Q&A: Buying me gifts I don’t like

Q: My mother-in-law buys me gifts that I don’t like. No matter what the item, it rarely fits my tastes. I don’t want to hurt her so I pretend to like the gifts. But I don’t want to be dishonest either. How should I handle this?

A: We appreciate your question since this is a place most of us have been. Yes, honesty is an essential virtue. But it doesn’t mean disclosing every thought or feeling floating around in our heads. (If you disagree, you may reconsider when your truthful toddler tells the big-boned lady in the check-out line that she’s fat.) Before deciding to let your mother-in-law know your feelings about a particular gift, we’d strongly encourage you to carefully examine your motives and your relationship with her.

The fact that you want to avoid hurting her unnecessarily suggests your heart is right – and that you value her more than things. So consider that, while you may not be crazy about the gift, you can use the occasion to focus on and express your appreciation for the giver.   

Whether you privately discuss your dissatisfaction with her gift largely depends on the strength and safety of your relationship. How long have you known her? Have you exchanged candid emotions before, and what was the response? Is she insecure or prideful in her gift giving to where criticism might be especially painful?

If you’re not “there” yet, you might spend time shopping together, both to build your relationship and to become better acquainted with each other’s preferences.

Building strong relationships with in-laws takes intentional thought and grace, but it’s worth the effort. If we can help, don’t hesitate to call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to support@family.org.my.

​​© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


Share

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

MORE

MARRIAGE

The Inner Lives Of Wives

Buried inside even the most secure woman is a latent insecurity about whether her man really loves her. Discover three eye-opening assumptions a loving husband can consider to better understand his wife and make her happy.

Read More >

PARENTING

Delighting in Your Child

No matter how you express “I love you” to your children, it doesn’t mean much unless it reassures them that you really do. Delight in your child by choosing a new attitude today.

Read More >
10-steps-better-sleep-family

10 Steps for Better Sleep For Your Family

Good sleep is essential to maintaining physical, emotional, spiritual and social health. However, many people are seriously sleep deprived. Dr. Meg Meeker discusses the benefits of getting good sleep and some of the potential problems parents and kids may experience if they don’t get enough rest at night.

Read More >

Your Child’s Love Language

Children express and receive love in different ways — some through acts of service; others through affirming words; still others through gifts, quality time or physical touch. Each of these expressions of love represents a different “language.” Discern the emotional needs of our children by understanding the five love languages.

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A

Q&A: Developing a grateful heart

Developing a grateful heart is crucial in a child’s life. Parents need to play a vital role in teaching and showing a child to be thankful. Find out the different ways how you can teach your child to have gratitude.

Read More >