Unwanted Gift Responses
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
might be a gift from you spouse. I could be one from your boss.
Perhaps it will be delivered by Uncle Bill or dropped off by your
next door neighbor. Regardless of whom it comes from, chances are
youll open it again this holiday season. Yes, its the
dreaded, and often received, unwanted gift.
there sits Uncle Bill, grinning at you from across the room, waiting
for your verbal response to the unwanted gift youve just unwrapped.
Youve got to be kidding me, are the first words
that race through your mind, but you bite your tongue because you
prefer to be gracious. You dont feel like you should be totally
honest because, You just cant imagine how much I hate
this gift, seems interpersonally inappropriate. Youre
next thought is how his gift will make a great Salvation Army donation,
but you dont want to say that aloud either.
what do you say? How do you retain your integrity without saying
exactly how you feel about the unwanted gift? How do you respond
with skill and show appreciation even when your mind is filled with,
How could you ever have thought I would like this?
you will find five helpful responses to use when you open the unwanted
gift. They will help you respond honestly while displaying tact
and interpersonal skill.
I appreciate the time and effort it took to find (create)
may not appreciate the gift, but you can appreciate the energy it
took to find, purchase, and wrap it. Concentrate on what you can
appreciate. Let the rest go unspoken.
Thank you for thinking of me. You are always so thoughtful
appreciate the thought that went into the gift. Even if you dont
agree with the thought process that connected you with the gift,
the giver was thinking of you when they made the purchase. Honor
Your gift is unique. I have never received anything quite
like this before.
unwanted gifts are unique. It is probably truthful that you have
not received anything like it before. Acknowledge the special nature
of the gift even if you detest the contents.
Id love to hear how you found this. Will you share that
with me later?
is probably an interesting story behind the unwanted gift that the
giver would love to tell. Their story may give you some insight
into why they thought that present was appropriate for you in the
first place. Listen and learn.
Im going to have to put some thought into how and where
Im going to use (wear) this.
more of your thought may go into how you are going to dispose of
the unwanted gift, it is partially true that youll be thinking
of how to put it to use. This verbal response communicates that
you value the giver enough to think seriously about how and when
to use the gift.
responses above can be used with most unwanted gifts. Pick a couple
of your favorites and memorize them. Youll then be ready to
respond to the unwanted gift with skill and appreciation.
Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments:
Parenting with Purpose," and "Couple Talk: How to Talk
Your Way to a Great Relationship," (available from Personal
Power Press at toll free 877-360-1477). They also publish free email
newsletters, one for parents and another for couples. Subscribe
to one or both at firstname.lastname@example.org.