Receiving Gifts & Not Knowing A Person’s Intentions

couragetogrow

Not Active
So one of the two immediate family members I talk to randomly said they had a gift they wanted to send me.

I maintain boundaries with this person because I tbh don't know their real intentions w/me. It's like we've had a cordial enough relationship and a weird familial bond but I don't know how well I can trust them. They've said things that have given me red flag but we both have dysfunctional background so I try not to judge.

Luckily I have a PO box cause no one is getting my home address. Shameless hypervigilence. But I feel like it could be a long con to manipulation.

This is actually been difficult for me in general to receive in the past because of not knowing a person's intentions. Receiving a gift almost feels like a contract to me and always 2nd guessing the agenda of giver.

Has anyone else had this experience and how do you deal with it?
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
I think I understand where you’re coming from.

I don’t like gifts, or help I guess, from my family for the same reason. What is expected of me if I accept this _____ ? There’s always potentially a catch.

I moved countries and highly limit my contact with them - not sure that’s the healthiest of options though.

Do you feel able to say you don’t want anything?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i get this reaction to ALL compliments and gifts. where's the fine print? which fire pit am i being buttered up for THIS time? even when i am proud of an accomplishment, compliments and/or gifts feel highly conditional and insincere.

i cope with simple awareness of the hypervigilance behind this mistrust, gentle patience with myself and the process i'm still in the "fake it till you make it" phase, but sometimes i can even say a simple, "thank you" when confronted with a compliment or gift. works in progress. . .
 

couragetogrow

Not Active
Do you feel able to say you don’t want anything?
Yes, but in this case I feel like it would open the door for more tension/potential drama in the relationship. In this case the path of least resistance is just accepting and seeing if any agenda is exposed but idk. I get that this shouldn't be an element in a healthy relationship but I guess I'm not ready to go all out NC with this family member and they haven't been directly problematic although I'm always waiting for that shoe to drop 😩😂😂

which fire pit am i being buttered up for THIS time?
Haha😂 This ⬆️. Pretty well articulates my feeling of apprehension in this situation
 

Sideways

Moderator
In this case the path of least resistance is just accepting and seeing if any agenda is exposed but idk.
Even less, for me.

There's a person in my life who does this. Regular gifts of food.

"No thanks". "You can keep that."

I've been doing this same dance for decades with this person. I no longer bother worrying whether they'll be offended if I say no, or where there head is at. I don't want their gifts, so I say "No thanks".

I have zero control over them and their headspace or how they're going to feel if... Whatever it is they're planning on giving me, my boundary with them is I no longer engage in the gift games. So consistently, clearly, "No thanks".

They ignored that once and gave me food anyway. It went in the bin without a second thought. Because that's the only part I can control.
 
I am not a very good gift receiver, but I read something last year that accepting is honoring the giver. I don't 'use' it, or encourage guilt; I think of it (now) as the person is trying to do something good. (Because even as a kid I would give them back).

This probably isn't too popular or kind of weird, but this is how I think of it.

I give if I want to and can, but I don't expect back. And far as I'm concerned, once anything is given it's the person's right to do anything with it (though of course I hope they like it). And if it's something more precious to me, I think, ~if they give it away or throw it out, would I regret it? And I have to be able to say no, so I wouldn't resent it.

But if someone says no that is a boundary and should be respected. Equally, it indebts no one. It doesn't have power, if anything it's just a nice gesture. Maybe it's the only nice gesture someone will do, or is trying to, one never knows.

I guess I think like a kid: when I was 5 there was a really kind of miserable neighbour (who after he moved killed himself). Needless to say, I couldn't go out for Halloween because I just had surgery (he thought, though I actually did go out incorporating the bandages 😂). Anyway, he made me up a thing of candy. I always think back that he did that kind thing. Kind of, Full Stop. I don't focus on what he did wonky, but that one kindness he did. (Who knows why?, but it was all on his own volition).
 

Sideways

Moderator
I am not a very good gift receiver, but I read something last year that accepting is honoring the giver.
In almost all my ordinary daily life? I'm with you. There's an accepted social custom, I think, that turning down a well-intended gift is kind of rude.

The only time, for me, that social custom goes in the bin is where the gift isn't being given from a good place, and is very definitely part of a fairly toxic relationship dynamic. In those situations, accepted social customs are out the window anyways!

It's been very difficult for me to learn how to tolerate genuinely-intended gift-giving. Most of my life, my self-loathing was such that demonstrations of kindness were painful - gifts and compliments in particular - and triggered very strong feelings of shame and associated SHing behaviours. So, even when they're coming from a good place, gift-receiving can be fraught with all sorts of bad headspace juju. Having someone point out the social convention ("You can just say thanks, and not overthink it to the point of distress!") was crazy helpful.

Social convention can bite my behind though as far as toxic relationships go. If there's headgames or reciprocity attached to a gift? I feel no obligation at all to participate in that!!
 

couragetogrow

Not Active
There are those who give gifts to give gifts. (see @Friday post on The Five Love Languages)

There are others who give gifts to get something back.

I am not a very good gift receiver, but I read something last year that accepting is honoring the giver.

So, even when they're coming from a good place, gift-receiving can be fraught with all sorts of bad headspace juju. Having someone point out the social convention ("You can just say thanks, and not overthink it to the point of distress!") was crazy helpful.

Social convention can bite my behind though as far as toxic relationships go. If there's headgames or reciprocity attached to a gift? I feel no obligation at all to participate in that!!
Relate to all of these. I've noticed areas in my life where someone was genuinely giving from a pure place and I projected my paranoia onto it and I see how that can push good people away...ever seen Brittany Runs A Marathon where she rejects the donation her friends give her? kinda like that...it's not about right or wrong, for me it's more about affirming the right people/behaviors in my life for me and not turning good people into monsters for anticipated behavior that hasn't happened yet.

Although, I'm with @Sideways, if it gets to the point of being excessive/uncomfortable; to hell with polite social convention. Not afraid of being perceived as a bitch to protect my peace, period.

Guess it's just a situational thing.
 
It's been very difficult for me to learn how to tolerate genuinely-intended gift-giving. Most of my life, my self-loathing was such that demonstrations of kindness were painful - gifts and compliments in particular - and triggered very strong feelings of shame and associated SHing behaviours.
Yes same for me @Sideways , though not SH'ing but SI.

I understand and feel the same about giving also. Maybe it's not right, but I have to be genuine about it and I hate when it's required without it being there/ convention.
 
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