While receiving a gift is a pleasurable experience it is sometimes important to refuse or decline a gift especially if there is a one sided romantic angle to it even if its a personalized gift customized especially for yourself, if there is a professional relationship involved or if it is customary as part of culture, and thats why we have Declining a Gift as one of most important feature of our gifting etiquette.
Many eastern countries like China, Japan and Hong Kong require that the recipient refuse a gift at least once to upto three times even if it is to be accepted because such is the gifting etiquette in those cultures. Western countries like the USA require that the recipient voice the thoughtfulness behind the effort of gifting by using sentences like “oh! You shouldn’t have”, “how could I possibly accept such an expensive gift”, “you are way too generous “ etc!
In India it is customary to refuse gifts that are made of leather if the receiver is a Hindu or gifts that are made of pigskin if the receiver is a Muslim because cows and pigs respectively are considered sacred in those religions. Gifts wrapped in black or white may also be declined as these colors are considered unlucky. Alcoholic products like chocolates made of wine or bottles of liquor may also be considered offensive gifts and declined.
While declining a gift can lead to discomfort between the giver and receiver, there are ways to make this exchange more comfortable like approach the giver in private or send a letter if it is not possible to do so. Thank the giver profusely and express your regret on refusing the wedding gift in polite words so that the giver is not embarrassed.
If colleagues at work, clients or the boss gives a gift that is casual or even if it is generous in nature it is best to check out the company’s policy on gifting and refuse tactfully so that the business relationship is not spoiled. Also it is important to check out gifting etiquette in different countries if the company works with international clients so as not to mistake gifting as an inappropriate gesture.
Other reasons for refusing a gift involve a gift given as an apology when the giver hasn’t apologized appropriately or shown adequate remorse, gifts that are sexual in nature, gifts that are overtly expensive , gifts that the recipient can totally not handle or want like a pet etc.
However in case of personal relationships like those with a family member,lover or close friend it is important to know when to receive a gift respectfully and when to decline politely.since there is a feeling of love behind the gesture of gifting one has take care not to hurt the giver and maintain cordiality.
Also it is important to know what items constitute appropriate gifts be it family, friends or work mates. Choose from among the thousands of choices available on Giftsmate so as to always have your gifted accepted!