We’ve all been there. Looking at a beautifully wrapped package sitting with your name on it that you can’t wait to tear open. But inside, inside there’s only ugliness. Just some weird s**t. You didn't ask for it, you don't want it, and you don't want it in your home.
The intention was good, but the gift is so unappealing, so not designd for you, that you can’t help but drop your jaw. How can you hide the horror on your face? Who sent this monstrosity your way? Not to be ungrateful, but who the heck wants to own something that doesn’t bring them pleasure? Or that they can't use? Who has that kind of room?
Here’s how to deal with getting a gift you simply don’t like. Just deal with it and be polite, OK?
Diane Gottsman, National Etiquette Expert an the founder of The Protocol School of Texas, gives some useful advice for when your face (and bulging eyeballs) are about to betray you.
Regardless of how much you dislike the gift, you still hold the giver in high regard and don’t want to hurt their feelings. When you open the atrocity up, compose yourself and say “Thank you so much for thinking of me!” with a smile and all the enthusiasm you can muster! It’s really not the gift as much as the sentiment behind the gesture that you are acknowledging.
2. Lie (a little)
Avoid a comment like, “I love it!” (if you really don’t) or “This is certainly an interesting choice of clothing!” The intention is to “do no harm” with your response. If you tell them how much you love it – they may expect you to put it on right now.
If you must fib, do it for the right reason. To save their feelings.
3. Do not throw it away
You may not want to hurt your grandmothers feelings by telling her you don’t like the crochet sweater vest she gave you and would prefer a gift card to your favorite store instead. Just give her a warm hug and tell her how much the gift means to you – it will make her day and you can put it away. Don’t toss it because she may ask to see it next time she visits. And you'd better have it on hand.
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