Today, thousands of shoppers are heading out to stores — not to shop for presents, but to return gifts that didn’t exactly make their Christmas all merry and bright. Approximately 8 out of 10 consumers are expected to return at least one gift this year, according to online retail platform Oracle. But while those transactions won’t hurt retailers who’ll likely see those same consumers buy something that they actually wanted while in their store, having to return a gift from the special man or woman in your life can definitely put a damper on the Christmas spirit and possibly even the relationship. And while you may not need guidance on how to handle your online or in-store return (though you should know return policies are getting stricter), we’re almost certain you’re going to need help navigating those very murky waters of disappointment when it comes to your partner’s gift giving. Read on for our advice on how to respond appropriately and resist the urge to overreact.
Receiving a bad gift is pretty awkward. Receiving a bad gift from your significant other is not only awkward, but also complicated. It’s not like when your aunt or old friend from college gives you a present you less-than-love. You barely see those people! You can store that present away in the garage, just bring it out when the gift givers visit, and they’ll never even realize you don’t use it. In some cases, you can donate the present and the gift giver will never be the wiser. But your significant other is around a lot. He’s watching you and wondering when you’re going to wear that sweater with that sassy French saying on it or when you’re going to use your egg yolk separator. Not only that, he really, really, wanted to nail this. Your aunt once removed just gave you something to be polite. Here is how to react when your partner gives you a bad gift.
Any hesitation or delay on your part will tell your partner you don’t like the gift. Think about it: when you love a gift, you cannot hold in your reaction for a millisecond. If it helps, have the thing you wanted in mind when you open his gift, and imagine it when you see what he gave you. It will help your acting.