I notice I have always struggled to receive gifts with gratitude. It makes me uncomfortable. I enjoy giving gifts as spontaneous acts of love, not out of obligation. I dread holidays, birthdays, etc. I have a friend who is a gift giver and buys shit all the time. Most of the time I’m giving it away. Although I sincerely appreciate the gesture, I think it’s just a waste of money and time – if I want something I will buy it. The problem is I feel guilty, feel like there is something wrong with me. It seems simple to just receive a gift with gratitude. But most of the time the energy under the ‘forced thank you and smiles and that’s so awesome attitude’ is more of ‘ugh what am I going to do with this, and now I need to do something for them’. My friend was so excited about a gift she bought me for Christmas. She was bursting at the seams and couldn’t wait to see my face. I’m sure my face was priceless because she bought me an inflatable kayak. Now it was super thoughtful because I love being on the water, but it’s not something I would have ever bought for myself. I feel indebted and obligated with gift giving when it comes to her, especially with my lack of enthusiasm thrumming underneath the forced ‘you shouldn’t have’ on the surface.
C: Friend bought me an inflatable Kayak
T: Shit, now I owe her something…expensive
F: Fear or Obligation or Unworthy
A: I give her lots of thanks with the intent to make her happy, search for something to gift her even when I don’t want to, I force myself to take the kayak out just to take pics so she doesn’t feel like it was a waste
R: Unable to receive the gifting experience, or allow gratitude because I’m busy ‘owing’ her
I’m not really sure the feeling, there seem to be multiple. Unworthy came up for me, but I’m wondering if that’s an underlying emotional theme in general as it relates to my ‘inability’ to receive gifts. Obligation comes up for me and seems to fit, except I notice in my A line I’m taking actions in attempt to control how my friend feels. That’s why I wonder if it’s Fear that’s driving those actions. Fear of hurting her or making her feel less than or like she wasted her time. What’s the best way to root out what’s happening here?