A friend recently went shopping and got me something that he thought would be a good thing for me to have. He brought it over and grandly gifted it to me after demonstrating how the gadget worked.

I thanked him profusely for his gift as well as his thoughtfulness.

Last week, I gifted the gift away to someone else as I believed that the gadget would be more useful for that person than it was for me.

Yesterday the first friend visited me and asked me how I found the gadget and I told him that I had given it away to someone else and he was most offended. He thought that it was rude of me to have gifted away a gift.

I suggested that once it was gifted to me, what I did with it was my lookout and he should not get offended. He disagreed.

Who is right?

This entry was posted in Friendship, Gratitude, People, Values. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Regifting.

  1. BEC says:

    You are! It’s yours to do with as you wish.

  2. Maria says:

    Technically you are correct. But had you done that with a gift I’d given you, I’d have been upset. The Kindle cover was different. It didn’t fit your device.
    Maria recently posted..Self Improvement

  3. Nandu Pillai says:

    I think the right thing to have done in this particular case was to tell him straight up that you would not be able to use the gift and leave it to him to give it to someone else . But otherwise recycling of gifts is quite a common phenomenon , as long as you don’t end up giving it back unwittingly later !

  4. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, but my reaction is he shouldn’t have asked if he didn’t want to hear the answer. I think accepting the gift and thanking him was the friendly thing to do. It reminds me of dogs at the animal shelter. Sometimes they will politely take the treat you give them and then drop it. They don’t want the treat but like the social interaction.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Surprises

  5. Ursula says:

    Bloody hell, Ramana. This is a difficult one. There is no wrong or right. All I know is that people will feel offended if you reject their gifts. Many an item hidden away in the cupboard to be brought out and given pride of place when Aunt what’s her name comes to visit. Particularly if it’s a wedding gift. Oh dear. Father of Son kept imploring me to “drop” a particular eyesore “accidentally”. I couldn’t, could I? The giver was my sister.

    However, there are ways to squirrel away the unwanted. Should you need any tips please do let me know. In fact, there might be a whole industry in my ideas.

    Of course you are right in as much as once something is gifted to you you should be able to do with it what you want (like drop it, lose it, eat it, smoke it or, if nothing else comes to mind, let the dog chew it). The trick, however, my dear Ramana, and I am afraid you missed it with this particular friend, to never let on!

    Anyway, what was the gadget?

    Ursula recently posted..Holes in the fabric

    • Rummuser says:

      It was a portable reading lamp which can be charged when not in use through a regular power connection plug. I gave it to a friend who can make better use of it as he lives in the rural parts where power cuts are unpredictable, whereas I live in a city where even power cuts can be managed with inverters and batteries.

  6. David says:

    In principle it’s yours to do as you please. However, we all believe that we know the recipients of our gifta and are sure that we have given well. finding out that we haven’t is hard to cope with for many people.
    I have a sister who always gives me “smelly stuff” for birthdays (and often for the winter celebrations). This year and for the first time she managed to find a scent that did not end up in the local charity shop or in the “Gift drawer”. Rather than my usual , “Thank you for my present.” I was able to sound excited and say how much I actually like the citrusy scent of Verveine/Verbena….
    I suspect that we all need to understand that we make mistakes from time to time.
    By the way… has any one any use for a garlic Crusher?

  7. Mike says:

    It may not be a simple matter of who is right and who is wrong. It’s unfortunate, but, all too often, the giver gets more out of a gift than the receiver. My perception from your little story is that your friend must have enjoyed immensely the giving of the item to you only to be crushed to learn that you had apparently thought so little of his gift that you gave it away.
    Mike recently posted..Cough. Cough. Sneeze!

    • Rummuser says:

      You are right. He is very sensitive and I had not noticed that before. Time will heal the relationship.

      • Then the ideal thing to do in this case would have been to buy another lamp to give your rural friend and to use the one given to you, thinking warm feelings of the giver whenever you used it.
        Cheerful Monk recently posted..Surprises

        • Rummuser says:

          Not necessary any more CM. My friend and I have decided to bury the hatchet and move on. We are simply too old to carry grudges. He is exactly one month younger than I am.

  8. Delirious says:

    I do think that technically you are right, but perhaps social etiquette would suggest that it might have been more polite to ask if he minded your regifting it. I have given gifts that the recipient got rid of. I would have rather they give it back to me. đŸ™‚
    Delirious recently posted..How to Choose and English Name

    • Rummuser says:

      It is just that as he bought it on an impulse thinking that it will be useful for me, I gave it to someone who can make better use of it than I can.

  9. Grannymar says:

    It might have been kinder to say it (the gift) was in the other room. That would not technically be incorrect since Friend 2 would have the lamp in a room away from your house.
    Grannymar recently posted..Self improvement.

    • Rummuser says:

      Frankly, it never occurred to me to lie to him as I did not expect him to react the way he did. In retrospect perhaps I underestimated his idea of the value of the gifting process to me.

  10. Maxi says:

    I think this situation is about emotion. When your friend gave you the gift it was his way of saying, “Your friendship means something to me.”

    When you gave the gift away it hurt him. It was as if you said to him, “Your friendship means nothing to me.”

    Blessings ~ Maxi
    Maxi recently posted..How to Have Fun in Your Own Backyard

  11. wisewebwoman says:

    OK what I would have done (and have, many times) is be so excited when asked about the gift and say, you have no idea how much this has meant to xxx, I told him you had given it to me but thought he would get greater use out of it and said to thank you most profoundly for this wonderful yyy.
    Thank you again for making 2 people so happy.
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Attitude

  12. Keith says:

    I think it depends on the importance of the gift. Basically I believe that once a gift is given, then that gift belongs to that person, & he/she can do whatever they want with it. But take for instance an item that has been in the family for years. I once made a gift of such an item to my eldest son. He decided he was going to sell it. This I did not agree with. I THOUGHT that he would keep it in the family you see. So I bought the item from him. I will not make that mistake again.
    Regards, Keith.
    Keith recently posted..Storm in the Forest.

    • Rummuser says:

      This is an unusual story! In my case, with my tacit approval, my son has been gifting away many old relics in the process of simplifying our lives. I too have been giving away things and am about to give away a major antique to my nephew who is setting up a new home. I am not attached to things and perhaps that is the reason that I did not consider it as something not done when I gifted away the gift. Lesson learnt.

  13. Technically you’re right.
    I suppose you could have said at the outset – having thanked your friend – that you weren’t sure how you’d use it, notwithstanding the kindness of the gesture. And then taken it from there…

    It reminds me of a friend’s sister, who received a hideous (she thought) statue of the Child of Prague (an incarnation of Jesus). She hid it in the roofspace of her home. When the gifter came to visit and asked after the statue, the recipient explained that the Child of Prague was safely lodged at the top of the house watching over them all. Result? Satisfied gifter.
    blackwatertown recently posted..Self improvement: Where teachers fear to tread…

    • Rummuser says:

      Apart from the right and wrong of the episode, it just impressed on me the need to be more sensitive about friends and not to take friendship for granted.

  14. Cathy in NZ says:

    I am just reading a book about “the gift” and in some cultures you can do exactly what you did – move it on. But modern times have certainly changed those notions because ‘money’ has become important for many reasons…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Shifting Dust: Two

  15. Pravin says:

    I think Today’s ET editorial page has learnt something from this blog and posted an INSPIRED post in its – “Spiritual Atheist” section
    below is the text for reference
    Flip Side of the Coin
    If a person gives a gift to another person on some special occasion,or even for no particular reason,does the giver retain any further rights on the gift On the face of it,and not just by definition alone,it would seem the answer should be a no because that surely goes without saying about all gift giving.After all,its not a loan that has some conditions attached but is something thats bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.Meaning,if the giver were to meet the recipient at some later date,could she inquire about it by asking,Hey,how come I never see you wearing those earrings I got for you You didnt give it away to your boyfriend,did you Or,I hope you bought a good book with that gift certificate and havent frittered it away on some stupid graphic novel Actually,were so conditioned from early childhood by family,society and a deeply-ingrained cultural perspective that if we have indeed done anything like what aunty Sheilas worst fears are,then we immediately come up with a glib little lie hoping shes never going to find out otherwise.A lot of people would argue that auntys probably got a point because she has your best interests at heart.But what if you were to give a.2 coin to a beggar and then find hes buying a cigarette Because,then,when you confront him saying you didnt know what he was going to do with your money,he could easily say that you had no right to conclude he had used your particular coin but another one he had with him with which he was planning to buy a cigarette anyway.
    Pravin recently posted..The dog and the fox

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