When Gifts Are Not Given in Fun

Admit it.  You love your husband but that iron he gave you for your birthday. . .not so much.

What happens when good people get bad gifts?

According to newswise.com, sometimes a little malice might be involved.   It reports that receiving is complicated when gifts are not meant to please.

A typical U.S. consumer is expected to buy 14 gifts this holiday season, and new marketing research describes how and why many of these gifts will cause dissatisfaction rather than joy. In new research findings, NYIT School of Management associate professor Deborah Y. Cohn asserts that people who give bad gifts often do so intentionally.

Prior gift-giving research has assumed that bad gifts result from mistakes, but Cohn’s study, using in-depth interviews as well as data available via online message boards, describes five categories of intentional bad gift-giving: gifts that threaten the recipient’s self-concept, such as:

-- giving a pregnancy test to your childless daughter-in-law
-- gifts given so that the giver (usually a member of the recipient’s household) can benefit from them, such as a sports fan who gives his wife a big-screen television
-- gifts explicitly meant to offend, which are usually understood to communicate passive-aggressive hostility
-- gifts given out of obligation, often to recipients perceived as unpredictable or hard-to-please
-- gifts given to allow the giver to brag or “outgift” another, such as when grandparents present their grandchildren with a gift the parents have explicitly asked them not to buy

Who hasn't been here at some point?  A friend of mine received the iron on her birthday, and a gift certificate to Staples at Christmas!   Some might say he's trying to show that he's just not that interested, but, no offense, guys, but you're often clueless about gifts.

I now buy my own birthday and Christmas gifts from my husband.  It does take some of the joy out of it but at least I'm not getting an iron!




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