Why Do People Refuse Gifts?

Many people find it very difficult to receive gifts than giving because expressively we believe it’s nobler to give than to receive. Moreover, there are certain situations when people reuse gifts, like over- expensive gifts, don’t want to become attached to the gift giver, complicated business relationships, a self-imposed pressure or avoid being selfish.

Generally, people exchange gifts with different intentions under different circumstances. So there are chances the gift recipient might find the intention or the circumstance inappropriate to receive gifts thus he/she refuses to take the gift. Sometimes the gift giver himself is the reason why people refuse gifts. In the corporate world, people refuse gifts because they don’t want to damage a business relationship.

People Refuse Gifts

Reasons People Refuse Gifts

There are many reasons people refuse gifts. Keep reading the article to know why receiving is often more difficult than giving.

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1. Don’t Want to Become Attached to the Gift Giver

Receiving gifts create connections so most of the time people refuse gifts to avoid become attached to the gift giver. It is like defense against intimacy. This is an excellent way to keep people distant and keep our heart defended. Many people fear intimacy or close relationship therefore they disallow themselves from receiving a gift or compliment.

Sometimes the gift is given without any romantic intentions so there is no way to return the love. Accepting these types of gifts creates false hopes so when people realize there’s no way to reciprocate the feeling they refuse to take the gift.

2. Don’t want to Let Go of Control

When people give gifts they think they are in control in a certain way. People find it easy to offer a kind word or buy flowers. But if they receive an expensive gift then they also have to return something that is in the same range as the gift he/she received. Moreover, many people who use expensive gifts or their generosity as a way of controlling relationships and looking to create obligations. Or, they will try to control you or your feelings even though your relationship has ended and you’ve moved yourself from the situation. So in these types of situations, people generally refuse to take gifts.

3. Business Relationship/Office Rules

People refuse expensive gifts from their boss or co-workers. Generally, a pen or a diary on the birthday or Christmas is logical and it’s acceptable. These types of simple gifts are a great way to show appreciation for people’s hard work. But if the boss or co-workers started to give expensive gifts like jewelry, gadgets, with lunch or dinner then most of the time people decline these types of gifts because it could be seen as fraternization that could very well lead to sexual harassment. Moreover, most of the companies have strict policies against this form of gift-giving therefore people refuse gifts from the boss or co-workers. The same goes for business associates and people refuse to take gifts from their clients because it’s against office policy. Flowers and cordial gifts are normal on business transactions but if the gift is personal and given on the first meeting then it is declined by most of the people.

4. Fear of Strings Attached

Sometimes people find it difficult to accept gifts if it came with strings attached when they were growing up. Many people may have received compliments only when they accomplished something, like excelling at sports or achieving good grades. If they realized that they weren’t being accepted for whom they are but rather for their accomplishments then receiving may be streaked by the continuing need to perform, which is obnoxious.

On many occasions, parents used their kids to procure there needs like showcasing their kid’s achievements to the friends, and this way they have equated compliments to being used. These types of kids thought they are recognized for what they do therefore find it difficult to accept gifts when they are all grown up.

5. People Think it is Selfish to Receive

Our society, our religion thought us that it is a selfish act to receive, while life is more about giving and sacrificing and this is the best way to being happy. So many people like to give gifts to their loved ones and family members rather than to receive gifts. And this is a key reason why many people refuse to accept gifts. But this way they are depriving themselves of a precious moment of connection between the nearest and dearest. Therefore, it’s best to live with a rhythm of giving and receiving and it will keep us balanced and nourished.

6. Refusal of Gifts because of the Pressure to Reciprocate

People deny accepting gifts because they think it’s the best way to protect them from being in someone’s debt. Sometimes unexpected gift creates doubt in the gift recipient mind and they wonder “What do they want from me?”  It has been a primeval tradition to use gifts to control or manipulate others therefore, many people refuse to take gifts and defend them from any sense of obligation or indebtedness.

How to Decline a Gift Gracefully

When you are refusing a gift you have to be graceful so that the refusal doesn’t hart the feelings of your loved ones or the gift giver. There are many ways you can refuse a gift gracefully. They are:

  • Try to talk to the gift giver in private and tell him/her the season why you are not accepting the gift. This way the gift giver will understand your situation.
  • If you aren’t able to talk to the gift giver in private then it is best you write a letter and express your appreciation
  • Make sure you express your reasons clearly so that the gift giver understands why you have declined the gift. Don’t forget to show your regret in doing so.
  • Try to keep your words simple and avoid any kind of drama. Keep your explanation short and be firm in your decision.
  • Be very careful not to embarrass the gift giver when refusing to accept the gift. It will create an awkward moment for both of you.

Final Thought

If the reason is undeniable to accept gifts then it is better to refuse the gift. However, if everyone is giving then who will be in the receiver’s end? So it is best to create a balance between the receiving and accepting therefore, gift exchange with mutual understanding is the right solution.

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