20 Things You Should Never Gift Someone

Since time immemorial, people have used gifts to renew broken bonds, show appreciation, evade conflicts, and show respect or reverence to another. Despite the resourcefulness of gifts, when chosen wrongly, they can escalate a situation or even cause irreparable damage to an existing friendship.

So if it’s your first time to gift your loved ones and you want to ace at it, then read on as I got you covered through this article. I will walk you through 20 things you should never gift someone and the reasons behind them, sometime it is just superstitions and sometimes it really makes sense. Let’s dive into it!

What should you not gift someone?

#1. Underwear/undergarments

Unless you are gifting your significant other, please avoid at all costs giving another person an inner-wear. First of all, it’s impossible that you know their exact size and secondly it will look weird if not utterly wrong that of all the numerous varieties of gifts you choose to buy them lingerie, a boxer, or a bra.

#2. Exercising equipment or gears

How would you feel if your friend brought you an exercise ball, a dumbbell, a punching bag, or yoga pants? I bet you would have lots of questions! You may even end up confronting them and asking them what exactly was the meaning of the gift.

So, to avoid such a scenario, please NEVER gift anyone exercising equipment or gear unless they work in a gym or you have heard them talk of a particular exercising garment or equipment they want to buy.

#3. Pets

Pets are amazing. Not only do these animals elevate our moods, but they also keep us busy. But just because 90% of people love pets doesn’t mean they are ready to take care of them or have one living with them. And even they did, maybe they have pet-related allergies.

Also, remember deciding to adopt a pet is usually a personal thing. One must first find out whether or not the pet they are about to adopt will complement their personality. So, you making the decision for them to adopt a lizard, a dog, or a snake, just because you feel it will suit them is definitely a bad idea!

#4. Lotion or cream

Imagine unwrapping a gift from your friend to find out they have stashed an antiaging or antiwrinkle cream or lotion inside the gift box? Would you say thank you right away, or your first words would be, ‘what’s the meaning of this?’

So, if this would be your reaction, don’t also gift your friend a skin cream or lotion. You might end up sending a bad vibe, yet your intentions were innocent.

#5. Home/office cleaning equipment and supplies

Suppose your friend brought you a box full of cleaning supplies or equipment? What would you think of them? It would be pretty obvious that your friend is trying to tell you that your home or office needs a clean-up!

So please NEVER gift anyone cleaning supplies or equipment, even if you think their home or office needs to be given a proper wash. There are plenty of ways to go about such a situation.

#6. Casual or office clothes

Remember everybody has their own preference when it comes to the types of clothes they love wearing. So, you choose to gift your friend a lovely dress or a suit just because you feel that it will look good on them is a big NO!

Imagine getting your friend a dress only to find them mowing their lawn or gardening in it? How would you feel? To avoid the tantrums that may come about as a result of gifting someone clothes, please steer clear of buying clothes as a gift.

#7. Souvenirs

Not everyone loves to hold on to memories! So, gifting them with a souvenir for sentimental purposes is probably not the best idea. Especially if the souvenir is surrounded by memories that the recipient wishes to forget.

#8. A clock or a watch

I bet most people wouldn’t mind getting a Patek Philippe or a Vacheron Constantin wristwatch for their birthday. But it so happens that gifting someone a watch is almost equal to committing a taboo in some cultures. For instance, in the Chinese culture, its considered bad luck to gift someone a clock or a watch as it symbolizes that the individual has run out of time.

Also, in Chinese, the phrase ‘giving a clock’ sounds exactly like ‘attending a funeral ritual .’So, with that in mind, do you think it would be appropriate, especially for a young person, to gift a senior citizen a watch or a clock?

#9. Gloves

Gloves are undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to make a fashion statement and add a touch of elegance when worn correctly. However, some cultures believe that gifting your friend a pair of gloves symbolizes that the 2 of you will get physical soon. Just to be safe, consider getting them something else.

#10. A mirror

Which mirror myth did you grow up believing in? Was it the one about calling the ghost of Bloody Mary 13 times? Or the one that if you broke a mirror, you would have 7 years of bad luck?

Regardless of whether or not you believe these mirror myths to be true, some people still consider them to be true!

#11. Knives

Knives, especially when engraved with special messages or given during your first successful hunt when you are a child. Knives can be quite an amazing gift to receive. However, not everyone agrees that gifting knives is a good idea, especially at weddings.

According to popular folklore gifting a new couple a knife during their wedding symbolizes severing their newly formed relationship. This myth is taken with seriousness to the extent that a rhyme was made to reverse any ‘curse’ that may come to pass after being given a knife.

A couple gifted with a knife had to repeat this rhyme, ‘If you love me as I love you no knife can cut our love into two.’

#12. Money

Unless you are gifting a young kid money, it is the safest to avoid gifting money. It may seem like a good idea, but they may take it as an offense, especially if they are experiencing a hard financial time. Some people think it is rude to give away money.

#13. Umbrella

Since their inventions around 1000 BC in Egypt, Umbrellas have greatly enhanced how best we enjoy our outside space even in the extremes of temperatures. However essential umbrellas are, it’s not only considered bad lack to open them when you are indoors but also considered to be an unacceptable gift to give someone.

This is so because the Chinese word for Umbrella is similar to the phrase “breaking up”. So gifting one an umbrella insinuates that the 2 of you are no longer on good terms.

#14. Shoes

Have you heard of the cliché, “that a man’s shoe will give you an insight of their preferences and taste?”. If you have and you are thinking of getting your man or male friend a pair of the latest designer shoes, then the folks from the Long Islands, New York, will advise you otherwise. A common superstition in Long Island holds that gifting a man a shoe will result in him walking all over you or out of your life.

#15. Glassware

So, you just spotted the best coffee mug or an exquisite wine glass, and you are thinking of gifting it to your friend who loves coffee or wine? Apparently, there is more than a 100-year-old superstition surrounding gifting someone glassware in Thailand. It’s believed that if the gifted glassware breaks, so will your friendship do the same.

#16. Socks

Unless you are supplementing other gifts with a pair of socks, It’s a really bad idea to gift someone socks only. Imagine buying and wrapping a pair of socks to give your friend? Don’t you think it’s a waste of curiosity? PS; No offense intended!

#17. A fertility charm

How best can someone pressurize another when they do not have kids? Gifting them a fertility charm is the right answer! Please avoid such gifts even if they worked on you. Unless your friend or the one you are thinking of gifting requests you for a fertility charm, please don’t give them one.

#18. Handkerchief

Let’s face it most of us will use a handkerchief when we are wiping away our tears or sweat! Nothing good comes with using a handkerchief.

It’s believed that gifting someone with a handkerchief signifies that you wish them to cry. In Sweden, a man shouldn’t give their lover a handkerchief lest the man wants their lover to wipe away their feelings for them.

#19. Shapewear

First off, why would you do that! This is a very personal item, and gifting another is synonymous with infringing their personal space unless you are their lover!

#20. Perfume

You might be tempted to celebrate the world’s perfume day on 17th February each year by gifting your loved one’s perfumes! It may be a good gesture but please don’t do it. There are many superstitions surrounding gifting one a perfume.

For instance, in the Asian culture, giving your significant other perfume symbolizes that your love will fade as quickly as the fragrance will. In different cultures, gifting a new couple’s perfume symbolizes that you want them to attract a new suitor(s).

Others may perceive this type of gift as a way of telling them they smell bad! So, please don’t unless you are gifting your significant other or a nonsuperstitious person.

20 Things You Should Never Gift Someone
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