Author Topic: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?  (Read 2683 times)

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kglory

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I'm a single, young adult woman.  My extended family members have been asking me lately what I want for Christmas this year - they genuinely want ideas as we are a gift-giving family.  The problem is, I can't think of anything specific at this time!  So I have been saying a lot of "I don't know" or "Whatever you want to get will be great", etc.

Lately it has occurred to me that, based on the rising popularity of a certain technology item, and my known interests and the fact that I don't have one, that my father may likely get it for me for Christmas.   And I strongly do not want one at all. 

It's not something I find violates my personal ethics or beliefs (like meat for a vegan), but it's an expensive present that I actively want NOT to own.  So I would hate to be gifted this, because it is expensive and would be a waste of their money, and then I'd have to use it so they don't feel bad, which I don't want to do!

So that is a long story by way of saying.....is it rude, when asked what I want for Christmas, to say something like, "I can't think of anything specific, but I really don't want X"?  Or maybe I should think of something to say like, "A new sweater would be great.  In case you are thinking of it, I really am not interested in owning X"?

For some reason that I can't shake, it just feels rude to me to say this.  It's not that I'm fishing for gifts -- these relatives are asking me what I want -- but it feels much ruder on some level to tell people in advance what you DON'T want, rather than telling them what you do.   ???  Any ideas on if this rude, and if so, what should I do?  (right now I plan to just do nothing and say nothing and if I get the unwanted gift, act happy and use it a little bit for show).

Ceallach

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 01:20:59 AM »
It feels rude because you feel as though you're being ungrateful - the whole "be grateful for whatever you get" mentality and not rejecting a gift that you're given.  Which is fair, but at the same time obviously your family want to get you something you like, so therefore it is helpful to be clear seeing you have the opportunity beforehand to do so (it would be rude to say anything if there's a chance they've already bought you one!).  Because it's family, and because there is a genuine risk of them purchasing that item, then I think it's ok to let them know.   

"Well, I have been thinking about this.  I know that heaps of people are buying Item X right now, but I definitely don't want one of those - I really dislike them for XYZ reason.  So I was thinking maybe Item C or similar?"

Although that is still *slightly* awkward as it assumes that they would be willing to spend that amount of money on Item X in the first place!  But feel the mood - it depends on the way they ask and who asks. 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


cicero

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 03:27:38 AM »
it depends on your family - *I* would feel comfortable saying it to my siblings/father ("whatever you do, don't get me X!" or "anything you don't have to plug in or buy batteries for!") but it may not work in your family.

I think your best bet is to come up with one or two things that you *do* want - to pull focus away from *the X item*. "dad, i was thinking and what i'd love is something outdoorsy or exercise based - like a bike or accessories for my bike or gym outfits. I am so ensconced in technology all the time, that i'd love to do other things this year"

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rm247

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 05:15:55 AM »
I have done so regularly, Uusually for something that would seem perfect for me, but i don't have time to use it, prefer a different version, etc.

As long as you let your preference known before the present would have likely been bough then it is not only fine, but i think it's preferable to receiving the gift and asking for the receipt to change it afterwards.

Thipu1

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 08:46:08 AM »
I see nothing at all wrong with it. 

When I was a teenager, I'd request, 'a cotton turtleneck in any color but blue'.

Of course, I always received a blue polyester turtleneck bit that's a different story.

amanda_tlg

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 08:54:37 AM »
Is, by chance, what you DON'T want an ebook reader? Because my mom has one and loooooves it and goes on and on about it but my feelings are.....meh. I LOVE real books. There is something special for me about sitting down with a cup of tea and a fresh new book I can't wait to dig into it. Not to mention the idea of reading a "real" page turner. And also not to mention I am a big bathtub reader....so an ereader would just not work like that. But she has hinted around that she wants to get me one. I have said over and over the reasons I stated here to try and disuade her. Don't know if it's going to work.

I don't think it's rude to say what you don;'t want, as long as you say it right. I wouldn't go "Ugh, I hate those stupid XYZ gadgets they are so blah blah blah." But you could say "I don't think I would ever use a XYZ gadget. They seem nice but...._______(insert your own reasoning)"

I love my Amazon wish list. I use it through out the year mainly as a tool for myself. I add stuff for myself, DH & the kids just to mentally put it on hold and then I check around for pricing and whatnot. Then, if someone asks for a specific gift for one of us I can say "Well, we have been looking into getting a XYZ item."

ixiva

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2011, 09:41:55 AM »
I don't think it's rude if your asked, or if someone suggests something that they might get you wanting to know what you think, especially if its family who know you well.

Saki_Fiz

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2011, 09:06:24 PM »
And also not to mention I am a big bathtub reader....so an ereader would just not work like that.

Actually, e-readers are fine in the tub if you don't mind the waste of a gallon sized ziplock bag every so often.  I actually prefer mine for tub readings.  It weighs less than hardcovers.  But that does not obligate anyone to own one if they don't want one.

OP - If you have that many requests for gift ideas, you may want to come up with ideas to steer people.  If you are up to your eyeballs in stuff, are there any local attractions (museums, zoos, etc) you would like a year long membership to?  Any theater productions, sporting events, concerts coming to your town you would like tickets for?

KenveeB

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2011, 10:23:42 PM »
I think it would be... maybe not quite rude but it would certainly seem off to me if someone's response to "what do you want for Christmas" was nothing but "just don't get me X!"  I'd try real hard to come up with a couple of suggestions so you can say, "Oh, I'd like French hens, turtle doves, and anything with partridges and pears, but I'm really not interested in X."  It just comes across better, less abrupt.

kglory

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 02:34:25 AM »
I see nothing at all wrong with it. 

When I was a teenager, I'd request, 'a cotton turtleneck in any color but blue'.

Of course, I always received a blue polyester turtleneck bit that's a different story.

This reminds me of that Far Side cartoon of what the dog hears --- you're saying all that, and they are hearing "blah blah blah TURTLENECK blah blah blah BLUE" and think you want a blue turtleneck!

Is, by chance, what you DON'T want an ebook reader? Because my mom has one and loooooves it and goes on and on about it but my feelings are.....meh. I LOVE real books. There is something special for me about sitting down with a cup of tea and a fresh new book I can't wait to dig into it. Not to mention the idea of reading a "real" page turner. And also not to mention I am a big bathtub reader....so an ereader would just not work like that. But she has hinted around that she wants to get me one. I have said over and over the reasons I stated here to try and disuade her. Don't know if it's going to work.

I don't think it's rude to say what you don;'t want, as long as you say it right. I wouldn't go "Ugh, I hate those stupid XYZ gadgets they are so blah blah blah." But you could say "I don't think I would ever use a XYZ gadget. They seem nice but...._______(insert your own reasoning)"

I love my Amazon wish list. I use it through out the year mainly as a tool for myself. I add stuff for myself, DH & the kids just to mentally put it on hold and then I check around for pricing and whatnot. Then, if someone asks for a specific gift for one of us I can say "Well, we have been looking into getting a XYZ item."

Yes, it's an e-reader.  Not trying to cause debate since I know a lot of people do like them and want them, but I just personally don't want one and don't think I'd use it.

You all have given me some good advice - thanks!  I think I will have to come up with some gift suggestions that I do want to have a good idea of something to ask for.  Ack, this is hard this year for some reason!  French hens, turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree are seeming more and more like better options :)

Isometric

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 03:54:51 AM »
I know a lot of people wouldn't feel comfortable with this, but could you ask for cash or a gift voucher to put towards something bigger? I know, it sounds tacky. But if you're in a family that exchanges gift lists (like my fam) it could be ok. My parents know that most of my income goes on bills, mortgage etc, and know i dont have much "me" money. They often ask if I'd prefer cash To "splurge" on clothes, or a facial.

Melle

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 04:26:34 AM »
You can also go the long way and slip it into an unrelated conversation. Like "Oh, my friend Y recently got an e-book reader. Seems like an interesting gadget, but I don't think it would be for me."

Hijinks

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 09:53:49 AM »
You could ask for some books, specific titles, and say, "I know a lot of people like e-readers now, but I just love books .. like this one, this one, or this one!"

Skepchick

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2011, 04:02:13 AM »
To make it more explicit--the danger of saying 'Whatever you do, don't get me X' is people who are trying to recall the conversation later will only remember you saying 'get me X'.

It's far better to give them one or two things you DO want, even if it's gift certificates to certain stores, than give a vague answer followed by a don't, IMO.

Adelaide

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Re: Is it rude (when asked what you want) to tell what you DON'T want?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2011, 02:10:56 PM »
Honestly, I have said "Don't get me X" before and it was worth it in the end. My aunt was obsessed with getting me this bracelet that everyone loves but I hate with a passion. It's really expensive and so I would feel badly if she got it and I didn't want it at all, and I didn't think I could even feign enthusiasm if I got one. I heard through the grapevine that she was getting me one and so I kept saying things like "I DON'T want X" or "I can't see myself ever owning X even though it's so popular" around her. It worked.