20-40-60 Etiquette: Gift of friendship is enough!

A friend offers a gift after each visit. How can I let her know it's not necessary?
BY CALLIE GORDON, LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN AND HELEN FORD WALLACE Published: January 25, 2012
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GUEST'S ANSWER: Devonne Carter, licensed clinical social worker and etiquette class teacher at Oklahoma Christian University: Some people's “love language” (the way they show they care) is by giving, and more specifically, by giving gifts. In some cultures, gift-giving is a way of life. It might feel strange to you to receive gifts that you don't need or want, but the point here is, your friend wants to give them to you. She is showing you that she cares for you. Take the gifts and be thankful for them. Even if you don't like the gift, appreciate that she is thinking of you. It is always fine to give the gift to someone else who might appreciate it, or to give it a charity if it isn't something that you want to keep.

If you get the impression that your friend thinks you are hurting financially, it is always appropriate to bring up the subject and communicate with her that you are financially secure. We sometimes do not know what our friends are thinking, and we won't find out unless we ask.

To ask an etiquette question, email helen.wallace@cox.net. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to blog.newsok.com/partiesextra.