Author Topic: Do you call people out on PA comments?  (Read 22339 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #165 on: October 23, 2013, 05:14:21 PM »
I'd say, the stereotype for a teenage boy includes: popular action movies; video games; adventurous books intended for teens; T-shirts with skulls or ironic sayings or soda logos on them; iTunes gift cards; cases of Mountain Dew or Red Bull.

Out of those suggestions literally none of them applied to my cousin at age 15 .

Don't you see? I think it's quite likely that you *do* know your cousin pretty well. If you know him well enough to be able to say that none of those stereotypical gifts would be appropriate for him.

Maybe you don't have a lot of practice translating into products, but you if can *reject* a product, then perhaps you can look at a list of 25 products and reject all the ones that don't work. Whatever's left is a reasonable gift.

That's my entire point! Wanting ideas does not mean I don't know somebody well. It means I am unable to extrapolate from what I know about them to what I should buy them as a present.

Seriously, unable. It would seem that the disconnect comes in when people don't understand that it's an ability issue, not a willingness issue. So say I look at a list of 25 products (assuming I can even comebup with that many) and reject them all - I am then no closer to finding a suitable gift than I was before I started.

I just wanted to say to you that I *do* get that it's an ability issue and not a willingness issue.
I guess I just wanted to reassure you that your ability might be stronger than you realize, or that (hopefully) the other "messages" that you send your nephew overshadow any missteps that might happen with a present.

And also: ability vs willingness.

I think that's where the problem lies for my son. When he's asked so very specifically to name one item, it feels as though the person isn't willing to try to please him. And that hurts his feelings; he feels a little rejected. Of course, he isn't everybody--and I never intended to say that he was. It's just one particular philosophy.

MariaE

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #166 on: October 23, 2013, 05:14:38 PM »
So, he would be offended if someone was checking to see if he wanted something specific

That's not what he said; I didn't think it was how I described it. He was offended because someone said, "What should I get you for Christmas?" Or "what do you want" in a way that indicated they wanted him to name one specific item.

This changes things completely. I can totally understand not wanting to tell people one specific thing they should get him - I wouldn't want that either! I wouldn't even want to be told that!

What I thought you were saying - and what I've been arguing against the entire time - is that your son would be offended/hurt by being asked for ideas at all... As in "Hey, can I have your wishlist?" - expecting an amazon-type list of perhaps 10-20 items.

If your son would have no problems with that kind of request - then we're all good :)
 
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Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #167 on: October 23, 2013, 05:15:21 PM »
People do have funny reactions to presents. I mentioned my own brother, who at an early age, threw what really *was* a tantrum over being given a "desk toy" for Christmas. I remember him raging, "Don't they know me at all?" It pretty well ruined his day.

I have the desk toy in my own desk to this day. It's genuinely cool. I think the same person gave me socks that year.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

TootsNYC

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #168 on: October 23, 2013, 05:17:55 PM »
People do have funny reactions to presents. I mentioned my own brother, who at an early age, threw what really *was* a tantrum over being given a "desk toy" for Christmas. I remember him raging, "Don't they know me at all?" It pretty well ruined his day.

I have the desk toy in my own desk to this day. It's genuinely cool. I think the same person gave me socks that year.

Poor brother!

dawbs

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #169 on: October 23, 2013, 05:19:01 PM »
Let's not make this specific about your son, who I'm sure was gracious and pleasant, even if disappointed to be asked. But in general, if I heard someone was offended that I'd asked him what he wants, I'd be terrified that I might offend him with something that didn't meet with some other unspoken criteria. Because he was asked with the intent of getting him something to please him. That's the "love language" bound up in that question, and getting feedback that it was offensive would be very hurtful.
Yep--
There's also the problem that while PersonA may be "FINE" with the fact that they got 3 green-lego themed video games, all from people who know and love them, PersonB, who gave the 3rd iteration of that game may not be 'fine' with going through the effort to suss out desires, hunt something down, find something, give it to someone (who is appropriately gratified by the gift)--and knows that, for all practical purposes, that effort was essentially buying PersonA the chance to stand in line for 2 hours to return the video game for a Bestbuy gift card.

(because some "love languages" are tied up in the 'result'--so it's great that someone is polite and wonderful about getting a duplicate/the wrong gift/etc...but I'll be honest, when I try REALLY hard to get the right gift [which is sometimes a lot of work and a lot of valuable time] and it falls flat, it doesn't matter that the recipient is awesome about it, I'm not especially happy about how it turned out)

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #170 on: October 23, 2013, 05:19:25 PM »
So, he would be offended if someone was checking to see if he wanted something specific
That's not what he said; I didn't think it was how I described it. He was offended because someone said, "What should I get you for Christmas?" Or "what do you want" in a way that indicated they wanted him to name one specific item.
I understand that, but I DON'T understand why it's a problem.


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There seems to be a disconnect there.
People are funny that way--lots of us are inconsistent.
It doesn't seem that inconsistent to me, that what he doesn't want is for someone to pawn off the "work" of picking a present on him--that the underlying message of that is not "I don't know you as well as we both wish I did," but rather, "I can't be bothered." The first is not nearly as hurtful as the second.
Based on the information given, I do think that people who take offense at being ask what they wanted are looking for that offense and ignoring a kind and practical gesture from those who are not good at gift-giving, even with those they are most intimate with..

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I don't even know what to buy my husband.

I don't either. My son's philosophy, I think, would be that I should give myself some time to stop and think, and then just take a stab at it. But I think my son would say that I shouldn't go to my husband and ask him to name something that I can wrap up and put under the tree.
My husband would rather I not "take a stab" at it and spend money to get him something he isn't going to use. He would rather I show the consideration of getting him EXACTLY what he wanted for me to wrap up and stick under the tree.

I admit, I am bristling a little at the implication that I am flippant and uncaring in my gift-giving to my husband because I don't just guess. My gifts to him are given out of love and respect. Just because he knows exactly what they are doesn't lessen their significance.

Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #171 on: October 23, 2013, 05:22:39 PM »
People do have funny reactions to presents. I mentioned my own brother, who at an early age, threw what really *was* a tantrum over being given a "desk toy" for Christmas. I remember him raging, "Don't they know me at all?" It pretty well ruined his day.

I have the desk toy in my own desk to this day. It's genuinely cool. I think the same person gave me socks that year.

Poor brother!

It was rather funny, really. I think we have it on video.

Brother: Rant, rant, rant.

Twik: Oooh, you push it here, and this wire does that.

Brother: Rant some more

Twik: ... and then the whole thing flips over. Neat!

Brother: Why would anyone want this stupid thing?

Twik: ... trade you?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

violinp

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #172 on: October 23, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
So, he would be offended if someone was checking to see if he wanted something specific

That's not what he said; I didn't think it was how I described it. He was offended because someone said, "What should I get you for Christmas?" Or "what do you want" in a way that indicated they wanted him to name one specific item.


And, see, I personally would not be offended if asked the same question. It's just a difference in personality, I think. However, though I'm sure your son would be perfectly polite about receiving a gift that wouldn't necessarily be everything he wanted, many people would be upset about not being able to guess what he would really like. That's half the fun of buying a gift for someone - knowing what they like and using that to get the perfect gift. As someone for whom giving gifts is a love language, it would deeply hurt me if I bought something for a loved one and then they didn't really like it or it was something useless to them.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


MariaE

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #173 on: October 23, 2013, 05:26:10 PM »
I just wanted to say to you that I *do* get that it's an ability issue and not a willingness issue.
I guess I just wanted to reassure you that your ability might be stronger than you realize, or that (hopefully) the other "messages" that you send your nephew overshadow any missteps that might happen with a present.

Cousin - not nephew. My nephew is 9 and super-easy to buy presents for :)

The latter has never been an issue. I don't fear that he'll think I don't love him for not knowing what to get him. But that goes equally for getting him something wrong (which would be a huge waste of both time and money) as for asking him for ideas.

The PP who mentioned that the result is important too when it comes to love languages is spot on.
 
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Olympia

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #174 on: October 23, 2013, 05:28:10 PM »
I'd say, the stereotype for a teenage boy includes: popular action movies; video games; adventurous books intended for teens; T-shirts with skulls or ironic sayings or soda logos on them; iTunes gift cards; cases of Mountain Dew or Red Bull.

If the giver has to rely on a list of stereotypes for ideas, then by your own standards, doesn't that mean the giver doesn't know the recipient well enough to know what the recipient wants?

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #175 on: October 23, 2013, 05:35:09 PM »
This philosophy also implies that the desire to give a gift, the purchasing of a gift, and the presentation of a gift are meaningless without the extra effort of reflection to pick the right gift - whether or not that's within somebody's ability.

SlitherHiss

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #176 on: October 23, 2013, 05:39:20 PM »
I'd say, the stereotype for a teenage boy includes: popular action movies; video games; adventurous books intended for teens; T-shirts with skulls or ironic sayings or soda logos on them; iTunes gift cards; cases of Mountain Dew or Red Bull.

If the giver has to rely on a list of stereotypes for ideas, then by your own standards, doesn't that mean the giver doesn't know the recipient well enough to know what the recipient wants?

This. I'm trying and failing to understand your logic, TootsNYC.

anonymousmac

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #177 on: October 23, 2013, 05:41:31 PM »
Before this thread gets locked, I just want to say that I understand and agree with what TootsNYC is saying.

I think that gifts are meant to communicate thought, attention, and kindness.  It doesn't matter as much whether you find the "perfect" thing for someone, just that you give something out of the warmth of your heart to show that you care about them and want them to be happy.

When you turn gift-giving into a shopping list, "tell me what to get for you, and I'll wrap it up", it kind of sours the feeling of spontaneous generosity, of "Hey, look, I got you something because I care about you!"  It makes it clear that you feel an obligation to give a gift, and want to check it off.  You're trying to do something nice for someone, but you're putting on them the obligation to think of something and making them tell you what to do, instead of thinking of it yourself.

To me, it makes the gesture feel hollow if someone wants me to tell them to buy me something, instead of just giving me something they think I'll like.  "I'm supposed to get you a present.  Ok, what do you want me to get you?  Ok, here you go."

TootsNYC

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #178 on: October 23, 2013, 05:41:55 PM »
So, he would be offended if someone was checking to see if he wanted something specific

That's not what he said; I didn't think it was how I described it. He was offended because someone said, "What should I get you for Christmas?" Or "what do you want" in a way that indicated they wanted him to name one specific item.


And, see, I personally would not be offended if asked the same question. It's just a difference in personality, I think. However, though I'm sure your son would be perfectly polite about receiving a gift that wouldn't necessarily be everything he wanted, many people would be upset about not being able to guess what he would really like. That's half the fun of buying a gift for someone - knowing what they like and using that to get the perfect gift. As someone for whom giving gifts is a love language, it would deeply hurt me if I bought something for a loved one and then they didn't really like it or it was something useless to them.

But how is the gift recipient supposed to help you with that? If you weren't able to come up with the idea on your own, it's not really the same power. That doesn't have the same "love language" logic for me. If it's that important to you, how are you nourished when you are *told* what to give someone? That's a disconnect to me.

As for when someone doesn't like our gift--I think that's a risk all gift givers run. And there's only so much that it's fair to expect the recipient to do, or the universe to do, to fulfill *that* wish.

I do think that some gift recipients are really hard to buy presents for. I'm really easy--I run around saying, "ooh, adjustable drill bit stops--I need those!" or "One day I'm going to buy pattern paper for drawing your own patterns, I could really use this" or "I love your pizza cutter--where'd you get it? Maybe I'll get one."

My husband doesn't. So I buy him beer with funny names--I know he'll drink it.



(and boy, are we WAY far away from the original topic of this thread, aren't we?)

anonymousmac

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #179 on: October 23, 2013, 05:44:35 PM »
This philosophy also implies that the desire to give a gift, the purchasing of a gift, and the presentation of a gift are meaningless without the extra effort of reflection to pick the right gift - whether or not that's within somebody's ability.

I don't think that's what anyone is saying.  But I would say that the desire to give a gift, the purchasing of a gift, and the presentation of a gift are rendered less meaningful when the giver just says "Ok, what do you want me to give you?" and just does that.