It's your birthday, and your friend just handed you a beautifully wrapped gift. You excitedly start unwrapping it, only to find yourself holding one of the ugliest handbags you've ever seen. Think on your feet. What would you say? Should you say anything?
Most of us have been there. And doing the right thing is not always straightforward. You don't want to offend the person who gave you the present because they cared enough about you.
Understand the Intention
When you're able to imagine yourself in the gift-giver's shoes, it becomes easier to appreciate a lousy gift. Be grateful that someone took the time to buy you something, and if they appeared delighted to present it to you, express your delight in their happiness.
Look at the Practical
Do what you can to consider how the gift might be useful, even if it's not something you'd ever buy for someone or yourself. Perhaps it's not the cutest item of clothing, but it will keep your belongings safe in the closet. It's definitely something to be thankful for, even if you can think of only one application.
When you get a present, smile back at the giver, turn to face them, and kindly express your gratitude. Act normally and, if appropriate, give them a hug of thanks. Sometimes, just acting grateful will make you feel as thankful as you appear.
If you're the Gift Giver
What if the roles were reversed, and you gave something to your friend that they didn't approve of? In that case, your close friend should be able to tell you that it's not their desired gift. Or you can provide the receipt in the bag so they can change it if they want. If you don't know the person you're buying the gift for, a better idea is to get them a gift card. Spending quality time with your loved ones is also a kind of gift. Instead of spending money on another materialistic item, give that person the gift of time.
Practice Gratitude in Your Daily Life
It's easy to be appreciative if you practice gratitude. Start jotting down your blessings daily, and you'll soon realise that there are far too many things to list. You'll be happier overall, and your brain will be more alert to all the tiny things you value in life if you practice gratitude.
Photo edited by Giselle