie crumble all over you, rendering an almost perfect case for those accusing you of helping yourself to cookies you shouldn’t have had.

Let’s say the latter happens. Panicked, and probably never having thought that the day would come when your overpriced rug would be pulled from under you, here’s what you may tend to do, with — more likely than not — terrible results.

  1. You might love to sing, but DON’T find inspiration from has-been singer Shaggy of It Wasn’t Me fame and play the blame game. Simply put, it will backfire on you. This is especially so if the accusations have been levelled at you yonks ago and you’ve already had ample time and opportunity to explain why it’s not your fault — but didn’t, till now, when you’re left with little choice. Nobody’s likely to believe any story you cook up now, so DO just stay silent and let the facts speak for themselves. Plus, remember what your kindergarten teacher used to say? When you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.
  2. DON’T start a “poor me, I’m a victim” pity party for yourself. Or wait, on second thought, DO, and make sure your narrative is so tragic, it pulls at the heartstrings of all those attending and starts raising doubt among fence-sitters. Heck, at some point, even you might start believing what you say. Put up a video on Facebook, if you must. “Did he really take a bite of that cookie? Hmmm, but look how sad those big eyes are!” The most loyal of your friends may be so affected, they might start a crowdfunding effort to save you — never mind that it was partly their cookie you were accused of eating in the first place.
  3. DON’T party hardy with champagne and the works with the rich-and-famous-and-often-photographed. This, folks, is an unequivocal DON’T. Nobody wants to see what you’ve been doing with his/her hard-earned cookie. This just makes people angry. Very, very angry. And then they won’t just want their cookie back, they’ll likely want your head too.
  4. And finally, DON’T go on the run. This just doesn’t make sense. You’ll immediately be thought guilty. Plus,  in an increasingly small world, there really isn’t far for you to run.


I hope these pearls of wisdom come handy for you one day, folks.

Yours in empathy,
Dr Quack

Disclaimer: Dr Quack has long uncrossed her legs and sold off her comfy couch on which many a patient sat, having been disbarred from the industry for being, well…
a quack.

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