How do you kindly accept a gift from family – who you will see again and will continue to get you gifts in the future – when you don’t like the gift for whatever reason? What’s the best way to handle this?
My MIL continues to get me gifts she thinks are so ‘me’ and they’re not. And I say thank you and tell her I like it but then never wear it. (Always clothes) but sometimes, she does really get me something I like and I do wear it. It’s hit or miss but I always try to be nice and thankful and tell her I like it. She always asks me if I like it – what am I supposed to say, no, not really? I always say yes to be polite but then the gifts just sit in my closet until one day it’s been long enough and I donate them.
How about for your spouse? What do you do when your spouse gets you a gift that you don’t like? Do you tell them right away you’d like to return it or do you wait and bring it up nicely later, or do you just keep it?
I find this one a toughy. I hate for people to waste money on something that will go un-used and then you have to deal with the “are you ever going to use that thing I bought you?’ questions, or do you just say right out that you’d like to return it and risk sounding ungrateful? Sometimes etiquette really sucks and I wish people’s feelings weren’t part of it.
I find it’s a little bit different with each person. For example, my husband bought me a piece of REALLY “dominatrix” like lingerie for christmas this year…and to say the least I hate it! I much prefer more feminine lingerie like babydolls etc. So because he is my husband and I don’t want to waste our money on gifts I wont use in the future I said something along the lines of “Honey I appreciate the gift and I bet you’d love to see me in this but to be honest it’s not really my taste..but I’m willing to give it a shot if it means a lot to you.” Of course my husband would never make me wear something that isn’t me..and instead he offered to take me lingerie shopping instead. Problem solved! As long as you arn’t rude and recognize that it’s the thought that counts, I don’t see a problem letting your SO know that something might just not be your style.
As for other family members/friends/etc I usually will thank them and tell them I love it even if I don’t. Because it can be crushing for someone to put the effort into getting you a gift when they don’t know you all that well to hear that you don’t care for it.
Pretty much my husband is the only person I’ll gently & calmly tell if I don’t care for something.
With my ILs, it’s just not worth trying to correct, I know it would just cause a bad reaction. SO I just say thank you and that it’s cute…usually I also run into this with clothes because my MIL lovesssss Kohls. but their clothes never ever seem to fit me, the proportions are always off. But I know I can’t tell her to stop buying me clothes from there, so if it’s not too bad I’ll wear it around her occassionally, but if it’s totally unflattering I’ll return it and use the store credit for a non-clothing item. But no, I don’t tell her I’ve done this.
If it was my DH I’m more likely to gently correct him (wellll I’ll admit it has happened not-so-gently before, when I ask for a specific gift that is not expensive and he completely forgets and buys me something else totally random and not me).
I’m always honest with my husband. We usually pick out our own gifts, so I can’t see not liking something ‘from him’ i picked out for myself. With the ILs, we discourage gift giving and when they do give us something, we donate it to good will.