Have you ever received a gift you didn’t want? Of course you have, everyone has from time to time. The well meaning gift giver had no clue what you would like or how to find out how to determine what you might be pleased with.
So what did you do? Did you tell them right out, “Why did you think I’d want this?” Well, unless you were nearly unconscious, I doubt you’d be that abrupt when receiving a gift.
Did you smile politely, grimace slightly, bite your tongue, take a deep breath and say something like “How thoughtful of you to give me a gift, you shouldn’t have!” All the while thinking, “Yea, really, you shouldn’t have!”
I hate to admit it but when I was 15 and having fought my weight for more than 5 years since I had my appendix out and my mother gave me a suite of tan and green hounds tooth with major pleats which made me look like I gained 20 pounds instantaneously.
My first thought was “She did this on purpose.” That would have been typical of my mother. But what came out of my mouth was “I could never wear that!”
The look on my mother’s face told me she was sincere about giving me an outfit she thought I would have enjoyed. I believe I felt worse than she did, but she sent it back to Sears and didn’t replace it.
I learned to keep my mouth shut when receiving gifts I didn’t want and learned how to gracefully return them and get something I would enjoy.
Great gift giving is talent. I became a great gift giver by watching, listening and thinking well in advance, “What does this person do, what do they enjoy or what do they talk about?”
You can learn to give great gifts too, just pay attention to those you care about and it becomes easier the more you practice it.