Many, many men are really bad at picking out gifts. It’s a great frustration to the women in their lives. Here are some mistakes women make with these men.
First, we drop hints. We’ll gaze into a display window and say, “Ooh, isn’t that a beautiful scarf? It would go perfectly with my new coat.” Now, any self-respecting woman would know that we mean, “That scarf would be a perfect Christmas gift for you to buy me.” What a man hears is, “Pretty scarf.” It doesn’t connect in his brain that you’re making a gift suggestion. Don’t hint—tell. “Ooh, isn’t that a beautiful scarf? It would go perfectly with my new coat. That would make a really good Christmas gift for me.”
Second, we think that gifts are a reflection of their feelings for us. Women will take hours and hours to really think about what a recipient would like. It’s one of the many ways we show our affection. Men, generally speaking, buy gifts out of a sense of obligation. They know a gift is expected, so they buy something. Men are much more likely to express their affection by checking the oil, water, and tire pressure on your car. They’re taking care of us, which is their way of saying they love us.
Third, we’re sentimental; men are practical. The Furry Guy is thrilled when I get him a tool that he has on his list. It’s exactly what he wants and needs. I make a list, but I’m particularly touched when he takes it a step further. Many years ago I wanted a nice, wooden cutting board. The Furry Guy found a small butcher block at an auction. He took it to a body shop where he used to work and used the grinder to completely resurface it and make it just the right size. It’s a gift I treasure to this day.
Finally, we make them feel like failures. When our words, tone, or facial expression tells our guy that we think he gave us a stupid gift, his feelings are hurt. Men can actually be very sensitive, and they hate to fail. If he can’t give us a good gift he might as well not even try. That’s when you wind up with something he picked up at the last minute at the Jiffy Mart on his way home.
There are men out there who speak the love language of gift giving. They are great at it. If you’re married to one of them, you’re a lucky woman. If you’re not, give the man a break. Give him some help. Know that he’s really trying.