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Hurt over cheap gifts?

(237 Posts)
C0tt0nstar Mon 25-Jun-18 08:57:01

I've always gotten cheap gifts from my parents, for Christmas and birthdays, for example I might have asked for a pair of Nike sneakers as a teen and instead received wal-mart brand. I've always been aware that my feelings of not being valued and feeling hurt over this are quite spoiled and selfish sounding, so I never brought it up with my parents until a year ago.

It was honestly a little mortifying to explain this as an adult to my parents, who have always provided well for me (I made sure I stressed this when I told them as well), but I had to let them know that when they asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said "just a nice, high-quality umbrella, something to last me a good while" and recived a dollar store compact umbrella, that quite literally broke the first time I used it due to only moderate winds, it was hurtful.

I tried to explain that I appreciated all they got for me though the years, but that I wished they'd get me something a bit special for the holidays, and if they couldn't a card with a hart-felt message would be nice, but the cheap gifts have continued.

I feel frustrated, unheard, and unappreciated, aibu?

honeysucklejasmine Mon 25-Jun-18 08:58:31

That depends. Can and could they afford to get you what you asked for and choose not to?

SoftBallSophie Mon 25-Jun-18 08:59:02

Your upset because you don't get the top end branded items you ask for?

You need to get your priorities straight.

Is this a reverse?

StayingAtTamaras Mon 25-Jun-18 09:01:16

Can they afford to get you top of the range stuff?

Jaxtellerswife Mon 25-Jun-18 09:02:15

No, I get it. Why ask if they're not going to listen I guess.
I'd say there's nothing to be done really, just accept it as a quirk they have.

PremierNaps Mon 25-Jun-18 09:03:41

How selfish of you. Appreciate what your parents get for you.

welshmist Mon 25-Jun-18 09:05:02

Gift vouchers

SaucyJack Mon 25-Jun-18 09:05:31

Do they buy branded stuff for themselves?

If not, might just be easier to accept they don't do high-end goods when they're happy with a cheaper version and to not expect anything in future.

If they've always splashed out on themselves, that's different I think.

thecatsthecats Mon 25-Jun-18 09:06:08

I'm sorry, but I think you need to do a bit of growing up here, and leave the teenage hurt behind, and just accept the fact that your parents don't show love with extravagant gifts.

My parents never have - they're just not fancy-gifty type of people. My in Laws are - I get lots of 'naice' stuff from them. (My fiance, btw, is a crap gift giver - but he loves me extravagantly!) My parents do give me great support though.

Sorry, but it's such a petty thing to feel you have to change about your parents, instead of just accepting.

NomNomNomNom Mon 25-Jun-18 09:07:32

I can understand why you're upset but from the sounds of it it's not a reflection of their love for you; they're just the kind of people who always buy cheap stuff - they probably think it's "just as good". I would try to shift your expectations. When they ask what you'd like tell them just a card or a voucher. To them gift giving just doesn't seem to be a way of expressing love - they do that in other ways.

ShotsFired Mon 25-Jun-18 09:07:49

I don't think it's actually about the £value of the gift, it is the lack of thought, love and consideration behind them. The "that'll do" attitude is what stings when it's from people who supposedly love you.

I get that 100% @C0tt0nstar.

But you need to step back and work out whether this is at all resolvable/whether they will change. If not, you are flogging a dead horse and will need to lower your expectations so you aren't disappointed each time.

If you think they might change (e.g. if you gave an exact link to one specific item), then try that.

(Be prepared for an absolute flaming on here though, apparently you should be grateful to receive a used McDonalds straw 3 years after your birthday as that's more than "most" MNers want or ever get hmm )

nuttyslackster Mon 25-Jun-18 09:08:09

My parents were similar but to be fair they would never buy the more expensive/higher quality stuff for themselves either. When I was a child I would often put some of my own money towards a gift to get the brand I really wanted. People just have different priorities and budgets and I wouldn't take it personally.

GummyGoddess Mon 25-Jun-18 09:08:22

I don't think YABU, you would be happy with just a card over the gifts so you don't come across as grabby.

mancmummy1414 Mon 25-Jun-18 09:08:48

Burst out laughing at used McDonald’s straw!

Merryoldgoat Mon 25-Jun-18 09:09:45

It depends.

Do they get other siblings/family members high value gifts and not you? If so then of course they are being hurtful. If not then i Think YABU.

Do they have much disposable income and did they whilst you were growing up? If they were scrimping whilst you were growing up then I doubt designer goods would’ve been a priority.

Did they offer an explanation?

On balance I suspect YABU and especially so since you’re still upset about it in adulthood.

If you want to make a point about quality you could return gifts to them once they’re broken but that feels petty somehow.

Ellafruit1 Mon 25-Jun-18 09:10:29

YANBU - I imagine it’s not about the gifts and the amount they spend but the fact that you don’t feel heard.

They’ve asked hat you would like and then ignore you, and yes of course that’s going to hurt.

As you’ve raised it with them and they’ve not changed, I think the way forward in lies accepting that they are who they are. And to start treating yourself like you matter - listen to you, do what you want to do, treat yourself to that quality umbrella when you next have a bit of cash. Take care of yourself and value yourself, because you’ll never find that validation in parents who don’t listen to you.

lasttimeround Mon 25-Jun-18 09:12:20

You spoken they ignored. Now all that's left is to accept it. Parents who dont listen to you hurt but theres isnt much you can do except switch off the expectation they will change.

Bumpitybumper Mon 25-Jun-18 09:12:21

@PremierNaps
Why does she have to appreciate something that she explicitly stated she didn't want? She has said to them she would rather have just a card than a present that isn't fit for the purpose it's intended. With these kinds of things I think it's always good to focus on the old saying "it's the thought that counts". A person without much money buying something inexpensive that they genuinely think you might like is kind and generous. A person without much money knowingly buying something inexpensive that they know full well you would rather not have is hardly thoughtful or kind. It's not about the money but the thought behind it.

Floralnomad Mon 25-Jun-18 09:13:07

I agree with pp that it depends what sort of gifts they buy for other family members or whether you are being singled out .

C0tt0nstar Mon 25-Jun-18 09:13:56

To answer the few who are asking, they could certainly afford whatever I asked for, but that's not the issue, like many other people are saying, it's about showing love.

I certainly show my love through (what I like to think is) thoughtful gift giving, and I'm hurt that I'm not receiving thoughtful gifts, I suppose I'll have to work on seeing the other ways my parents show their love for me, and not being so sensitive to the gift thing.

That being said, how can I tackle the issue of getting rubbish gifts? Often completely useless to me or unsuited to my needs? I've already asked that they just send a card, and it hasn't worked, and I'd hate to hurt their feelings by not using what they give me. Suggestions for that conversation?

WingsOnMyBoots Mon 25-Jun-18 09:15:20

As others say, it depends - do they buy cheap stuff for everyone or just you? Do they buy cheap stuff for themselves? Have they the money for the stuff you want?

ZoeWashburne Mon 25-Jun-18 09:16:35

You're an adult. Why can't you buy the things you need yourself?

Some people just give cheap gifts. DH has a great-aunt that is notorious for this. We all just smile and write our thank you notes as they go to the charity shop. Sometimes we have a little laugh to ourselves, but we always say its the thought that counts. Someone took time out of their life, went out and purchased something for you. You can't change other people but you can change your reactions to them. Just pick a charity you like and ask them to give money towards that for your birthday.

Also, the difference between a nike trainers and walmart trainers must be at least £70. You need to seriously reevaluate your behaviour here. You didn't ever worry about food, housing or education growing up. Maybe start to be thankful- there are many, many people who didn't have that.

You should read about practicing gratitude in your life. Read "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier" by Robert Emmons.

Anyone over the age of 6 is too old to be upset about the 'wrong kind' of gifts they are receiving.

specialsubject Mon 25-Jun-18 09:16:43

brands are for sheep. fussing over the right label on trainers is for particularly stupid teenagers.

lasttimeround Mon 25-Jun-18 09:18:19

Well if gift is crap like that umbrella you use it, it breaks, and you're done. Anythubg absolutely dire you donate. Or keep it and regift it to them later.
My suggestion is to drop it entirely. Dont comment etc. In my family me askibg speakubg about it just made it fun for them. Try the grey rock approach you arent interesting they cant wind you up so theyll move on to another vixtim if its deliberate. If its not deliberate. They give you a present you say thanks. Job done.

Collaron Mon 25-Jun-18 09:18:47

Your parents have shown their love by providing well for you and presumably by showing their love in non-material ways - comforting, caring, supporting etc?

It doesn't matter about the cheap gifts - that can be hard to accept for someone like you who puts a lot of thought into the presents they buy but that's the best way to deal with it. When they give you the cheap gift say thanks and bin it when they're not around.

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