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How Not to React to a Bad Gift

They say it's the thought that counts. "They" must be the people who give lousy presents.


  • Step 1: Ask what it is Begin by dramatically asking, 'What is this?' even if it’s patently obvious.
  • Step 2: Look disgusted As the embarrassed gift giver explains what it is and why she thought it would suit you, maintain the expression of someone who has just stepped in dog doo.
  • TIP: Hold the offending item by your fingertips, as if you’re afraid of catching something.
  • Step 3: Ask for the receipt Ask loudly, 'You do still have the receipt, don’t you?' so no one doubts that you are going to rid yourself of this abomination as soon as possible.
  • Step 4: Toss it aside Toss the gift aside, without bothering to re-box it, and open a new one with an eagerness that suggests you’re trying to rid yourself of the memory of the bad gift.
  • Step 5: Ask for cash Let the gift giver know it would be better going forward if she sticks to cash or gift cards.
  • Step 6: Don't thank them Don’t bother thanking the gift giver. You don’t want to encourage her.
  • FACT: Studies show college students consistently undervalue the cost of gifts they receive.

You Will Need

  • 1.0 A disappointing gift
  • 1.0 And a gift giver you can shame
  • 1.0 An audience (optional)

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