The Awkwardness of Gift Giving

I try to be awesome at most things I do, but one thing I’m not really that good at is gift giving.  I kind of feel a confusing array of emotions when I am invited to a birthday party because on the one hand, I enjoy going to parties and seeing my friends, obviously.  But as it is a birthday, it carries with it the implication of gift giving, which has the potential to make people (both the giver and the receiver) feel a bit awkward.  Why the person getting the present?  Have you ever been given something and opened it in front of the person and you didn’t really like it?  You cannot hide that.  Your face will betray you with microexpressions, even if you are smiling and saying you like it, which will make the giver feel awkward.  So it creates this situation where the recipient feels uncomfortable for not really liking it, and then the giver picks up on those vibes, and the whole thing can be bad.

In fact, this is why some cultures make it a point to never open gifts in front of the person who gave them, which can be confusing if you give them something and are expecting them to open it right away, and they go an put it on a table in another room or something.  lol.

Of course, these aren’t issues if you’re one of those people who are awesome a picking out gifts.  Unfortunately, I am not.  It’s not that I don’t know my friends really well, it’s just I’m not good at really knowing what people will like or not.  You know, some people are easy to shop for, though.  Some people might like a sports team, and are happy with just about anything you give them that is related to that sports team.  I don’t seem to have any friends like that, thought, so when I go gift shopping it takes forever to find something I think they might want.  Luckily for me, I found a site with some cool gifts that really got me kind of thinking out of the box.  I think my problem is that I play it too close to my comfort level and I’m afraid to get something that the person might never have heard of or mentioned before.  Like I stick with “safe” things.

Now, I always like it when people get me stuff, although I might not love the gift, I always try to be a gracious recipient.