Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

Ever had a nice act from someone that wasn't a friend or relative?

Asked by chelle21689 (7883points) September 4th, 2012

I just received a $50 gift card in my e-mail from a girl that I’m not that close to. She was thanking me for listening to her and saying it was a belated birthday gift (my birthday was 6 months ago). I accepted it and told her that I don’t deserve this and I will repay her some how and she told me no need to and I do deserve it. I started to wonder what was her motive behind this? Can she be trusted? No one has ever done this for me. We’re not even really close.

Back story about this girl:
I met her boyfriend a few years ago in a class and we became good friends for about a year. We hung out once a month and kept in touch sometimes through text. One day he told me he had to stop talking to me because it was ruining their relationship and she didn’t trust him with me.

Fast forward a couple years later and she finds me on Facebook and requests me as a friend. I told her, “I thought you hated me?” She said she never hated me and that situation was with between me and her bf. She said he was suspicious because he would always lie about talking to me or hanging out with me. I don’t know if that was true but whatever.

It’s been about 2 years since I added her on Facebook. We talk a couple times a month. Maybe I’m naive and easily trust people but I opened up to her a lot about my personal life. She opened up too but I mostly talk about myself because she seems interested. I just mentioned to her yesterday that I wish I had new clothes but Express was expensive and then she asked for my e-mail later and then I receive the gift card.

What you think? Random act of kindness or suspicious?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Trust your feelings. If it is uncomfortable, then say “Thanks” and return the gift card.

jca's avatar

I feel like it’s nice that she gave you the gift card, but I would wonder what her motives are, the way you are. I also wonder why you’re opening up about your personal life to someone in the position she’s in. Just me, cynical maybe yes, cautious definitely.

wundayatta's avatar

Maybe she feels that you are a friend. $50 isn’t that big a deal as a gift for a friend. This is her feeling and her gift. My parents used to say, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” By which they meant a gift is a gift and you shouldn’t question the motivations of the person giving it. Nor should you question the form of the gift. You accept it gracefully and move on.

gailcalled's avatar

Re; What she said to you about some imbroglio in the past generated your response of “I don’t know if that was true but whatever.”

I would not like to be that nonchalant about the behavior of a woman to whom I am telling many of the secrets about my personal life.

“Whatever?” wouldn’t wash with me in regards to any friendship.

marinelife's avatar

Accept it and think what a nice person she is.

My husband got laid off after a six-month internship. His co-workers took up a collection and gave us the money. They told us to pay it forward and we have.

jca's avatar

You don’t know what he told her and what her response was but I think err on the side of caution. Are you desperate for friends that you need this one?

chelle21689's avatar

Well, I think I’m just going to continue to be cautious. I would probably treat her like a stranger meaning I wouldn’t meet up with her alone, at our houses, or get too close. Just be acquaintances and maintain a good connection. I don’t burn bridges if there’s not a reason to. Hope she’s not crazy lol

jca's avatar

@chelle21689: I wasn’t thinking of your personal safety (as in your saying you wouldn’t meet up with her alone or at your houses), I was thinking more of your saying you reveal personal information about yourself, more so than she does about herself.

Jeruba's avatar

Comment: This question is mistitled. From the heading, I was expecting an invitation to describe the kind acts of strangers in people’s lives. You aren’t really asking people to share stories. You’re looking for personal advice. Your real question was “Should I be suspicious of this gift?” or “Can I trust the motives behind this unexpected gift?”

I don’t mean to pick on you, @chelle21689. This happens all the time. I just wish people would post the question they really want answered.

chelle21689's avatar

Sorry if it’s misleading, I still wanted to hear other people’s opinions. I had a brain fart and didn’t know what to question it as.

Shippy's avatar

I personally would never have made friends with her. Simply because she had an issue with me long ago. I might sound cynical and hard, but I think to start with there would be limited trust. I also find her gift strange, I know some here don’t, but I would question it also. However, you kind of know how your gut feels about it, and you know her better than I do, so that is an outsiders opinion.

Pandora's avatar

If she makes a lot of money and you know 50 bucks is nothing to her, than no big deal. I would put myself in her shoes. Maybe she is being honest and only felt threatened about your friendship because of his behavior and it has nothing to do with you personally.

flutherother's avatar

I find her behaviour a bit odd and personally I would be suspicious of it. Is she trying to find out about your relationship with her boyfriend? Is he still her boyfriend or is he an ex?

Bellatrix's avatar

Trust your instincts. You know how you have felt when interacting with this person in the past. If her behaviour now seems out of character and doesn’t feel right to you – hand the gift card back. I would also ask myself “what could she gain from me by doing this?” If there is a hidden cost, and you don’t want to pay it, again, hand it back. In some cultures, accepting a gift comes with the expectation that you are now beholden to the giver. As an educator, I am cautious about people offering me gifts.

In saying that, sometimes people just do kind acts with no ulterior motives. They do it because they can and it feels like the right thing for them to do. Listen to your instincts.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Many times, yes. Most of them turned out to be acts of that acquaintances just wanting to do something nice, no strings attached. Accept the gift, thank her but don’t tell yourself you have to feel about your relationship with her any deeper than you are comfortable with. If you’re not ready to call her a friend then don’t, it’s ok, even if she’s acting like you two are friends.

People move at their own speeds when going from acquaintance to friend and there are so many degrees and depth of friendship. To overthink this might be a waste of time if you don’t feel she’s highly manipulative or dangerous.

deni's avatar

Do her parents have money? AKA, is money not an issue to her? If it’s not, maybe she thinks she can buy your friendship with this gift card. If not (and I usually don’t assume the worst, so I won’t here either) maybe she just doesn’t have many friends and really does like you and is grateful. Still, a monetary gift is kinda weird, but if you mentioned wanting new clothes, just thank her and take it. What could she possibly hope to gain if this whole act was malicious on her part? I can’t think of anything.

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks for answering, everyone!

Pazza's avatar

I was wanting to post on this question, but didn’t really know what experiences I’d personally had that I could share, but I just stumbled upon this video:

A random act of kindness.

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