25 Best Replies When Someone Refuses Your Gift

Did someone refuse your gift? I would imagine how unpleasant that can feel, especially when you genuinely spent time and put in the effort to choose a nice gift for the person.

In most situations, the more difficult thing to deal with is not even the rejection but how to respond to it.

When someone rejects your gift, it is a golden rule of thumb to not spend too much time trying to convince the person of the gift’s appeal, value, or usefulness.

The goal, in your response, is to stay gracious and understanding since rejecting a gift can be an awkward situation for both you and the person.

Hence, when someone rejects your gift, a more befitting reply would be to say “That’s okay, please don’t feel obligated to keep it if you don’t want to.

I just wanted to show my appreciation for you.” Alternatively, a simple “okay” can suffice and then you move on from the situation and don’t let it bother you.

Meanwhile, the best response to give could also be determined by the reason why the person had refused to accept the gift.

From my experience, people would reject gifts either when:

  • They don’t like it
  • They don’t like you or even know you
  • They don’t want to feel indebted to you
  • They come from a culture where one has to decline a gift at least once in order not to appear greedy
  • A combination of any of the above scenarios.

Whatever the case may be, I have put together a list of different responses to use when someone rejects your gift so you can cope and navigate around the unpleasant situation with the person, using your words.

Table of Contents

25 Best Replies When Someone Refuses Your Gift

1. “No issues, is there something else I could get you?”

Best Replies When Someone Refuses Your Gift 

When someone refuses to accept your gift, it could be due to any reason that you can’t figure out easily. So one of the best ways to respond is to stay gracious and open-ended.

When you say “no issues” it means you do not take it personally and then offering to give them something else means you are open to gifting them something they would like (if perhaps, the gift didn’t match their preference)

2. “Thanks for letting me know. Feel free to exchange it.”

Appreciation works for most response scenarios and this one is not an exception. When someone declines your gift, you can appreciate them for genuinely expressing their intent not to take it.

Then you back this statement up by assuring them that you did it out of pure goodness and they are free to exchange it if it doesn’t match their preference.

3. “No worries, I hope you’ll find something lovable.”

Sometimes, the person is rejecting the gift in your best interest. It could be that they don’t find it useful to them and wouldn’t want to collect it only to dump it later.

In such a situation, this response graciously helps you express that you’re not offended by the rejection and you wish them the best.

4. “Okay, thanks for being honest.”

Another effective way you can respond when someone rejects your gift is to thank them for telling you upfront that they won’t need the gift item.

The person could be speaking from a place of genuineness and it is only fair that you understand their position by telling them “thank you for being honest”

It shows that you presented the gift out of sheer good and won’t be offended by the decline.

5. “So can we find something else together?”

I use this response most of the time and I can guarantee you that it has a 99 percent success rate that the person eventually accepts something from you.

The one percent odd is when the person naturally doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to feel indebted to you.

This response shows kindness and makes the person realize the transparency behind your gift intent.

6. “I had imagined I had your taste all figured out. I think I have to step up my game next time.”

Best Replies When Someone Refuses Your Gift 

Humor remains one of the most effective ways to navigate out of an unpleasant or awkward situation such as when someone rejects your gift and you have to say something.

Even though you had high hopes to have impressed the person (your boss or colleague for example) with your gift, you can say that you thought you had their rates all figured out.

This way, you are open, honest, and transparent about your gesture.

Promising to step up your game next time is a good way to leave a positive impression against being offended by the decline.

7. “C’mon, it’s just a gift. There’s no catch”

It is true that when someone rejects your gift, there is no need to press to make the person see the value of the item.

However, in this case, you are emphasizing the genuineness of your kind gesture, and not the item being presented.

It could be that the person is declining your gift because they feel there’s a string attached.

This response is a good way to clear the air and make the recipient feel comfortable accepting the present.

8. “Well, at least I tried!”

No one can escape the unpleasant feeling of being rejected – not even the person declining your present.

By responding with “At least I tried!” you are setting an emotional tone that makes the person reconsider.

9. “No problem, I’ll just add it to my collection of rejected gifts. It’s quite impressive, you know”

Best Replies When Someone Refuses Your Gift 

While the guilt card may not always be a good approach, it works well for this scenario but has to be used articulately.

When someone rejects your gift, you can first let them know it’s not a deal breaker. But you are not happy that all your effort is going down the drain like in previous scenarios.

This could convince the person to reconsider the gift. However, it is not always the best approach, especially for someone you don’t know well yet.

10. “I’ll have to learn how to impress you since you don’t seem to be a fan of my gifting skill.”

When you say this after someone rejects your gift, you throw the whole situation into a light-hearted note. But at the same time, you’re doing something very smart:

The person would get the impression that you’re genuinely after making them happy and this may cause them to begin to see the thoughts behind the gift and not just the item being presented.

11. “Back to the drawing board for me.”

This is another example of using Humor to navigate out of an awkward situation.

It helps you and the person to establish a common ground and discuss the misunderstanding on a lighter note.

12. “Rejected again! I guess I’ll have to settle for being the jester to your royal highness.”

I recommend a more light-hearted way to respond When someone rejects your gift because that is most likely the best way to go so that you can get the person to express their reason for declining the gift.

13. “I appreciate your feedback. If you don’t mind me asking, what would you have preferred instead?”

The next best thing after a live chat of customer service is a friend that understands how you feel even without you having to say too many words. Be that friend. Offer to do better and watch the person melt.

14. “I completely understand. Maybe this gift can be donated to someone who will appreciate it more.”

If the person is persistent in not accepting the gift, there’s another way to show the gesture.

Let them know that you’re doing it from a place of love and no strings attached.

Suggest to the person that you both find a charity that matches your mutual values and then donate the gift.

15. “Not a problem, it happens.”

That’s it. Very simple. Gift rejection is not the new sun. And there’s no need to jump to conclusions or take things personally.

Let them know that it’s alright not to accept the gift and that you don’t allow it to bug you.

16. “I know you’re trying to be Selfless. But really, I got it for you.”

As I mentioned earlier, many people would reject a gift because they don’t want to appear greedy. 

So another best way to respond when this happens is to let them know they can be comfortable with goodness and they deserve it.

The person may be having imposter syndrome, who knows?

17. “I put a great deal of thought into choosing it for you. I’m hoping you consider taking it”

There’s no harm in letting the person know that you put a lot of thought into preparing the gift.

If the person is considerate, they wouldn’t want your effort to be in vain.

18. “Please know that I gave it to you with a genuine desire to show my appreciation for you. I hope you’ll take it.”

You can say this to politely further encourage the person to consider collecting the gift.

If the person still rejects it, then accept it back and move on.

19. “Let me know if there’s something specific about the gift that you don’t like.”

If you’re honestly curious about why the person has rejected your gift, you can ask certain questions that can potentially reveal what’s on the person’s mind.

It could be that the gift you’ve chosen coincidentally jerks back to life awful memories of the person’s past life or something worse.

So there’s no harm in asking why, as long as you do it the right way.

20. “This may not be close to what you expected, but I’d be glad if you accept it.”

We have all been there – people would give us gift items that we truly do not find impressive or above par.

So it’s even a good thing that they openly reject it than toss it in the bin once you close the door.

In such a situation, you would want to respond by expressing your understanding and then encouraging them to still accept it out of love.

21. “It would mean a lot to me if you would consider taking the gift, still.”

Insisting that someone takes the gift you are offering them when they’ve expressly rejected it may sound desperate and suspicious, but when you’ve genuinely put in effort and time to impress the person out of love, you wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

This response helps you to politely encourage the person to consider taking the gift.

22. “Oh no, it’s not a burden to me, I promise. It’s just a gesture of appreciation (kindness, goodness).”

You’d be surprised to find out that on many occasions, people reject gifts just so that they don’t pass the impression of being greedy person.

I have come to observe this among my Asian coursemates. When someone rejects your gift, let them know that you did it from a place of love and so they have nothing to be uncomfortable about.

23. “I hope you’ll give it a chance and accept the gift.”

This response works best when the gift in question is statutory. For instance, if you want to gift your inlaw a piece of real estate and they reject it, you can say ” I hope you’ll give it a chance and accept the gift”

It informs them that the offer is readily available whenever they change their mind.

24. “It’s okay if you don’t want to keep it, but I’ll appreciate it if you consider taking it.”

Sometimes, we would even be happy if the person, at least, consider taking the gift from our hands even though they would eventually move to abandon it later.

This response allows you to express how you feel about the situation and subtly enjoins the person to reconsider taking it.

25. “No worries if you’re not comfortable accepting gifts, but this is coming from the heart.”

This is another polite way to express how you feel when someone rejects your gift 

“I understand if you’re not comfortable accepting gifts” establishes a sense of rationality, allowing the person to see things from your angle.

Then, you say ” please know that this comes from the heart” to remind the person that it’s the thought that counts and not just the item.

Final thoughts 

Even though you might find the right thing to say to someone who has just declined your gift, I would imagine that you would keep pondering why the person refused to accept the gift.

You need to remind yourself that each situation is unique but in the majority of cases, it has to do with them and not you.

There are even cases where the rejection, to them, was done in your better interest. 

So it is best not to jump to conclusions or take anything personally, especially if the person in question is a friend from day one.

Better still, simply focus on the best responses to give when such things occur because your reply could potentially chart the course of the action and possibly the relationship you have with the person.


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