Is it okay to decline a gift?

Can I refuse a gift that is too expensive?

Marina from Freiburg asks: "Hi Betül. Can I refuse a gift that I find far too expensive and inappropriate? I've just been in such a situation."



Hello Marina,

In principle, gifts may not be refused.

Whether a gift is too expensive is primarily decided by the buyer himself. If you think you don't deserve the gift, then you should check your self-worth again and then enjoy what you are worth to others.


Nevertheless, a small note for Schenker.

A gift shouldn't be overpriced. Adolf Freiherr von Knigge himself was a staunch giver, but he couldn't emphasize enough that it had to be a small present. "Gifts that are too big don't give the recipient a chance to return the favor later, especially since it can also be seen as a sign of boasting."

Especially at Christmas time or on birthdays, gifts are often handed to me with the well-intentioned remark: “I can exchange it if you don't like it. I asked the saleswoman specially. "

Sometimes we humans are so used to prosperity that we want to keep all luxury and all possibilities free and can no longer look forward to the actual gift.

Maybe these are also available in a nicer color and those with better features?

We forget that someone here went to great lengths to find the right present for us: What do you need, what would be best for you? Which color would you like best?

There are people who think about the right gift weeks or even months in advance.

There are certainly many of us who think that one should be honest and who does it benefit if the present is uselessly in the corner or even disappears in the attic.

But at least as many are disappointed when the gift is returned to them and asked for an exchange. The refusal of a gift is even more drastic.



Sure, if a gift doesn't really fit and you have an understandable reason for it, the giver will hardly be angry with you.

For example: Angora sweaters cause you an allergy; the ashtray would make you smoke even though you haven't touched a cigarette in two months.

My tip: don't say right away that something is wrong with the gift. Especially not when it is obvious that someone has put a lot of effort here (craftsmanship, painting, ...). Better to wait a few days and see if there is room for it somewhere. The giver expresses his appreciation with his gift. Accept it and enjoy it.

If a giver is absolutely at a loss and cannot even assess what kind of gift is appropriate, he should take the trouble to ask friends and relatives about what the recipient might want and need.

This often saves a nasty surprise under the wrapping paper.

Have fun giving,

Your betül