Emotional Intelligence Social

The unwanted gift: how to react.

regalo no deseado

When we receive a gift, want to or no, waits that like you and that it was what were expecting. A gift does not leave to be more than a positive reinforcement by a good behaviour made in the past since usually it is the form to express or thank for “something”. This can be from sharing good moments, vital experiences (good or bad) until all that that affect us emotionally. We remember that what evokes us a new emotional state produces always a condicionamiento more intense.

The important is the intention, yes clear…

The importance to hit with the gift roots in that what more likes us the gift that receive of a determinate person more identify us with that another person, more similar see us. This occurs especially for the case of the men, according to this study on the influence of the good or bad gifts in the interpersonal relations (Dunn, 2008).

>> Article related: How say him to the boys that the Kings do not exist (or Santa Claus)?

You wake up you the day of navidad or of Kings, open the gifts and surprise!.. Other socks! Act followed assent and give the graces. This will be the reaction (hipócrita) of a lot of people in front of the gift received during these navidades. But really, receive a gift that was not the expected or that has been very disproportionate with regard to the that you have done generates frustration. They have not fulfilled  our expectations and this, never likes by more than mask it.

The most evident strategy to warn that receive an inappropriate gift generate frustration is to ask the what wants  before giving and act in consequence. It has showed  in several studies that the people appreciate more a gift that has requested  previously that receive a gift that has not asked , although this was a good gift. By against, the person that does the gift yes thinks that although it have not requested  this gift the another person will appreciate it by equal (Gino, 2011). Error.

It is clear that the intention, the affection and the affection that transmits the give to somebody that want also is a reforzador important but are speaking that besides a gift is a motivation extrínseca that acts like external prize to something that already of by himself would have to be automotivado (intrinsic motivation).

>> Article related: Technicians of increase of the motivation. 

Therefore in a lot of occasions, an emotional detail (do a visit, an embrace, a memory with photos, a letter expressing feelings, etc.) has an elder can that a big gift of greater economic outlay. Although it can help, if it has been chord to the wish or the need of the another person. We live in a capitalist society in which it gives him  excessive value to this type of gifts, that even goes tied to the social status.

In fact, in a lot of occasions goes out more reinforced the one who gives the gift that the one who receives it, the mere fact to give the graces reinforces a behaviour to give socks until the infinite.

What do if it does not like you the gift?

We suppose that you receive a gift that do not need or that does not like you when have an expectation to receive something interesting for us. As we already said, internally it unchains  an emotion of frustration that can or not manifesting exteriormente. Usually, by education, does not be used to  exteriorizar the unrest by the gift and acts  with diplomacy appealing to the importance that has the own worry and affection of the person that gives to to you. Although there are people that is not able to repress this unrest, as it is in the case of boys that still do not have developed entirely his emotional capacities.

>> Article related: Components of the emotional intelligence. 

It is clear that when a person with all his good intention make a gift but to the another does not like him, if this reacts badly can generate an environment of conflict and tension that is convenient to avoid.

  1. It thinks and racionaliza. Firstly, has to manage  this emotion and make a silent thought about the reason by which has received  this gift, analyse the situation and look for relations with the type of gift received making questions eat: “it does not know really what likes me?”; “I will not have known to do him understand what wanted”? ; “Why it gives me this if it knows that it does not like me?”; “Well, sure that it is not that it do not want me but it is absent-minded”.
  2. It moves the emotion. When they give you a gift that does not like you generate  two emotions shoot: frustration and joy. It moves the reforzador external of the material gift at the side emotional so that the emotion of joy was the dominant: “Well, at least it has concerned  by me and it has invested time in looking for me a gift, this is that it wants me”.
  3. It changes, it gives back, re-give or dona the gift. Can give back or change a gift without leaving to be educated. This yes, do not give back a gift that has done  from the emotional plane or that can not  change, as for example a handmade jumper. In fact, it has showed  in some studies that is not so elevated the moral debate that  general for giving back or re-give something. The person that does the gift gives it to you so that you do with him what want to whereas the people that receive it yes feel these links give-person stronger. However, you can free you of this fault and do something that contribute you to you a greater need. In fact, it is a form to do him see that they like you another type of things and do not repeat  in a future the same behaviour. Besides, the person that does the gift can feel culprit by not to have you done a suitable gift if him trasmites the emotional value of the mere fact to give  and achieve that the another person see that you prefer another thing the feeling of fault of both dilates . In other cultures is more usual of what thinks  the re-give gifts and has not happened at all, this yes, always with some touch and delicacy.

Sometimes, have gifts or put them to us for liking to the another person and no to you same by what the gift no longer is for you, but for him. It will not be better to speak the things that callarnos and repress emotions of form hipócrita?

And to you? They have hit with your gift? What do when it does not like you a gift?




Dunn, E.W., Huntsinger, J.,Lun, J. y Sinclair, S. (2008). The Gift of Similarity: How Good and Bad Gifts Influence Relationships. Social Cognition: 26, 4, pp. 469-481. https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.2008.26.4.469

Gino, F., Flynn, F.J. (2011). Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 5. pp- 915-922. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103111000801

Adams, G.S., Flynn, F.J., Norton M.I.(2012). The Gifts We Keep on Giving. Documenting and Destigmatizing the Regifting Taboo. Psychological Sciencie.  23, 10, pp. 1145-1150. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797612439718

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicopico.com. Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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  • Pero que haces cuando recibes un regalo que es obviamente por cumplir. Desde chocolates caducos hasta ropa usada. Que le no importas a la persona, pero tenía que cumplir con el acto.¿? Como reaccionas sin sentir tristeza

    • Hola Lourdes.

      Gracias por leeerme. Para evitar esa tristeza que dices, primeramente habría que trasladarlo al plano emocional eliminando el plano material, pero para que esto sea viable tiene que existir un vínculo emocional con la otra persona. En el caso que relatas, se ve claramente que la intencionalidadde la otra persona no es un mero trámite y eso reduce el valor emocional con lo que se desencadena es decepción. ¿Qué hacer? En este caso el regalo es lo de menos y deberás racionalizar el motivo y la forma en la que te ha hecho el regalo.
      Si piensas que ha sido un mero trámite lo más apropiado sería comunicárselo de manera directa pero calmada expresando lo que sientes de manera educada: “Gracias, pero no hacía falta que me regalases nada material. Con habérmelo expresado era suficiente”, por ejemplo.
      Para poder comunicar este tipo de situaciones de paso un enlace con consejos que te será de gran ayuda: https://psicopico.com/10-consejos-mejorar-la-comunicacion/

      Un saludo,

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