Receiving A Gift From Someone You Don't Like

What To Do When Receiving A Gift From Someone You Don’t Like?

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Getting a gift from someone with whom you don’t have a good relationship can be difficult. The present they give might be unneeded or may not align with your tastes.

Whatever the reason, it’s never fun to have to graciously accept a present from someone who isn’t your favorite person. Here are a few tips for handling this situation with grace.

What To Do If You Receive A Gift From A Person You Don’t Like

grey gift

It can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience when you receive a gift from someone you don’t like at all.

As much as you don’t want to appear rude, you also don’t want to keep this gift. One thing you can do is to decline the present or just give it to someone else.

Maybe it’s because you don’t want to appear ungrateful, or maybe you don’t want to encourage further interactions with this person – but any response could be mistaken for either a negative or positive gesture. 

Also Read: What Should You Do If Someone Attempts To Ruin Your Reputation?

What Should You Do With The Gift?

Politely thank the person for the gift, even if it’s just a quick “thank you.”

You can also try to make use of the gift, even if it’s not something you would normally use or like. For example, if you receive a book you don’t want to read, donate it to a local library or give it to a friend.

If the gift is truly unwanted or unusable, you can always re-gift it to someone else. Just ensure that person won’t be offended by receiving a “used” gift.

You may also politely decline the gift. This can be tough, but it’s important to be firm. If the person insists on giving you the gift, you can try to graciously decline a second time.

You can re-gift the item to someone else. This is a great way to get rid of something you don’t want without being rude. But should you receive a gift from your ex?

Should You Accept A Gift You Don’t Want?

twisted bow gift wrapping

It depends. It can be tough to know what to do when you receive a gift from someone you don’t like. On the one hand, it’s always nice to receive a present. 

First, think about why the person gave you the gift. It’s possible they were trying to be nice or thought you would really like the item. If that’s the case, it’s probably okay to accept the gift graciously.

However, if you think the person was trying to buy your affection or approval, you may want to decline the gift politely. It’s up to you whether you want to explain why or say a simple “thank you, but no thank you.”

You should also consider whether accepting the gift would put you in an awkward position. For example, if the gift is from a family member or friend you know you don’t like, it might be best to just say thank you and move on. There’s no need to make things more awkward than they need to be.

Finally, remember that it’s okay to be honest about your feelings. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings, you can always thank them for their thoughtfulness and explain that you do not need anything at the moment.

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How Should You Respond To Gifts You Don’t Like?

You don’t want to seem ungrateful; on the other hand, you don’t want to encourage them. You can always make light of the whole situation, or you can simply as them if they’d like the gift back.

Thank the person for thinking of you. Be specific in your thanks. For example, “Thank you for the book. I’m looking forward to reading it.” [1]

If the gift is something you can’t use, politely explain why. For example, “I’m sorry, but I’m allergic to wool.”

Suggest an alternative use for the gift. For example, “This vase would look great in your living room.”

If all else fails, re-gift the item to someone who will appreciate it more. But how do you send a gift secretly?


Is it okay to give away a gift you don’t like?

Yes, giving away a gift you don’t like is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it may be the best thing to do with it. The important thing is that you express your thanks for the thoughtfulness of the gesture.

Check out these thoughtful ways to accept a gift here.

Can I return a gift I don’t like?

It depends on the situation. If you received a gift from a close friend or family member, it’s probably best not to return it. If you received the gift from a store or other business, you might be able to return it for a refund or exchange.

Is it rude to take back a gift?

Yes. It is generally considered rude to take back a gift unless there is a good reason to do so. If you must take back a gift, express your thanks and gratitude first.

Bottom Line

Receiving a gift from someone you don’t like can be tricky, but it’s important to remember to be gracious. A little thank you and a smile can go a long way. If all else fails, re-gift the item to someone who will appreciate it more. 

With a little thought and diplomacy, you can respond to even the most unwanted gifts with grace and good manners.

Do you have any tips for responding to gifts you don’t like? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!


Kimberlee Johnson
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