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To feel upset that I spent a lot on a friends birthday and in return got something nowhere near as nice

(36 Posts)
yummytummy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:06:31

Ok so not sure if I am being sensitive and it's not a situation where I could really say anything to the friend as I think that would be rude

But anyway I have a fairly close friend who has been quite helpful to me in the past and as a gesture of appreciation I really went all out on her birthday. I brought quite a few things not hugely expensive as I don't have a huge budget but what I thought was thoughtful. She seemed to like everything and I felt happy.

Then it was my birthday and I got one of those old fashioned photo albums with the pages you put photos which aren't even really used any more and a really small soap. I know it's the thought and I know many people don't do birthdays as adults but I am a single parent and this was the only thing I had to open.

I just feel so hurt and upset that there seemed no thought put into what I would like even some nice chocs a mug or socks etc nothing fancy

It's upsetting me a lot and I just feel like I mean nothing to her. It is so hard being alone and I don't really have anyone to give me things. I accepted for many years I won't have anything at Christmas but I did think something thoughtful at birthday would have been nice

How can I handle this hurt feeling

Feeling so sad and I can't say anything to her as that's not nice if someone has given something

Hellmouth Wed 14-Dec-16 13:11:53

I received a photo album as a gift once. At the time, I never thought I'd use it, but now it has old concert tickets in it for safe keeping smile

I once spent £150 on Madonna concert tickets for myself and my best friend. I don't think she's ever spent that much on a present for me but that doesn't matter, because at the end of the day she is my best friend, and her friendship is invaluable to me.

I think that's what you need to focus on, how much the friendship means to you, rather than how much the gift means to you. Maybe next year, drop hints about something you really want.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 14-Dec-16 13:17:34

I think you're sad about feeling alone in general, and not having others in your life to give to and receive gifts from. Which is completely natural. flowers

Your friend bought a slightly crap gift but she did buy a gift, it was wrapped and on time, and who knows perhaps she thought you'd love a photo album for pics of your DC? It sounds to me like you really care about each other (she has been helpful to you in the past) and if she is a good friend, try to separate your more general feelings of loneliness from your disappointment about this gift.

You're only human, you want to feel cherished and spoilt a little bit sometimes...unfortunately she can't do that for you. But as your friend, she has loads of other kinds of care to bring to your life.

I think you need to let this one go. Give yourself time to handle the feeling and let it fade. Focus on all the kind things she HAS done. Be very kind to yourself and maybe choose yourself a little something? Some self-care and self-cherishing is worthwhile.

MargaretCabbage Wed 14-Dec-16 13:17:43

YABU but I think you know it. Some people aren't very good at picking presents and while it can be disappointing you shouldn't rethink your relationship over it. It sounds like you have a great friendship.

I would try and put it to the back of your mind if you can.

CaraAspen Wed 14-Dec-16 13:21:50

A gift voucher from now on?

EastMidsMummy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:22:48

I'd rather get a photo album than chocolates or a mug (or socks!) A photo album isn't necessarily a bad present.

Bluntness100 Wed 14-Dec-16 13:25:27

I also think you're getting two things mixed up, your general feelings of loneliness for some events, and your friendship with your friend. She may have spent ages deliberating what to get you and thought you'd love a photo album to keep photos of special memories in, and the soap as a little luxury.

The fact she bothered to shop for you, to buy you a gift, to wrap it, to give it in time for your birthday shows you're an important friend to her. If you meant nothing to her as you are feeling, she would have done none of this. I think you know that. 💐

HouseworkIsASin10 Wed 14-Dec-16 13:28:32

YABU If you had lots of family and friends who gave you gifts would this bother you as much? It's just because it was your only gift.

SuperPug Wed 14-Dec-16 13:31:05

I see where you're coming from. It really is a horrible feeling when you've been generous and/or taken a long time to make a present and you don't get the same back in return.
I've had that with DP's extended family and it does irritate me that I can't say anything.
If she's a very good friend, I would probably leave it on this occasion, perhaps don't spend a lot of money in the future and you could organise a set thing you do together, paid by the "gift giver", alternated on your birthdays? That could avoid any bad feeling.

golfbuggy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:33:23

The thing is OP you don't know what she actually thought about your gifts. To you they are lovely and thoughtful - she may have thought "what on earth am I going to do with that!". Similarly she may well have thought that her gifts were something you'd really like.

DavidPuddy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:35:38

To me a mug or some chocolates would seem generic, but a photo album hugely appreciated as I have so many photos to sort out.

You gave your friend the thoughtful gift as a thanks to her, and I am sure it was not in your mind to receive like when you gave it, was it?

I think when sadness over your birthday is less raw you will be thankful not to have said anything.

MadisonMontgomery Wed 14-Dec-16 13:42:59

She probably thought you would like it - I always try to buy thoughtful presents for my best friend, and I know she does the same for me, but sometimes I'm like wtf, and I'm sure she is too with my gifts! When you try & get someone something personal you're always going to get some hits & misses.

CaraAspen Wed 14-Dec-16 13:43:14

Photo albums or frames - in the days of Internet storage - are dull gifts.

Katy07 Wed 14-Dec-16 13:45:26

I'm with DavidPuddy - a mug or chocolates would seem very couldn'tbebothered to me (unless the mug was connected to something that I really liked that she knew about).
It's not supposed to be how much someone spends but the fact that they bothered at all. Personally I'm grateful if anyone bothers with a card!

monkeywithacowface Wed 14-Dec-16 13:46:03

So she's has been a good friend to you in the past and helped you to the point that you wanted to show your appreciation with nice gifts but somehow you feel like you mean nothing to her because you don't like the gift she got you?

Come on you know that doesn't make sense.

MissBattleaxe Wed 14-Dec-16 13:47:19

I'm sorry you feel lonely. I think your friend was being kind but just got it a bit wrong on the presetn choice. I love my friends but sometimes get them crap presents unintentionally.

Actually, a photo album is a good present. We went on a big holiday a few years back and I made a point of printing the photos off and keeping them in an album instead of on the hard drive. The kids love getting it out and it's more fun to leaf through that with them than look up pictures on a PC.

EastMidsMummy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:52:25

Photo albums or frames in the days of internet storage are brilliant gifts. A chance to edit the endless stream of images and select a few choice favourites.

AmeliaJack Wed 14-Dec-16 13:52:42

Some people are just rubbish at presents. It's not lack of care they just find it hard.

My friends DH adores her but without specific instructions buts her some spectacularly bad gifts.

My DH is brilliant at gift buying, he gets it from MIL who really has a talent in this area.

I'm okayish but it has to be said the best gifts I've ever bought for friends and family have been DH's ideas.

RubyWinterstorm Wed 14-Dec-16 13:56:07

yes, yabu on this one.

People have different ideas of what is nice.

SantinoRice Wed 14-Dec-16 13:56:19

But your gift to her was a thank you AND a birthday present.

Her gift to you seems nice.

yummytummy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:57:35

Thankyou for all your kind comments. It's true I think it's more the general feeling of loneliness and not having many people around. I think when feeling down its hard to think more rationally especially at this time of year when things are fraught anyway

Your kind words have all really helped me. Thankyou

Couchtofivek Wed 14-Dec-16 14:04:13

On gifts, some people give others what they'd like to receive! I've had more than a few of those wtf moments when given things.
Others think about the person they're giving to and what they like/are interested in. Oftentimes the most thoughtful gift is the most inexpensive, for example I mentioned in passing that I need a new teapot and my friend went and bought me one. It was the fact that she remembered I'd said I'd love a new one that made it thoughtful.

SaucyJack Wed 14-Dec-16 14:04:27

I'm sorry your birthday was crappy. It's bloody hard when you're on your own at birthday/Xmas, and there's no one to spoil you.

But FWIW I would personally draw no distinction whatsoever between a photo album and a bar of soap or a mug, chocolates and socks as far as thoughtless, generic presents go.

How old is your child(ren)? Can you give them a tenner and let them loose in Thorntons so that they can get you something to unwrap at Christmas?

GabsAlot Wed 14-Dec-16 14:19:25

it does seem a bit odd but maybe shes skint an cant afford alot

strawberrypenguin Wed 14-Dec-16 14:24:06

I'd quite like a photo album! Seems a lot more personal than a mug to me

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