Polly’s Guilt Trip November 26, 2014 / 18 Comments Ever feel like you can’t get rid of something because it was a gift? Because it came from a loved one? Because you might make someone feel badly? Polly has the same problem. Has this ever happened to you?
18 thoughts on “Polly’s Guilt Trip”
Sadly yes know this feeling well and more my mother-in-law though then my mom on this! 😉
Janine Huldie recently posted…Wonderful Wednesday Breaks for Thanksgiving
Sometimes people in our lives don’t really consider where we will put things (and sometimes, if they are in keeping with our taste) when they buy us things. Good luck:)
I know the feeling well! I get incredible guilt from it. And even with gifts given to my kids. My husband has no trouble speaking his mind (in private) but it hurts my heart.
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The fact that it troubles you shows your compassion and sensitivity. At the same time, remember that no one intends to make you feel badly when they give you a gift. Sometimes letting go of something (and potentially passing it on to an eager recipient) is the best way to honor the giver!
Uh-oh. I know the feeling. But it’s true, sometimes they’re really just clutter. I guess we’ve got to choose wisely then! 😀
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Yes, sometimes we keep things for the wrong reasons. People who give us things love us, but that alone shouldn’t be the justification for keeping stuff. Have a great Thanksgiving, Rea!
I must admit that I have done this before. I learned a lesson though. One time my mother spent a lot of time picking out a gift for a friend. She thought she had picked the perfect thing for her. The next Christmas, my mom received that gift back from her friend. She had regifted it! My mom still laughs about that today. We cannot make everyone happy – even when we try really hard. If someone gives me a gift, I always try to be gracious, but I have to remind myself that we won’t get it right all the time, and that’s o.k. No use wasting my time and energy feeling guilty about it!
I love that you shared this story, Elizabeth! You are so right that we can’t please everyone. It’s about finding that balance between being kind and gracious and respecting our own space.
My advice to Polly… Promptly regift or donate that sucker and then when mom comes over, blame it on your 3-year-old saying he broke it! Kids are great for that sort of thing! 😉
You are making me laugh! I’ll have to share that one around… I have a few clients in particular who might be able to get some good mileage out of that one:)
I encounter this all the time with clients, and friends. It’s especially difficult for them if it is a relative, especially their mother.
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Or their mother-in-law… I’ve got a few who deal with that on a regular basis – tricky!
LOL Oh yes! This happened to me when my kids were little. So, I learned to ask before I do anything with it.
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Your children were angry that you released their treasured creations? I have a couple of clients who have this as well… their children want “everything” they have made on display. With this one, it is all about boundaries, right Sabrina?
I can totally relate to this. I’ve probably had this conversation with almost every client I’ve worked with. And there isn’t a single “right” way to handle this because all relationships are different, along with the meanings attached to the things that are part of those relationships. Sometimes, thought, clients just want “permission” to let go. But again, you have to ask a bunch of questions to help them process their thoughts around the “gift.” And ultimately, it’s up to them to decide.
I do remember how my mother-in-law was the master at handling gifts received. She always remembered who gave her what and would “display” it when the person visited. It seemed like a lot of mental energy expended to me, but it made her feel good AND it made the recipient feel appreciated.
For gifts that I’ve received that aren’t quite “my thing,” I usually will release them (at some point.) And in some cases, I might experience a momentarily pang of guilt. But then I realize that someone has gifted me something, which is now mine to decide about. I appreciate the gesture and gift given, but don’t necessarily need to hold on to the physical item.
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Your mother-in-law took quite a bit of time to be thoughtful on this! That can be tough to do, especially if you don’t have the space to store things. I often try and remember that no one who really cares about me would want me to feel guilty every time I looked at something they gave me as a gift!
I remember a gold necklace my parents gave me when I waa a teenager. I absolutely hated it and felt so guilty about it. I don’t think I ever wore that necklace, but I kept it for years. I finally passed it on to a dear friend. It felt good to give it to somebody who would wear it and I feel like I honored the spirit in which the gift was given. Clearing the emotional clutter allowed me to let go of the physical clutter.
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That emotional clutter can be “heavier” than the physical, and I can totally relate. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but keeping something we never use or even look at is a waste.