July 11, 2022 3 min read

Have you ever been excited to rip into a gorgeously wrapped gift, only to be disappointed by what was inside? If so, should you be mind-blown and tell the person exactly how you feel about their gift or should you show your real feeling in your face and bite your tongue?

So, how should you handle a bad gift? Here are some tips to help you deal with these situations, as well as ideas for what to do with such gifts.


Say “Thank you”

If you do receive a poor gift, one way of defusing the situation is to simply say “thank you”. One researcher found a range of cues indicating that a gift wasn’t appreciated – from frowns and false smiles to the gift mysteriously disappearing forever.

However, failing to say “thank you” was the only indicator that participants said reliably predicted how damaging the incident would be to the future of the relationship. The participants were also asked how the recipient could have made things better – and again saying “thank you”, even if it wasn't sincere, was cited as the most important thing.

Show your appreciation 

If you are going to a gift exchange with friends or coworkers, set all expectations aside and remember what your parents surely taught you: It’s not the gift but the thought that matters. If something goes wrong, consider the following things to say or do if you get a bad gift:

  • "What a unique gift. Does it have a backstory?" Stop talking and start listening. You might be surprised to learn that the present required more consideration than you initially imagined. For instance, the person may have acquired that thing specifically for you on his or her most recent vacation or travel overseas. Perhaps it represents something significant to the sender. Or perhaps something you said sparked the idea for the present.
  • State what the gift is and show gratitude. E.g: “A nose hair trimmer. Thanks!”
  • Say “Thank you so much for such a generous and thoughtful gift.” 
  • If this is a gift exchange with a large group, say, “Check it out, everyone. A marble-handled potato peeler.” Then pass it around so everyone can admire it, taking the attention away from you. 
  • Study the gift, read the instructions, and show a lot of interest in the object. If there are others waiting to open their gifts, encourage them to do so while you work on yours.

Hide your negative thoughts and feelings

Whatever you do, avoid expressing your true feelings. You don't have to outright lie, but you need to hold back any harsh comments. It may be especially challenging if the person makes a big deal out of it and stares at you, waiting for a reaction. Even if you are not a trained actor, you can get through the circumstances by smiling.

Don’t say or do these things when you get a bad gift:

  • Don’t grimace or make a face, no matter how unhappy you are.
  • Don’t mention anything about how disappointed you are, like, “I was hoping this would be that jacket I’ve always wanted.”
  • Don’t tell anyone your true feelings. Anything you say is likely to get back to the giver, and you need to avoid hurting that person’s feelings.

So what should we do with such gifts?

One smart way to consider is that you can repurpose it and make it useful for you in some way. You can look up interesting ideas to repurpose the gift- an ugly photo frame or the candleholder. For inspiration, there are a lot of ideas available on crafts related websites and on YouTube that can help you with creative ideas. This way you will not hurt any feelings and also feel proud of creating something on your own that you can use. 


Most Important Thing to Remember

Almost everyone will receive a bad gift at least once. But seriously? Who would give such a thoughtless thing during a joyous occasion?At Famvibe, Famvibe offers a range of meaningful personalized gifts for all family members.  We’re sure everyone is excited about a unique gift made only for them. So browse our latest collection to find your beloved people the best gift ever!

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