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Are You Uncomfortable Getting Gifts?

gift-made-package-loop-39341-mediumAre you one of those people who love to give gifts, but dislike receiving them?

Do you squirm when someone hands you a brightly-wrapped package?

Have you ever felt real discomfort, even physical symptoms, when holidays or birthdays invariably mean receiving presents?

You’re not alone.

If you Google “don’t like getting gifts“, you’ll get over 61 million (yes, million) responses. So I took an informal poll of friends and family and found out that out of the nine people I spoke with, three said they loved getting presents, four said they were often or at least sometimes uncomfortable getting gifts, and two said they were always uncomfortable getting presents. That’s a lot of discomfort!

So I asked: Why does getting gifts make you uncomfortable? Here is a rundown of the answers I got (some people had more than one answer.)

At first, a lot of “I don’t knows.”

Then, after some thought, here’s what they had to say:

I feel I don’t really deserve it. (All three people who felt this way were women.)

I feel guilty. (Perhaps a variation of the above, two people said this, one woman and one man.)

I don’t like what people give me. (Five people said that either sometimes or all the time they don’t like the presents they’re given.)

And some direct quotes:

“I don’t usually like what people give me and then I am embarrassed about not liking it and feel like I do a bad job of pretending to like it.” (One man.)

“I wish people would ask me what I want or let me choose my present, I have my own taste and my husband and other family members buy me things I’d never wear or use.” (Woman.)

“I feel embarrassed, like they think I’m worth more than I’m really worth.” (Woman.)

“I love giving presents-to everyone and anyone! Yet I cringe when I get a gift from anyone except my closest friends or family. Not sure why, I have to think about it.” (Woman.)

“Can I change my answer? I like getting gifts and appreciate them, but I wish they were gift certificates to book stores or Amazon. That’s what I’d really like. Except for presents from my kids.” (Man.)

“I’m so grateful that people think of me, I feel loved. I do feel a bit guilty when something isn’t my taste but then I think about the person who gave me this out of love and my feelings change. I’m dark olive-skinned and a dear co-worker gave me an olivey-army green scarf as a retirement gift. It makes me look very sickly greenish, but I am sure to wear it at least a few times a year since she gave it to me with such kindness.” (Woman.)

“I like anything and am always grateful that the person is thinking about me. I wish they wouldn’t spend so much money, but I am grateful.” (Man.)

What do you feel about getting gifts? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

 

Are You Uncomfortable Getting Gifts?


Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.


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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2016). Are You Uncomfortable Getting Gifts?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 13, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2016/11/are-you-uncomfortable-getting-gifts/

 

Last updated: 2 Nov 2016
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