How to Receive a Gift the Right Way (No Matter What it Is)

receive a gift

Receiving gifts can be an extremely exciting experience. First, you get the thrill of seeing the item all wrapped up and mysterious, then the joy of ripping the paper open. Unfortunately, once we get to the point of actually seeing the present, a lot of us don’t know how to react properly. We know that we’re under inspection by the gift giver (and anyone else who happens to be around), which can lead to some serious awkwardness, whether you like the gift or not. 

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up where you’re going to have to show your best side when opening gifts, don’t panic. Here are some of the best tips you can take to heart to ensure that you show proper gift-getting etiquette. 

Be Prepared

If it’s your birthday, a graduation party just for you, or another special celebration where you’re the person being honored, then you should be prepared to receive gifts. Make sure you practice your genuine smile in the mirror and ensure that you give one to everyone who hands you something today. Whether you like the present or not, you need to make that gift-giver feel good for getting you something, or you risk them not making the same mistake again.

Take a breath when you’re opening the present and give yourself a second to plan your reaction. You should always smile, make eye-contact with the gift giver, and say thank you straight away. If you’re not sure what to say beyond “thanks”, you could always ask something simple like “What made you think to get this?” Alternatively, be sure to get them something they love based on their interests such as the gift ideas listed at

Don’t Gossip About the Gift

If you’re unhappy with your gift, that’s fine – but you shouldn’t let it show. Remember that the person who bought you this item didn’t have to spend their hard earned money on you. It’s on you to be gracious, regardless of how you feel. That means that as well as saying thank you, you act grateful and give the person a hug or a smile if you need to. 

Later on, when you’re chatting to close friends or family, don’t make the mistake of letting it slip what you really think about the present. Gossiping about the gift usually gets back to the person who gave it, which once again has a bad impact on your relationship with that individual. If you really think that the person got you something you wouldn’t like on person, make a note of that for later. 

Know How to Shift the Attention 

If the amount of eyes on you during a gift-opening session is leaving you feeling a little on display, it might be a good idea to look for ways that you can shift the attention slightly. For instance, asking questions about where they got the item, or what made them think to buy it would be a great way to pull the attention back to the gift giver. 

If you just want to move onto the next present, make sure you don’t just throw the item down without showing it any care. Place the product you’ve just received carefully to one side, and mention that you can’t wait to come back and check it out in more detail later. You could even pass the gift around for everyone else to take a look while you eye up your next gift. This is a great way to showcase how thrilled you are about the present too – even if deep down you’re not so sure. 

Pay Attention

Opening gifts can be an excellent way to gather some useful information. You might discover that a gift someone gives you gives you some excellent inspiration on the kind of presents you might be able to buy them later on. You can also examine the quality of each gift you get and make a mental note of the kind of money you might be expected to spend on that person in a similar situation. 

Another reason to pay attention when you’re receiving gifts is that you could find that there’s more meaning to the present than you originally thought. A potato peeler with an engraved handle might not seem like a great gift until your friend tells you she was inspired to buy it because of a dream you shared when you were young about opening your own chip shop. Listen to the meaning behind the present before you jump to any conclusions.

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