• Other Friendship Advice

Birthday Gifts And Friendship

Published: April 27, 2013 | Last Updated: October 11, 2021 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading
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Sometimes birthday gifts, although carefully chosen and well-intended, can disappoint for a variety of reasons.


Dear Irene,

Today was the birthday of my best friend for the past eight years. After school, I gave her my present, which I had been preparing for a long time. It was an art set and two tickets to the Chicago Sears Tower. She mumbled a quick thank you and did not seem the least bit excited or even pleased.

Later as we were hanging out, she said that she was having a disappointing birthday. This made me very sad. She never gets me such grand birthday gifts or presents, and I thought she would be a lot happier. What should I do?

Signed, Suzi


Dear Suzi,

It’s hard to know exactly why your friend reacted that way but it may have had nothing to do with your thoughtful birthday gift, per se. Two possibilities (although I’m sure there are more):

1) She may have been disappointed about something else associated with her birthday that had nothing to do with you. Many people get very sentimental around their birthdays and use it as an occasion to assess how they are feeling.

 2) She may have been caught off-guard and didn’t know how to respond appropriately or express her appreciation.

Sometimes it’s challenging to figure out what kind of birthday gifts will please friends and we just try our best. Even if your friend was hoping for something else from you, she should have been gracious enough to thank you warmly.

I don’t think you should do anything but let this incident pass. If your friendship is otherwise strong, this should just be a little blip along the way.

My best,  Irene

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Category: OTHER ADVICE, Teen friendships

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