General Question

iRemy_y's avatar

What does it mean if your really close friends say they dont like gifts?

Asked by iRemy_y (550points) November 9th, 2009

Well this all started with her loosing her phone. She cant find hers and wont buy a new one, even though she hated her old one. We text constantly, and i offered to spend $50 to buy her a new one as a gift. Now every time she sees me or talks so me it comes up and she always tells me not to buy her anything. With Christmas coming up i really want to buy her something but shes not letting me. What do i do? Her friends are telling me the only gift she’s ever accepted was a shirt. I’m torn.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

markyy's avatar

Maybe she feels like you’re trying to court her (shower her with gifts for her affection). Are there any reasons for her to think you might have a crush on her?

SpatzieLover's avatar

In your case it sounds as though she’d feel bad because she’s not in a financial position to reciprocate. Either buy her the phone and tell her you just love being in contact with her, and don’t want/need anything in return, or accept that it would make her feel odd/indebted to you.

killertofu's avatar

@SpatzieLover @iRemy_y

SpatzieLover has best answer imo

Les's avatar

When people receive gifts, they often feel the need to reciprocate, even if you make it clear you don’t expect anything in return. I would just respect her request, and avoid buying her a gift for now. If you really want to do something, offer to do something with her for free (go ice skating, go to a beach, etc. Spend an afternoon together). That way, you’re both enjoying some activity, but you don’t have the awkwardness of gift giving.

forestGeek's avatar

I agree with @SpatzieLover, she may not be able to return the favor, for whatever reason. Also many people, myself included, do not want to start the whole obligatory gift exchange pressure thing between friends. Honor her request, and make your gift your gift to her just being a good friend who is there when she needs you. That’s the best gift any friend can give!!

RareDenver's avatar

Maybe she doesn’t like buying gifts for people and then feels uncomfortable receiving gifts as she then feels she should buy one back.

I always feel a bit bad when some family member I don’t even expect to see at Christmas turns up and hands me a gift and all I can do is grab them a beer from the fridge.

CMaz's avatar

It means they don’t like gifts.

marinelife's avatar

It means just what she says. Please honor her request.

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve felt like you’re describing about your friend and I bet @SpatzieLover is right. There have been several instances. Just recently I told my mother-in-law to tell great Grandma that she doesn’t have to buy us Christmas gifts. She’s got 16 great grandchildren, 10 grandchildren and 5 children and she buys gifts for all of them and their spouses. But, it was insisted that she loves doing it and will get them anyway.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ubersiren Great-grandma sounds like me. I am a gift-giver by nature…it is my “love language” ;)

galileogirl's avatar

@iRemy_y You need to drop it. Take no for an answer. Whatever her reason is, it’s her reason.

JLeslie's avatar

I basically was going to say what @SpatzieLover said. I hate the whole you give me a gift now I have to give you a gift thing. I would rather no gifts in general. I do have a few friends who have given me gifts or I have given them gifts, but there is no consistency and it is never on a holiday, it is a random I saw this and it is so perfect for you I had to buy it.

galileogirl's avatar

I give Christmas gifts instead of cards to friends. It doesn’t rise to the level of needing reciprocation. A scented candle, a 4 piece box of good candy, a gourmet apple, something $5—$8. I get to enjoy giving, they don’t feel compelled to reciprocate with more than a note.

YARNLADY's avatar

Maybe you could try “I bought it for myself, so you and I can communicate better, it’s still mine, but I want you to use it freely”.

Sarcasm's avatar

@YARNLADY To me, that sounds downright creepy. I can understand it as being semi-normal if you’re dealing with a SO. But with a friend? Creepotronics.

I hate gift-giving because I don’t know what people want.

I hate gift-receiving because anything I want is really specific. So either I tell them exactly what I want, and it spoils the surprise of the gift all-together, or I don’t tell them, and they get me something that’s pretty worthless to me.
I also hate gift-receiving because obviously people expect something in return. In which case:
a) If I’m going to buy you a $50 gift, and you’re going to buy me a $50 gift, the process should be skipped entirely. I should get what I want for me, you should get what you want for you.
b) I don’t know what to get people.

iRemy_y's avatar

Thanks to everyone who responded… i don’t want her to pay me back in any way though. And i made that very clear. We use to talk every day and now we can’t because of something so stupid as not wanting me to spend money on her. I told her I’m buying myself a phone anyway and it really wouldn’t make a difference if i bought her one to. Plus she has plenty of money saved for herself. Nothing seems to be standing in the way of her getting a new phone. She hated her old phone, and I’ve seen her old phone, she had reasons to hate it.

tyrantxseries's avatar

Give her a gift from the “Secret Santa” and when she asks deny it was you.

iRemy_y's avatar

@tyrantxseries I’m pretty sure if i get her a phone after asking her about buying her one, then she gets one, she’ll guess it was me… =P but thanks. if all else fails ill try that. I’m just not sure weather i should even get her one if she wont let me.

irocktheworld's avatar

You should get her the phone since you guys text constantly and stuff and the secret santa idea should work.:)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

A phone is a pretty expensive gift. I would feel uncomfortable if a friend gave me a gift costing more than $25 or so.

iRemy_y's avatar

@PandoraBoxx y would that be uncomfortable? a gift means i decided i wanted to give you something. why should you feel like you have to repay me back at all? thats, i think, were I’m a bit lost. Everyone thinks that a gift means an exchange… why? Why aren’t your birthday presents thought of like that? If thats how it is then what is a real gift called?

Sarcasm's avatar

@iRemy_y Birthday presents are thought of like that.
If somebody gives you a gift for your birthday, don’t you feel it’s expected for you to give them something for their birthday?

JLeslie's avatar

I agree get a gift give a gift.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

I think most of the opinions have been reiterated here, but see this question for thoughts from those who do not like gifts.

iRemy_y's avatar

I really don’t like that idea of, I buy you a gift so you buy me one. A gift should be something you receive from someone who wanted to give it to you, not expecting anything in return. And in my case, I’m getting to talk to her more because of it. In my perspective, that pays back the $50 on its own…

JLeslie's avatar

Not I buy you a gift you give me a gift. I said get a gift give a gift. When I give a gift I do not expect anything in return. BUT, when I get a gift I feel like I should give a gift back, unless it is my mom and dad giving me the gift or some other older relative. So, I know how I feel when I get a gift, in turn I understand that when I give a gift the receiver might feel an obligation to give back. It is not about my expectation as the gift giver, it is about what is in the receivers mind and how they might feel or react.

iRemy_y's avatar

Ok i get it if like I’m buying them a video game, or something that would only benefit them. But buying them something they want, that would benefit both of you, should make up for that gift. For example: If someone were to buy my a computer tablet, for my computer art, i would repay that person by drawing them whatever they want. If someone gives you something to help start, lets say, a winery. You would repay them by giving them some free wine, right? So why can’t a cell phone be like those tablets and business starters?

Beta_Orionis's avatar

Have you presented it to your friend in that light? That it’s partially a gift to yourself?

iRemy_y's avatar

@Beta_Orionis yes i have… she doesn’t want me “spending money on her”. and that’s the only reason she will give other then “blah”... which she says when she doesn’t want to give a legit answer… haha =P

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@iRemy_y Hmm. There must be some other reason she doesn’t want you to purchase it!

iRemy_y's avatar

@Beta_Orionis thats what i was thinking but she never talks about her personal life. and she claims to be depressed but wont show it, wont see a therapist, wont talk about it, and wont let me help. and now on top of that she lost her phone. That’s why i posted this question… to see if anyone could help me figure it out.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@iRemy_y Do you think she would be upset if you just purchased her one and surprised her? Long stretch, but is it possible she’s deflecting because she feels she doesn’t deserve it?

iRemy_y's avatar

@Beta_Orionis I want to do that. But then if she really wont accept it then I’m stuck with the phone… i guess i could buy one i wanted just in case. But I’m also scared she’ll actually get mad at me for buying it. I don’t think she thinks of herself as a very liked person. So yeah she may feel like she doesn’t deserve it…

SeventhSense's avatar

This girl obviously is not comfortable with this and perhaps regrets taking the gift. It’s sad that there is this discomfort surrounding gift giving. For a girl this is especially so because there is often an agenda. Would you do the same for the homeless guy on the corner or your brother in law?
I don’t know anymore what the protocol is for gift giving. I’ve always just given from the heart with complete spontaneity, but at some point I started to feel hurt by some family members who didn’t reciprocate when they knew I was going to buy them a gift. I’ve made the decision to avoid all holidays, birthdays and events other than weddings and funerals. I’m just going to send checks and if we get together it will be because we really want to and not under the pretense of a holiday or ritual. It seems more honest to me.

There also seems to be a graciousness, or humility in accepting a gift which makes someone feel vulnerable. But perhaps the worst is a loan. I will never loan someone money because I never want that hanging over us. I will give them money if I have it. If i don’t, I won’t.
Try this sometime. Do something nice for someone and don’t tell them.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@iRemy_y I can’t imagine she’d get extremely upset, unless there is some underlying, deeply-rooted issue with phones/gifts that can’t be resolved. That’s probably not the case though.

iRemy_y's avatar

@Beta_Orionis I don’t think the gift is the problem. She made it very clear she doesn’t want me spending money on her.

SeventhSense's avatar

Pride is a crutch of the insecure.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sometimes people prefer not to receive gifts because they can’t manage the number of items in their home. They want to simplify their lives. They already have everything they need. In this case a special blend of black tea for example might work. As the recipient keeps drinking it, the gift will disappear naturally and won’t clutter the home.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne I was not thinking of that, because it seems the person does need a phone, but I fit the description of the person you describe…I don’t want anything for my home, my sister is the same.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther