When Your Gift Doesn’t Get the Reaction You Expected

- - Catch All

It’s a wonderful feeling – the excitement of presenting someone with a gift that you’ve put so much thought into and that you absolutely know they’ll love. Unless they don’t… love it.

unexpected reaction to giftYou’re blindsided. What?? No squeals of joy. No grin from ear to ear. No outburst of “It’s perfect! You know me so well!”

Instead, in return for your awesome gift, the recipient gives you a forced smile and half-hearted thank you.

Now that feeling – totally sucks. But if the movie Frozen has taught us anything, it’s to Let It Go.

Don’t carry around feelings of disappointment, anger or bitterness when your gift doesn’t get the reaction you expected.

unexpected reaction to giftTheir unenthusiastic reaction does not negate the amount of effort and thoughtfulness you put into their gift. If you tried your best there’s nothing else you could have done.

Don’t get down on yourself, and don’t get upset with what they choose to do or not do with the gift you’ve given them.

So that clothing article you so carefully picked out might never be worn in public or that beautiful artwork might never be hung in their home. During moments like these, it helps to keep in mind the times you’ve received presents that didn’t exactly match your taste. As in life, you win some, you lose some.

These things happen sometimes, and it doesn’t make you a bad gift giver. It happens to the best of us.

Heck, why do you think I’m writing this post?? Because even though I’m considered a gift giving expert, I too have experienced on more than one occasion the disappointment of giving a gift that doesn’t get the reaction you expected.

There is a silver lining. Although they may not love the gift right at the moment they open it, once they use it, wear it or play with it, they might change their mind!

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.  – Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

Do you have a story of when your thoughtful gift fell flat or blew up in your face? Please share in the Comments section.

There Are 10 Comments On This Article.

  1. i just received a Birthday gift from my very close aunt.. she knows my taste, style and i was sure her gift would be best. she has given me wristwatches for the past 2 years and they both were extremely beautiful. i was excited, ya know. but… when i opened it, my reaction was flat, forced. it was oval, a shape i dont like since i like wristwatches only circular in shape. i was like.. “oh.. wow, thank you.. but its different.. i dont like this shape..” i saw her face and immediately regretted saying what i said.. i felt so very bad and apologised later..

  2. Rita Sarubbi

    My husband loves peanuts and needlepoint my girlfriend does with pillows. So I spent a month making a needlepoint pillow with peanuts characters. I gave it to him a few days before Valentine’s Day and I was so excited but I did not get the same excitement from him.
    I don’t know what to think he apologized and bought me these dr Martin rose boots. I’m trying to let it go

  3. I baked her a cupcake and decorated it in her favorite colors, sang to her happy birthday in her favorite language, Italian, and all she said was “thanks babe”… but I guess it could’ve been worse… she could’ve just said “hm, nice”…

    • I’m sorry she didn’t have the reaction you expected. You may wait a week and ask her if she liked the cupcake and song. I say this because sometimes a person’s initial reaction doesn’t reflect the way they really feel… for instance their initial surprise may cover up how much they really liked it.
      Princess Diana recently posted…14 Days of Love Notes for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  4. Carol DiBiase

    Just stunned at my daughter’s reaction to the gift I sent. Her father died 5 years ago. I learned earlier this year from a friend that she wished she had a necklace with her Dad’s finger print. For months I looked at all kind of styles and recently found a company that would put the finger print on crystal. So excited I ordered it and had it sent to her. Received the confirmation that the package was delivered, but had not heard from her. I received her reply “yes, thank you.” Not even a phone call.

  5. My boyfriend loves the song Happy Man, from the Verve.
    Loves it!
    I got the lyrics printed and framed in a beautiful and clean white wood frame for his birthday.
    The reaction – that’s a recovery song, where am I going to put it? Is it it? There are no more gifts?
    I cried.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. It definitely hurts when we don’t get the positive response we expected from a thoughtful gift. It may be his love language may be something besides gifts, so those won’t be as meaningful to him.

  6. My husband is a knicks fan so I decided to get him tickets to the semifinals playoff game. I did a little surprise kinda thing to give it to him. I placed a ticket liked paper on the floor that said “flip me” and on the other side it said “you’re going to the Knicks and heats semifinals game happy birthday.” In my head his reaction was going to be amazing! he would shout out of excitement, kiss me, jump, I don’t know do something. I even hid a camera to get his reaction since I was expecting one, but nothing… his reaction was so flat affect he didn’t even said thank you. Later I told him how I felt cause I felt extremely horrible the tickets were expensive, and I was expecting to atleast feel that feeling that you get when you give a gift and the person loves it so much and tells you nice things…that’s all I wanted in return. He told me that he loved the gift that he was just in shock and didn’t know what to say or do. I don’t know how to feel about it and I’m still pretty hurt and sad about it. I even got him 2 tickets even though I don’t want to go so that he can go with someone else: our son, his dad, cousin…I will try to let it go but I can’t right now…

    • I am sorry your gift did not get the reaction you expected after all of the careful thought you put into it. You should still feel good about the effort you put into it for someone you love. Gifts may not be his love language. It may be worth having a discussion with him at a later point in time.

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