Christmas is just around the corner, & those of us with narcissistic relatives know what this means- bad gifts!
Narcissists are notoriously bad at selecting gifts. To give someone a good gift, you have to look beyond yourself. You have to know the person you’re giving the gift to, & understand her tastes. These are impossible tasks for narcissists. Since they don’t want to think of anyone but themselves or how people can do for them, they give lousy gifts. Or, they give someone what they think the person needs to have- clothes in the narcissist’s taste, a CD by the narcissist’s favorite artist even though the receiver doesn’t care for that artist, things pertaining to the narcissist’s interests even though the receiver couldn’t care less about such things.
So what happens when you get these awful gifts? It’s not like you can say, “This is horrible!” True as that may be, you’ll end up being accused of being ungrateful, mean, etc etc etc. The same goes if you nicely ask for the receipt so you can exchange it. Unless the item is obviously broken & needs replacing, the narcissist will be offended that you don’t appreciate their “awesome” gift.
I have found the best way to handle this is to remember, keep it simple. Thank the person for the gift (without a lot of fuss, just “Thank you”), take it home, then find someone who will like the item & give it to them. Don’t know someone? Give it to the Salvation Army or other charitable organization that has thrift stores- someone will enjoy it!
My mother insisted on giving me clothing in her taste all of my life. Usually, I hate it. But, I still thanked my mother & took it home, then gave it to the Salvation Army. My mother in-law & sisters in-law gave me cooking paraphernalia one Christmas after I said how much I hate to cook. I gave the big cookbook to my best friend who enjoyed it since she likes cooking. Other items went to the Salvation Army or were given away. The giant ugly pasta dish, however, went into my attic when the roof sprung a leak just before we replaced it. It was the only thing I had that fit in this odd, narrow little area. (I’m not proud of it, but that made me very happy to do..lol)
I know, getting iccky gifts from narcissists isn’t fun, but it needn’t be a hassle. Just keep it simple when you thank them so they don’t get too much narcissistic supply (otherwise you can count on getting more, similar bad gifts in the future), & later discreetly give it away to someone who will enjoy it.