Abusers manipulate people through ‘gift giving’ with the expectation that their target should be grateful for getting a Trojan Horse. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Trojan-horse A victim of such gifts are sometimes viewed as ungrateful from 3rd parties that do not understand the danger of such ‘gifts.’ When is a gift not a gift?
First what a gift is according to Mirriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gift
2 : something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
My opinion of what a gift isn’t:
1. Anything that requires a form of compensation of money, time, or service. (This is a bargaining chip.)
2. Anything with strings attached, must be kept, displayed, or used by the givers expectations. (This is a device to control.)
3. Anything that harms, diminishes, or ridicules the receiver. (This is a weapon.)
The sender does not get to decide for the receiver if an item is a gift or not. Setting healthy boundaries concerning ‘gift giving’ does not make a person ungrateful. It is healthy and wise to refuse some items from untrustworthy persons, no matter if you are related or not to the giver.
I love giving gifts that another person enjoys receiving but I am totally aware that not all the gifts I give are successful. Sometimes I miss a clue. Sometimes the item is really something I want for myself. Sometimes I messed up who actually would like the gift. I try to make it clear to the person getting a gift from me that there are no strings attached. If they don’t like it, give it away. If they don’t need it, take it back or sell it. If they use it differently than I expect, I need to let go of my expectations. I am working at understanding this whole gift giving thing because I realized very young not everything I am given is a gift. Not being grateful for a bargaining chip, controlling device or weapon is not a lack of gratitude but an awareness of what I am getting. Protecting myself, setting boundaries, and watching out for Trojan Horses is a kindness to myself.