How to use that gift you hate from your sweetheart

Posted June 1

Gift giving is an art. Some people excel at figuring out just what it is you'll love and how to honor an occasion in the best way possible. Other people really stink at it.

If you fall victim to a crummy gift giver, it can be hard to use their gift, especially if it is something you hate. When they give you something from the heart, you don’t want to hurt their feelings by throwing it away or making fun of it.

You wish you could like it, but sometimes it is hard. Here are a few ways to actually use that gift you hate from your sweetheart.

Try it right away

If you open a gift that is not what you were expecting, don’t let the disappointment show on your face. Give it a try before you decide if you don’t like it.

Try on the jewelry or clothing. Model it and ask your partner what they think. If it is sporting equipment or something to use around the house, again give it a try. Ride the bike around the neighborhood, play a round of golf or watch something on the new Blu-ray player before just setting the gift aside and letting it collect dust in the garage.

By trying out the gift right away, you show you're not automatically dismissing it — you're giving it a shot before deciding if it is something you really will use or not.

See it through the giver's eyes

When it comes to using a gift you really hate, try to see it from the other’s perspective. They spent time thinking, planning or making something for you, and they honestly thought you would love it.

Sometimes just knowing how much a person wants us to like something, helps us like it too. The next time you are choosing between using the gift they gave you versus the thing you bought yourself, remember how happy it would make them if you used the gift.

Perhaps your partner's happiness is more important than you being uncomfortable for a few moments. Let that be your motivation for using the gift.

Give them credit and take it back

Maybe the gift they gave is totally off: something you could never see yourself using, learning or wearing.

If this is the case, at least give them credit for trying. If it is something really expensive, be honest with them. Tell them it is not really your thing. See if you can stop them from buying it or, if they've already bought it, take it back; that may be the best option.

Be delicate with these situations. Don’t accuse your sweetheart of not knowing the real you. Instead, give them a lot of credit for trying, for thinking outside the box or for making the effort to find something they thought you would like.

Use it anyway

Sometimes we have to just push through our own insecurities or comfort and use the gift anyway.

If it is a shirt you think is really ugly, just wear it around the house every once in a while to show you care. If you tuck the item away and never use it, they will notice (especially if it is something they were really excited to give you).

Swallow your pride and see the happiness on their face when they see you using it.

Are you guilty of giving your spouse the extended edition, boxed set of your favorite TV series because you wanted it? Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between something we think another person may want and what we want. Make sure your spouse doesn’t fall into this trap when it comes to giving you a gift. Give them options of what to get you. Make a list or drop hints when you’re out and about. Make it clear this is the style/color/brand you like so you don’t run the risk of getting something you hate.

Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in Anthropology and a masters in Psychology. She lives in Orange County, CA and is a mother of twins. Contact her at


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