When a Gift is Clutter

My mom sent me a book that she'd read and thought I might like.  I read the first couple of pages, but I sensed that I wasn't interested in the book. However I noticed that a part of me felt a little guilty. I wanted to like the book to make her happy. I felt awkward admitting this to myself.

I was also grateful for the insight. I don't want to compromise myself to get approval. If something is going to be a part of my life, I have to love it and want to experience it. I decided that I would donate the book.

The pull to hang on to a gift that we don't care for can be very powerful. I see this come up a lot for clients.  They come across gifts they'd received that they clearly don't like or use, but they feel it would be wrong to let the gift go. My clients are worried about how they imagine the giver of the gift will react when they find out they didn't care for the gift and let it go.

I keep coming back to how does the presence of the gift item make them feel now. "Do you like and enjoy this thing, or not?" Once they have the permission to be honest, they quickly point out that they don't want this thing in their home or life. It helps to have their attention off of pleasing someone else, and to focus on taking care of themselves.