Author Topic: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?  (Read 3435 times)

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JaneJensen

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How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« on: December 31, 2012, 11:00:57 PM »
 I received a 100.00 gift card from an estranged family member. Lets just call her my sister for sake of conversation. Things with her have been rocky/toxic for awhile and we sort of mutually cut each other off without saying so out loud. We just stopped being around each other much the past year or so because we are too different and we annoy the heck out of each other.

So, for Christmas, I get this hundred bucks and it's just high enough of a dollar amount that I don't feel right keeping it. And now I feel obligated to reciprocate or send something back, and I hate that feeling because I don't want to do that with this person. I don't want this money, and I feel like it wasn't really a "gift" persay- it's not like she crocheted me a blanket or some other thing that took time and effort. I don't know the message behind it, but I feel like sending it back with a note saying something like, thank you for the gift but it's too generous or some other statement.
I just feel odd about keeping an expensive ( to me) gift when I'm not close, and have no intention on reciprocation. Thoughts?

Deetee

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 11:19:32 PM »
Charity, charity, charity.


Lynn2000

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 11:23:39 PM »
If the sender is toxic and you have no wish to continue a relationship with them, I agree with Deetee that the best thing is to pass the gift on to a charity. And don't contact the giver in any way--not to say thanks, not to tell them what you did with the gift, nothing. I mean, if you've cut someone off, you've cut them off, and you shouldn't let them bribe you into contacting them again, even if it's a negative communication.

Be a black hole that their communications and gifts go into, never to be heard from again.
~Lynn2000

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 01:30:32 PM »
Be a black hole that their communications and gifts go into, never to be heard from again.

I agree.  Don't respond.  If you are uncomfortable with the amount of the gift card, donate it to somewhere/one that can use it.
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gramma dishes

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 01:43:19 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb here and dare to disagree with everyone else.

I do not think you should donate the gift card to charity.  Obviously, I have no idea what "message" the gift was intended to carry  --   (it could range from "I'm sorry we've drifted so far apart and I'd like you to know I'm still thinking of you and missing you" to "I want something from you and if you accept my 'gift' it will be followed by all sorts of unrealistic expectations and demands)  --   and I do fully understand that you wish no further contact with your "sister". 

But I think I'd be more in alignment with your original instant thought and respond by simply quietly returning it with a brief "Thank you, but this is just much too generous and I don't really feel comfortable keeping it" message.  You don't have to say anything else.

Winterlight

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 02:30:04 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb here and dare to disagree with everyone else.

I do not think you should donate the gift card to charity.  Obviously, I have no idea what "message" the gift was intended to carry  --   (it could range from "I'm sorry we've drifted so far apart and I'd like you to know I'm still thinking of you and missing you" to "I want something from you and if you accept my 'gift' it will be followed by all sorts of unrealistic expectations and demands)  --   and I do fully understand that you wish no further contact with your "sister". 

But I think I'd be more in alignment with your original instant thought and respond by simply quietly returning it with a brief "Thank you, but this is just much too generous and I don't really feel comfortable keeping it" message.  You don't have to say anything else.

Agreed.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
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Shoo

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 02:32:03 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb here and dare to disagree with everyone else.

I do not think you should donate the gift card to charity.  Obviously, I have no idea what "message" the gift was intended to carry  --   (it could range from "I'm sorry we've drifted so far apart and I'd like you to know I'm still thinking of you and missing you" to "I want something from you and if you accept my 'gift' it will be followed by all sorts of unrealistic expectations and demands)  --   and I do fully understand that you wish no further contact with your "sister". 

But I think I'd be more in alignment with your original instant thought and respond by simply quietly returning it with a brief "Thank you, but this is just much too generous and I don't really feel comfortable keeping it" message.  You don't have to say anything else.

I agree.  If you truly don't want the gift card, for whatever reason, you should return it with a short note that the amount makes you uncomfortable. 

Have you given this person the cut direct?  If not, perhaps this would be a good time to have an actual conversation about the type of relationship you expect to have with her, as a way of preventing her from wasting her time/money buying you gifts in the future, and also to make sure she doesn't have higher expectations for your relationship than you do.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 04:45:28 PM »
It has been said many times on this board that if you have given someone the cut direct, that means that you have absolutely no contact with them.  Sending the gift card back with or without a note would be contact.

So if you haven't given the cut direct, go ahead and send the card back.  But if you have given or are giving the cut direct, then don't send it back and do with it whatever you'd like.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Luci

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 10:31:29 PM »
I probably would send the gift card back with no comment. In the 'olden days', it would be a check that we simply destroyed or maybe tore up and returned to sender.

But! My dearest friend received a gift card or cash from an estranged aunt. Friend had a kind of expensive wine she loved and never a lot of spare cash. Any windfall money went for the kids' necessities.

Friend hated the aunt who was a loud - loud I say! - teetotaler. Friend still giggles to this day about how she spent the gift on that wine.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 10:53:28 PM »
If it's a true cut direct then no don't send anything to her and become a black hole. 

However, if it is just a mutual pulling back from the relationship then I think you owe her a thank you note.  Some short and sweet will work just fine. 

Thank you for the gift card.  I appreciate you thinking of me
Sincerely,

Jane

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 12:10:40 PM »
But! My dearest friend received a gift card or cash from an estranged aunt. Friend had a kind of expensive wine she loved and never a lot of spare cash. Any windfall money went for the kids' necessities.

Friend hated the aunt who was a loud - loud I say! - teetotaler. Friend still giggles to this day about how she spent the gift on that wine.

Love it!
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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bah12

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Re: How do you handle an uncomfortable gift? Rude to send it back?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 12:38:52 PM »
I think what you do totally depends on the real relationship you have with this person and what you want to communicate...or don't want to communicate.

You know this family member, so if she is toxic and you have an inkling that the gift is just a way for her to drag you back in so she can continue to be toxic, then do whatever you want with the card...short of sending it back/contacting her.

If this is more of a situation where you two just clash and argue and have just sort of mutually backed off, then it's possible the gift was her offering you an olive branch.  If you want to communicate to her that your relationship is not one where you exchange or accept expensive gifts from each other, but that it is one where you continue to communicate and build your relationship, then send it back with a short "thank you but this gift is more generous than I can accept at this time and I'm not comfortable taking it."

If this gift is an "I'm sorry" and you're willing to accept the apology and move on (doesn't seem so from your OP), then send her a thank you and leave it at that.  You don't have to reciprocate every act of generosity immediately upon receiving them or in the exact same manner.

But yeah, if you truly have cut her from your life and want to keep it that way, then don't send the card back.  Use it, donate it to charity, give it to someone else...whatever you want, but don't contact her about it.