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A lot of thought goes into picking out a gift! Therefore, if you are expecting a gift you should put some thought into how you will accept this gift. 

When you receive a gift it is important to make sure the gift giver feels appreciated.
If you ever struggle with receiving gifts, feel uncomfortable, confused, or indebted after receiving a gift, we are here to help! Follow the tips below to make sure you feel comfortable and confident during your next gift exchange. 
It doesn’t matter whether the gift is coming from a family member, friend, coworker, or even a stranger – the steps are the same!

Remember The Golden Rule

Before getting into the tips below, take a minute and think about the Golden Rule

“treat others the way you want to be treated”

What do you hope for when you give someone else a gift? Do you want them to set it aside or throw it out? Stare awkwardly at you? Stand there and do nothing at all?

Or do you want their eyes to light up? Do you want them to try it on, play with it, open up the box and use it right away?

 Of course, you hope someone loves the gift you intentionally picked out for them! 

That brings us to our first tip:
1. Show Excitement

It is commonly known that actions speak louder than words. When you receive a gift, really try to show the person that you are grateful for their gift. There are many ways to show excitement about a gift. 
Physical Love 

One way to show excitement is through physical love. This could be a big hug, a kiss on the cheek, a gentle pat on the back or a hand on the shoulder. All of these actions physically show the gift giver that you love and appreciate their gift. 


Another way to show excitement is through your actions toward the gift. Think back to the Golden Rule and how you want others to act when they receive a gift from you. The gift giver will be able to tell from your actions if you are genuinely interested in their gift. 

Take a moment to really look at the gift, don’t just give it a glimpse over. Turn it over in your hands and notice the details. If it’s in a box, open it up and try it out. If it is an article of clothing, try it on! These actions will show the gift-giver that you value their gift.

 2. Verbal Gratitude

After showing excitement about a gift, you should express verbal gratitude. Tell them your favorite part about this gift, share what you will use it for, or explain how you were really hoping for a gift like this. 

Make sure you verbally thank them for their thoughtfulness as well! 

No matter what way you choose to show gratitude, do it in a positive and friendly way. Use a cheerful tone and facial expressions that show you mean what you say. You should have a smile on your face so the gift-giver sees that you are genuine!
Always think about gift-giving as a thoughtful act. Even if the gift isn’t something you wanted, even if you don’t really like it, someone still thought of you and wanted to give you something special. That is the essence of gift-giving!

3. If you have a gift for them too, give it to them. 

In some occasions (Holidays, etc.) it might be a mutual gift exchange. A good time to give them a gift is after you show thankfulness for their gift. 

Try not to rush the situation. Show proper gratitude and give them their gift after.

Never Lie About Having A Gift If You Don’t!

Never lie about having a gift for them if you really don’t! Sometimes you will be given a gift when you were not expecting one. That is okay!! Refer back to step 1 and 2, and end the exchange at expressing your gratitude for their gift and thoughtfulness.
Surprise Gift

 4. You don’t owe them anything in return

Unless you have a relationship where gift-giving it is a two-sided expectation, don’t feel like you owe anyone that gets you a gift anything other than authentic appreciation. 

Most people are sincere by nature and they would rather have genuine recognition. They don’t want to feel like you owe them something in return. 

5. Follow up with a sincere Thank You after a few weeks

Let some time pass and follow up with a sincere Thank You. 

If you see this person frequently, you can thank them again for the gift in person. Make sure to explain how you’ve been using the gift and why you love it! These details will show the gift-giver how the gift made a positive impact on your life. This is a more heartfelt way to share your appreciation, rather than just saying “thanks again!” 

If you do not see this person frequently, a thank you note or letter sent via mail or email is a great alternative. The gift-giver will appreciate this effort. 


No one likes when someone gives non-stop thank yous. This can lead to a thank you contest, and what started as a sincere exchange soon feels insincere. Do your part by showing excitement and expressing your gratitude and leave it at that.  

What do I do if I hate the gift?

Everyone will be given a gift that they don’t like at some point in their life. When this happens, think back about the essence of gift giving – thoughtfulness! Put yourself in the gift-givers shoes and think about how they went out of their way to pick out a gift specifically for you. 

You should still show excitement through your actions and express verbal gratitude. 

Assume that all gift-givers have sincere intent. They really thought you would like this gift. Focusing on the intent, rather than the physical gift, will help you receive the gift in a kinder way. 


Sometimes, the gift-giver will include a gift receipt and you can discreetly return the gift. If the gift is from a close friend or family member, and you feel comfortable being honest with them, ask them if they have a copy of the gift receipt. 

Often times, it is better to keep the gift even if you don’t like it. 

For example, the sweater your grandmother hand-knit for you or a holiday cup from your coworker. Try to take both the thoughtfulness and value of a gift into hand when deciding if you want to keep it. 

What do I do if I already have what they got me?

If you are given a gift that you already have, follow the same steps as a gift you don’t like. Remember that gift-givers have sincere intent and they did not know that you already had this item. Show excitement through your actions and express gratitude! 


There are a few exceptions to this rule of thumb. 

1. If the gift is from someone you are very close with. 

If this duplicate gift is from someone you are very close with (parent, spouse, sibling), you can thank them for their thoughtfulness and explain that you love this item so much that you actually already have it! Tell them how much it means to you that they thought of you when they picked it out. At this point, they might offer an exchange or you can ask for the gift receipt. 

2. It is an expensive gift. 

If the duplicate gift is fairly expensive, and it is needless to have two, follow the same procedure as above. Thank the gift-giver for their thoughtfulness and explain how you value this item so much that you already have one. 


Receiving a gift no longer needs to feel stressful or embarrassing. There are 5 simple steps to receive a gift genuinely and confidently:

1.  Show Sincere Excitement!
2. Express Verbal Gratitude
3. If you have a gift for them, give it to them.
4. You do not owe them anything in return.
5. Follow-up with a thank you after a few weeks. 

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