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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Etiquette: Can I ask For My Gift Back?

A burning question among Gave That visitors recently has been the etiquette and ethical question concerning the request for a gift to be returned, as in How can I ask for my gift back? Taking this once again from a western standpoint here are a few important etiquette points to consider.

First, is what you gave really a gift? Here is the Merriam-Webster Definition of a Gift:

Pronunciation: \ˈgift\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse, something given, talent; akin to Old English giefan to give
Date: 12th century

2 : something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation.

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Some Examples of More Legal Definitions:

Donative Intent: Did you intend to make a gift and have the mental capacity to do so? Was the gift delivered and accepted? Were there no strings attached? Read more on the US legal definition of a gift at US Legal Definitions and Inter Vivos Gifts by Gerry W. Beyer, Professor of Law at TX Tech .

From Gift (law) Wikipedia -Revocation

"A donor may revoke a future gift, however a gift delivered and accepted cannot be revoked."

[Read the entire Gift (law) page for very helpful insight on giving gifts]


Lastly, Standard Etiquette's View On The Matter:

It simply is not done.

Well there you have it. The answer is rather cut and dry although, as with most things in life, there can always be an exception. That exception is going to be up to you or someone acting as a guardian, but it is highly suggested legal counsel is sought and a heavy dose of soul searching is done before proceeding.

Repeatedly giving and asking for gifts to be returned throughout life can end up causing irreparable damage to ones character and trust me, such a reputation has a way of spreading and reverberating through future relationships in unimaginable ways. By this I mean detrimentally. Asking for the return of gifts after a relationship has dissolved especially boils down to an appearance of vindictiveness. Something, many professionals, say should be avoided at all costs.

Watch holistic psychotherapist Victoria Lorient-Faibish talk about The Pattern of Control Through Generosity, a possible contributing factor to the need for gifts to be returned:


DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR LEGAL COUNSEL NOR WAS IT MEANING TO TAKE ITS PLACE. EVERYTHING PRESENTED IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY AND USES EASILY ATTAINABLE REFERENCES ALREADY PUBLISHED ONLINE. NO LIABILITY TAKEN NOR GIVEN.

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