Thursday, December 11, 2008

Giving Tip #7: Don't Put Rules on the Gift

The fact of the matter is, when you give something, it isn’t yours anymore. We all recognize this, so when we receive a gift, we will use it in accord to our best interest. This is why when Aunt Rachel gives us another orange knitted sweater, we try to find some unsuspecting person to pass it on to. It isn’t Aunt Rachel’s anymore, and what we do with it is our business.

This is the same with our gifts. When we give to someone else, it’s theirs to do with as they please. If they want to sell it, that’s their option. If we give them money and they do something with the money we don’t find appropriate, that’s their business.

But we do find ourselves being offended if a person uses our gift in a way that we would dislike. So we might be tempted to put a rule on the gift: “Don’t do this with it”, we might say in passing. Please don’t. It insults the person you are giving to, as if the worst case scenario was what they had in mind all along. And if they do use it that way, then they would feel bad if you saw them again.

The time to consider what a person would do with a gift is BEFORE you give it, not as you gift it.

No comments: