Communication Skills/gift problem


I received a purse from a friend for my birthday that I think is ugly. I wouldn't normally use one like this..but I've used it 2 times now when I see my friend because I want her to be happy (I DO appreciate the gift, she wouldn't have had to buy me anything!)

My question long should I continue to wear the purse when I'm in her company? I don't want to hurt her feelings I want her to be happy.Normally I see her maybe once a month but there have been a lot of party gatherings lately.

Hi Starr - I propose that your thanking her for her birthday acknowledgement and being honest with her about the purse will protect your integrity and strengthen your friendship overall. If she really is a friend, she will understand and overcome any disappointment. A constructive option you have is to suggest then that you return the purse and go purse shopping together so she can buy you one you'd really like to own. As long as you pretend to like her gift, you're being dishonest - which risks losing some priceless self respect.

Consider these ideas:

Respectfully, Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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