What About Unwanted Gifts?

Sometimes we get presents we don't care for. We wouldn't have bought it for ourselves. It doesn't appeal to us. It's an awkward situation because the person who gave it to us wants us to like it. We may even feel responsible for their happiness at this moment and pretend we like it and bring it back home with us.

Almost every client I work with has gifts that they don't care for. I ask them about it and they say they don't like it but they can't let it go. The main concerns is that the person who give it to them will somehow find out if they let it go and be either angry or sad.

This is a gentle reminder that it's okay to take care of ourselves and not house things that we don't love. If we hang onto something that makes us cringe, nauseous or irritates us, we hurt ourselves and our relationship with the person who gave it to us. It doesn't matter if its tiny and hides in a drawer, or it's some item of clothing that hides in the back of the closet. A little can go a long way in creating a feeling of disorder in our lives.

I remember my parents giving me a policeman cookie jar that shouted, "Halt, Stay Away From the Cookie Jar!" every time I opened the lid. I thought it was funny that something like this existed. But I couldn't imagine myself actually using the policeman cookie jar and being yelled at every time I wanted a cookie. So I gave it to a charity.

If we're brave, we can tell the person, "I appreciate the gift and that you thought of me, but this isn't for me. Do you want to return it, or should I just exchange it for something I want?" Or we can say thanks and then donate or exchange it. Or we can give it to someone we know who'd like it. The main thing is the keeping the flow going.