Dealing with Unwanted Gifts

Unwanted Gifts. Abby Eckel had her birthday gift expectations set: a morganite ring. But when she unwrapped a necklace instead, disappointment hit her hard. She struggled internally, debating whether to speak up or pretend to be content with what she got.

Gift Disappointment: A Common Tale

It happens to many of us. That sweater from parents that doesn’t fit, the band T-shirt from your teenage years that’s no longer your vibe, or the silver jewelry when you’re all about gold. The gift misses the mark, collects dust, and you’re stuck wondering if your loved ones even get you.

When You’re Not Feeling the Gift

Eckel faced the necklace vs. ring dilemma with her husband. She felt puzzled—why the swap? Instead of brushing it off, she decided to have a chat with him. “I didn’t want to seem spoiled, but I wanted to understand,” she mentioned.

“I just wanted to talk it out,” Eckel added. And it worked. They had a heart-to-heart, and she felt fine returning the necklace.

Talk it Out

Mielad Owraghi, a therapist, thinks having a chat about the gift helps ease disappointment. “Appreciate the gift, but if it’s not what you want, communicate,” Owraghi suggests. It’s about letting them know your preferences for future reference.

Understanding the Thought Behind the Gift

Suzanne Degges-White, a counselor, suggests digging into why someone chose a specific gift. It’s not just about the present; it reflects how they perceive you and your relationship. With partners, it can symbolize care, especially in the early stages.

Setting Gift Expectations

In long-term relationships, it’s crucial to establish your gift likes and dislikes. Degges-White advises preventing repeat disappointments next holiday season. But if it’s not a close relationship, sometimes it’s best to keep quiet and appreciate their intention.

Appreciating Effort

Sometimes, wearing that horrendous sweater can mean a lot to someone who gave it to you. “By finding pleasure in the gift they gave you, you’re giving them a gift,” Degges-White points out.

The Essence of Thoughtfulness

“Saturday Night Live” joked about moms getting robes for Christmas, and many responded by wearing theirs proudly. Thoughtful gifting goes beyond just the gesture; it’s about understanding someone’s likes and dislikes.

Communication is Key

Sharing your needs with loved ones strengthens relationships, says Owraghi. And keeping an ear out for any hints they drop throughout the year can help you nail the next gift-giving occasion.

Dealing with Disappointment

Eckel, known for sharing advice, mentioned that she’d want honesty if she ever goofed on a gift. “We’re human; we have emotions,” she said. Talking it out or feeling disappointed for a bit and then moving on can be normal.

In a Nutshell

Dealing with unwanted gifts isn’t just about the item; it’s about expressing yourself and understanding each other. Communicating preferences and acknowledging effort can make a big difference in making gift-giving a joyous experience for all.