Ask The Swag Gal (August 12, 2009)

You know that old expression about it being better to give than to receive? While I tend to agree with that statement, I have to admit that I love to receive! Of course, receiving isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, it can be a real challenge to be a gracious receiver.

All of which brings us to today’s question which comes from Richard H., in Bellevue, WA. He asked:

How do you act surprised and act like you like a gift you’ve been given, when in reality you hate it?

What a familiar situation to all of us. I’m sure we’ve all been given a gift that we absolutely did not like (or were even embarrassed to receive!). Of course there are some people who can really put on an act and pretend to like it. (I’m convinced these people rehearse, even practice in the mirror. Sometimes they’re just TOO good). For the rest of us, this happy, grateful, excited front does not come so easily. Its a tricky situation, because while you know it’s wrong to deceive someone, you also do not want to hurt their feelings. Here are some pointers for you, as you prepare to open that mystery gift.

1. ALWAYS act surprised. Open it all the way and widen your eyes as you see it.

2. Give them an “Oh my gosh!” or “No way!”. Immediately they will see an excited reaction.This will eliminate the worry of making a happy/disappointed face. HOWEVER, don’t overdo it. You do not want it to come across as being fake or insincere.

3. Smile. Make your smile as believable as possible. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. (Convince yourself in your head that whatever they give you, you are going to love. Or think of something that does make you happy, to ensure a genuine smile).

4. Always say ‘Thank You’ and mean it. Even if you don’t like the gift, it is a kind gesture on their part and you should always appreciate the thought.

A few other things to keep in mind…

If you know there is an event coming up where you might be receiving a gift, don’t think too much about your expectations of the gift. Just plan on enjoying the day and people around you. Setting yourself up for something makes it worse when you don’t get it.
Normally people do not ask about the gift, after they’ve given it to you. (At least good “gift etiquette” says so). So you are free to do what you will with your gift from that point on.
its hard for people to know what you like. Tell them beforehand that you’d like money or a gift certificate so you can spend as you please. This may alleviate the pressure on both your parts!
Most of all, remember to always be kind. I mean really, how bad can receiving a gift really be?!

Keep sending those questions over to

Til next time!

xo TSGal