Bad Gifts

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#1 Aug 26 - 9PM
Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Bad Gifts

Tonights BTR show was on Narcs Being Unable to Truly Give. Lisa & I mentioned how awful they are as gift givers... always expecting something in return.

I mentioned that on our first anniversary, my exNH gave me a Cookbook & Pots and Pans. One month later on my birthday - he got me a vacuum cleaner. I was crushed.

Here's what Joann Ashmun says about Narcs and gifts

Narcissists are very disappointing as gift-givers. This is not a trivial consideration in personal relationships. I've seen narcissistic people sweetly solicit someone's preferences ("Go ahead -- tell me what you really want"), make a show of paying attention to the answer ("Don't you think I'm nice?"), and then deliver something other than what was asked for -- and feel abused and unappreciated when someone else gets gratitude for fulfilling the very request that the narcissist evoked in the first place. I've seen this happen often, where narcissists will go out of their way to stir up other people's expectations and then go out of their way to disappoint those expectations. It seems like a lot of pointless work to me.

First, narcissists lack empathy, so they don't know what you want or like and, evidently, they don't care either; second, they think their opinions are better and more important than anyone else's, so they'll give you what they think you ought to want, regardless of what you may have said when asked what you wanted for your birthday; third, they're stingy and will give as gifts stuff that's just lying around their house, such as possessions that they no longer have any use for, or -- in really choice instances -- return to you something that was yours in the first place. In fact, as a practical matter, the surest way NOT to get what you want from a narcissist is to ask for it; your chances are better if you just keep quiet, because every now and then the narcissist will hit on the right thing by random accident.

So what's your Narcissist & Gift Giving Story?

Aug 21 - 3PM
Begum's picture


Begum This always puzelled me.... He a1ways wanted to give me stuff he had bought himself but was getting bored of. Once it was his winter coat. This is a guy who is CEO of a company. A few times I was given jewelery but it was more or less to show of what he could afford to his friends. Once we went shopping and when it came to me he said okay use your own money.


Aug 13 - 10AM
helldweller's picture

Gift giving

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but this passage reminded me of how they make you think they are going to give you something wonderful or ask you what you want just so they can dissapoint you. The first Christmas, when we were talking about marriage and before he said he couldn't be the one to propose, he was out shopping and called me. He said, "Honey, I can't believe I'm asking you this but I forgot to find out and I need to know right now, so you have to promise to forget I asked you because it will ruin the surprise." I was like, oh my gosh. So he says, 'What size . . . SHOE do you wear?" So almost immediately, since he is such a joker, I think he's messing with me and is reallly going to buy me a ring but wants me to suffer. So I tell him what size shoe I am. So Christmas comes and he gives me this box, sure enough, a shoe box with shoes in it. So I fully expect him to give me the ring after this "gag" gift, but when he asks me to try them on, I think, "Oh, I bet the ring is in one of the toes. ha. ha. how cute." So I try them on. Nope. No ring. so I say, "You're kidding, right?" And he says, "What's wrong? Don't you like them? I can't do anything right." So then I immediately feel like a jerk, that he is so sweet and dorky to buy a girl shoes, that I'm mean and selfish, etc. etc. etc. And I end up giving him extra great sex that night to make up for how awful I was to him. Ugh!
Aug 13 - 7AM
Goldie's picture

Gifts for himself

My X loved to buy gifts for himself. Now mind you, this is while I was paying all the bills and helping him to get back on his feet. I paid for his court fines, his tools in hock, his clothes, haircuts, toiletries, gas for my car for him to use, entertainment, ect... (I know, I know, I was a SAP!!!) anyway, he finally at long last GETS A JOB and do you think I got any type of thank you gesture for all I did for him when Christmas rolls around, HECK NO!!! He rewards HIMSELF with: Armarni cologne, a new cap, a RC remote contol car, more tools, ect... There was NOTHING under that tree for me. He promised me: a dog (my beautiful Golden had passed from cancer and I was heartbroken over losing her), an engagement ring, a new pocketbook (he broke mine in a rage), make up for a makeover, and love poems from his heart. Did I get any of this? HECK NO!!! He gave me stolen gifts several times, it was awful to receive these because I had no idea who the unfortunate victims were and it made me sick to have this stuff around my house. He finally got the engagement ring and it was something you would give a child as a first piece of jewlery, I do not like large diamonds, however, this thing was flat with no stone just these tiny tiny flakes of dust on a flat surface and the band was so thin it could not even be engraved. I have NEVER in my life been so rude as to refuse a gift from ANYONE, however, I told him that I did not want this ring. What an ass, my rm's were so pissed off that they all wanted to kill him. This is AFTER he told them that he had a beautiful ring on layaway which he had engraved with a beautiful inscription. Makes me sick, just to think about it, considering all that I had done for him over this year. What a selfish selfish selfish f---. Some days I can laugh about it and some days it disgusts me that I put up with this joke (shell) of a man for as long as I did. My son who doesn't say boo in terms of confrontation says to him one day after we were all waiting to see this ring on layaway (this is where he claimed all my missing money was going). "Hey ----, do you think we could see the ring or the receipt or something and he was so embarassed he did not even respond. I was so proud of my son that day, yet also so very hurt that he had to intervene in this way and it was a couple of weeks later that he produced this piece of crap ring. Another time, my son asked him if he knew where his hat and cellphone were, and this 6'6" man chased my son down the hall and pushed him to the ground and was about to punch him in the head when I pulled him off my son. I was so ashamed of myself that day that I allowed this animal in our lives to abuse not only me but my son as well. By then, many of my friends were not even speaking to me and the ones who were wanted to kill him. So gift giving is a rough subject for me right now, brings up a lot of bad memories. I just keep asking myself, what was I thinking?? Being with this selfish selfish selfish man who's idea of gift giving was buying things for himself. And now almost 4 months after NC, his sister has the insane nerve to ask me for HIS STUFF BACK. Are you kidding me?? You mean all the things that I bought for him? What about my 5 grand, what about my self respect and the respect of my son, what about my safe home, what about my heart and soul? Is he going to give that back to me?? No course not, those are all things which I will have to get back myself and woe to the next person who EVER trys to take those things from me again. God bless, Goldie
Aug 13 - 9AM (Reply to #43)
Mariline's picture

Goldie, are you sure we were

Goldie, are you sure we were not dating the same man? No, our rings were different. You see, your was BETTER than mine. My ring was exactly as you described, except it was made of silver. Also my ex N, the last one, promised me a lot of things. He told me:"I want to send you a little something." You know what he meant? As I am on Facebook he sent me a message there ( he NEVER answered to my messages, stupid links, songs etc on FB). He sent me a private message full of poetry, in fact it stated (textual words):"Please sit on my face." ( One of his weird and perverted and repetitive stuff.) What a meaningful gift, don't you agree? When you think about bad gifts, think of mine! And have a good laugh. They do not deserve anything else.((hugs))
Aug 13 - 9AM (Reply to #44)
Used's picture


thank you i am having such a low bad day, that a friend just phoned and i said to her, i cant talk today and signed off, came on here and his loving ,careing, oh so poetic message just made me spit out my tea, thankyou thank,you and thankyou for reminding me what animal,s they are. i saw n today as i have for the passed 3 week,s, he makes sure i do, [ime 10months nc], but today it got to me, and it sent me wobbly, i bumped in to someone i know, and said ive gone woobly, she phoned me a cab, and i came home, i dont even want him, so i dont know what thats about, but felt low even before i saw him, so felt vunrable i suppose, thanks again for sharing his message, i sound pathetic dont i?
Aug 13 - 10AM (Reply to #45)
Mariline's picture

Dear used, I am happy that

Dear used, I am happy that his stupid message was useful for something. Dear (((hugs))) when we start missing them, we must remind each other that there is NOTHING to miss. Just today a friend of mine (dear soul) told me that my exN on Facebook has a new dear friend, a certain Darla Something. She can be the next one to have the honour of sitting on his -stupid- face. Don't think that it did not hurt me. It did. Then I remembered the ring. And something else. And I feel better. You must do the same. Hug yourself....and imagine it's me. (((hugs))) You are not alone.
Aug 10 - 9AM
faithinthefuture's picture

He actually wasn't a bad gift giver

He actually wasn't a bad gift giver for the most part. I am not a believer in Valentines Day so never expected a gift but he gave me "Past Present Future" Necklace. He handed it to me & said I've had this for a few days and didn't know if I should give it you but I want you to know I love you.(Now mind you it was given to me after VDay) He gave me the receipt in case somthing broke on it etc. The receipt was dated day AFTER VDay! And his mom told him you go get her something whether she believes in it or not!!!! Ahh yeah
Aug 10 - 9AM (Reply to #41)
Used's picture


i got gifts of both of them, gave them back when i dumped them.
Aug 10 - 9AM
WellRed's picture

For one birthday "Himself"

For one birthday "Himself" went out and bought a new state of the art cell phone and received a free cheap phone with purchase - Yup! I got the free phone for my birthday. I didn't want nor ask for it, my phone was only a couple of months old. For my 40th birthday, I got new pots and pans....the list goes on.
Aug 8 - 10AM
wholeagain's picture

I have two

I've already commented in another thread about the ex. But--my first ex mostly just flat out bought what he wanted. A Nintendo game system was a typical example (he was a video game freak, I had no interest). The other is my mom, and this is more subtle--I don't know that she's an N either but throughout much of my life if I asked for something (and she'd ask for a list before bdays and holidays) I would get something similar to what I asked for and in her mind I think "better" but it would be just enough off that it wasn't what I really wanted at all. I realize now why I think what I want doesn't count. Because in many ways I grew up being told what I wanted or what I felt, or didn't feel ("we don't hate anybody"). And then of course if you're not grateful to get whatever it is, then you've got bad manners.
Aug 13 - 9AM (Reply to #38)
M's picture


He would buy jewelry for his nieces & mom...perfume for his sisters because their husbands wouldn't). He alsway had a list of things he wanted for Christmas. Me? I was "impossible to shop for". I "had enough jewelry" (He bought me 3 pieces in 8 years.) Got his Mom to buy any expensive items for daughter bicycle, etc) The best gift he got me? He came back from Germany with painted hangers.
Sep 1 - 1PM
Marie's picture


As much as I got a laugh at some of these entries, I feel for everyone here. Being with Ns is such a disappointment nothing they do is heart felt and some is done intentionally to be hurtful. My N was great for stirring things up weeks before a birthday or holiday. Saying wait until I see what he has cooked up for me it would be the best birthday, Christmas...yet. Then I would get the old D&D, he would just be unavailable. One Christmas he gave me a DVD of my favorite singer a month after Christmas passed. The DVD wouldn't work in my player because it was from the UK. When I mentioned it to him, he said he knew about it but was hoping it would work anyway. There was no offer to exchange it or get something else. My first birthday (when he was still charming me) he got my favorite chocolate covered strawberries from my favorite place. They always get the biggest strawberries, nice and fresh it's such a treat. The next birthday when he was finished roping me in. He bought them at a place I never go because their strawberries are neither big or very fresh. So of course knowing this he bought them 3-4 days before my birthday and by the time he gave them to me I had to throw most of them out. Cards? He never gave cards. The few gifts he's ever given me were never wrapped. My very last birthday with him, he decided to have his wood floors done and went away so he wouldn't have to breathe the varnish. I didn't expect him to breathe the toxic fumes did I? What kind of gf was I that I couldn't be understanding. He left all my gifts in a plastic shopping bag on a chair in the kitchen for me to collect after I let the guy in to do the floors. That was such a romantic memorable birthday. LOL There were always promises of weekends away some exotic places some just romantic type stayovers. None ever came to fruition it was all just smoke and mirrors to keep me around. How long can one live with so many disappointments?
Aug 13 - 9AM (Reply to #36)
helldweller's picture


My narc would give me those long Hallmark cards with the long, mushy "heartfelt, honest" crap on them. You know which ones I mean? They would say crap like, "I love our love. Iknow I don't say it very often but I really appreciate how much you love me, the little things you do to make me feel good about myself. You are such a warm and generous person, and you always make things seem like they will be ok . . . blah, blah, blah." He would sign them "FOREVER. XOXO" My ex husband calls them "the uh-oh, I f*cked up" cards, and said he would give them to his old girlfriend after he screwed her over for one thing or another. I loved those cards and I would show them to my mom and my friends and say, "See, he really does have feelings." And they would say, helldweller, he didn't write that. someone else did." How true.
Sep 2 - 8AM (Reply to #34)
GhostBuster's picture

Thanks for the memories!

Wow. I almost forgot about this from my 1st N (see...two years out and the pain/memories fade, gals & guy). He made a point of telling me he knew my b-day was coming up (we'd been together 6 months and I had treated him to a weekend away for his b-day 3 months before this). Well, my b-day came and went and he blew it off. When I asked him about it, he screamed at me and told me he had been "too f'ing busy to think about my b-day!" I broke up with him because of this comment, but he wormed his way back in. So, three months later his grandfather in the nursing home is turning 101 and we were making the trip to the next state for the day to be there for his party (in the home). And King N says "hey, we can stay overnight, if you want. It will be your b-day present." I said to him "you're going to take me to the nursing home for my b-day that was 3 months ago and then spring for a motel room?!! (he was so cheap and would never stay anywhere nice). My b-day was 3 months ago or 9 months from now. You missed it." the really freaky part was he thought he was being generous and thoughtful.
Sep 2 - 10AM (Reply to #35)
better off
better off's picture

that made me laugh! My first

that made me laugh! My first "true love" when I was in college (read that "first true N") broke up with me on my birthday. We'd been dating for 8 months and talking about getting engaged. His birthday was the week before mine and I gave him some balloons. This apparently created so much pressure on him (his words) that he had to break up with me rather than get me a gift. Of course, I took him back a month later when he came crawling back...after seeing me on a date with someone else. It actually wasn't a date, but hey, it seemed to shake him up so I didn't say anything. He broke up with me a couple of other times...on vacation in San Francisco, at a wedding reception... One day he came out of the woodwork a few years after I graduated (he had dropped out)...said now he knew he really loved me and it felt so good to say it. I started laughing. I got in my car and was still laughing when I drove away. He had a real problem with pressure apparently. The last time I ran into him, years later (he was driving past my house), he told me about his job as a carpet cleaner. They expected him to mention the optional Scotchguard service to customers and he said it was too much pressure. LOL.
Sep 1 - 6PM (Reply to #33)
cupcake (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


I got a good laugh at of some of these too especially the neck comment! It is sad though. Marie me too...he would promise all this stuff that we would go way on weekends together and it never happened. I couldn't even get him to commit to a Friday night date! He would cancel a lot or just not bother calling to say he couldn't come. Nice guys aye? Great people.
Sep 1 - 12AM
cupcake (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Gifts? What gifts??!!

Wow! They are all the same! My N would talk of 'special presents' we could do for each other. Which only happened from my end! Because I wasn't his girlfriend and he was so weird I wasn't sure of my limits. So for his birthday I made him a card and brought him a chocolate pack. He opened it and said "oh. that's it?" He didn't even remember my birthday let alone get me a gift. He was like a spoiled little prince, sitting there in bed expecting to be served, given presents. Like was entitled to being served by women. You should have seen him waiting under the covers for me lokoing back I feel sick. He always wanted to be 'loved' been given affection. Once he told me I was weird. I think he was talking about himself!
Aug 31 - 11PM
gettinghimoutof... (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


I always hated it when my stbx N would get up and say "oh, its your birthday. I'll be right back" and then proceed to go out and get a card and whatever he could find in 15 minutes. My N in-laws always gave the strangest gifts. I think 3 holidays in a row I got a jar of garlic and a set of pliers from them. It seemed kind of odd thay my vampire mother-in-law would give me garlic...
Aug 31 - 8PM
take_too's picture

He gave me the clothes off a stripper's back.......literally!

The very first gifts he gave me were a couple of see through baby doll type lingerie things; a red one and a pink one. He quite proudly told me the story about how he came to have them in his possession. They were thrown at his friend recently from the catwalk of a strip club and because his friend was married and not ‘allowed’ to go to those kinds of places, he had to get rid of the evidence. So, lucky me got the spoils of the incident. I actually thought they were tacky and tasteless, but I’m a nice person and accepted his gift graciously while feeling very uncomfortable about the accompanying story. Another memorable gift I received through the course of our marriage was ‘my very own’ laptop computer. Our first computer had been purchased on my credit card not too long after we moved in together; he had declared bankruptcy a few years earlier, blaming his previous girlfriend, so he had no credit of his own. Over the years he became very successful in the computer industry and was often given equipment by suppliers as incentives. One Christmas I was given one of four incentive computers. He told me where the other three were going and I remember wondering what the recipients of those had done to deserve such an honor. I was really happy to have my own computer at last because he was always messing around with the desktop, upgrading, reformatting and I never felt secure that I would be able to do what I needed to do or find what I needed to find. But I only managed to hold onto my laptop for less than a year. He convinced me to give it back to him so he could send it to his Mom who was in a real mess with her business because of computer problems. He promised that he would get me an even better computer to replace it. Of course I would help his Mom out and I nervously handed back ‘my’ computer after transferring all my data over onto a ‘temporary’ computer he had brought home from work. But I never got my own computer again, I had to use a string of laptops he kept borrowing from work, now I understand that it was his way of keeping control of me, he does the same thing with our daughter now, she had all the latest technology, but he makes sure she understands that 'technically' it still belongs to 'the company'. Another lovely gift I got was his handed down, rent-to-buy treadmill. He used to live in an apartment near the city during the week and he had got this thing for himself, to try and lose some weight. For some reason, he brought it home one weekend, he wasn’t using it anyway. I started using it. My birthday was coming up, so he said “If you want to keep it, I will pay it off and you can have it for your birthday”. Yes, I wanted to keep it, he wouldn’t allow the expense of a gym membership for me, which I really wanted. (one birthday he gave me a 10 class pass to my local gym) This guy was/is on a quarter of a million a year salary, he has really done well since those days of having to use my credit. He actually took the treadmill back, I went through a stage of not using it and he noticed, said I didn’t need it. The only way I could finally get my treadmill back was to have our daughter ask for it, she wanted to start using it for training. Mostly I have just got an extra $200 added to my monthly ‘allowance’ when it has been gift time.
Aug 31 - 10PM (Reply to #29)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

sounds like a lame lie

thrown at his 'friend' by a stripper? Oh please. That's either a complete lie or it was really thrown at him! And usually strippers don't just throw that stuff away because it's money. Maybe he was seeing hookers and bought it off them for when he was with you. With these freaks - who knows! I hear you about the laptop. A friend of mine? Thought her N was so romantic because he traveled with the military and got her a laptop so she could keep in touch. Little did she know until later - he was married... had at least 2-3 OTHER girlfriends... gave them ALL laptops and every single one of them found out he'd loaded them up with spyware so he knew what they were doing & saying and if they were checking up on him! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
Aug 29 - 9PM
neveragain's picture

My Very First Gift

Out of the blue, after dating for about two months, my ex-N gave me.....drum roll ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH!! I was a little taken aback and tried to act like that was a very nice gesture. But seriously? An electric toothbrush? Just what, exactly, was he trying to "say"? He was incredibly obsessed with his dental hygiene....carried around a bottle of Listermint mouthwash in all his vehicles....and would lay on his bed and brush with HIS electric toothbrush for at least 10 minutes sometimes more. I would use my "gift" when I went to his house but I did think that that was a pretty weird gift...kind of like giving someone deodorant as a present. One birthday, he gave me speakers for my computer (which I already had) and left them on my porch after dropping me off following my birthday dinner with friends. I took the speakers back and bought myself a bracelet. neveragain
Aug 30 - 8AM (Reply to #26)
lady_in_dubai's picture

An odd 'gift"

Hey people, thought I'd share my weird gift story. My ex N bought me a quilt and sheet set and a table for my room. oh how sweet I hear you say. No, not so sweet when you hear more. He came to my place, knowing I wasn't at home. This is in the really early stages of the relationship. My silly flatmate let him in and he spent quite a while in there changing my room around, making my bed with the new quilt set on it and tidying my room up, as it was quite messy. I didn't ask him to do that. I would never expect that of my partner. He is really fussy about things being neat and sterile looking while I like a place to have character. So I guess he was forcing his style on me. My flatmate admitted later that she felt nervous with him being there in my room while I was overseas and she didn't really know what was going on. He truly believed that he was doing me a huge wonderful thing. He was as proud as punch! He left a note talking about himself as my angel. Who knows what he was doing in there. Maybe looking for evidence of something. Anyway, he definitely stepped over normal boundaries behaviour that night. Of course, me being uneducated about Ns and us still in the honeymoon stage, I let it go, but always did wonder what it was all about....
Aug 30 - 2PM (Reply to #27)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

boundary violation

wow! sounds like exNH. He used to 'clean' thing for me but always made a BIGGER mess. It was also his chance to go thru my stuff! HUGE boundary violation and control tactic. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
Aug 29 - 10PM (Reply to #25)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

getting rid of their "gifts"

an electric toothbrush! LOL - that's right up there with exNH's pots, pans & a cookbook for our first anniversary! Here's 2 great sites to unload their "gifts" for those in the UK & Europe: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. B
Aug 29 - 7PM
Beachcolors's picture

here's mine

one day he said I have something for you......i think you will love was his OLD ipod....he didn't even have the cord that enables you to download. I listen to jazz, opera easy listening and 70's hits and his ipod was full of Led Zepplin, Tool and Janes Addiction! What a chump!
Aug 30 - 9AM (Reply to #23)
better off
better off's picture

One year for Christmas I got

One year for Christmas I got an old printer that they didn't need anymore where he works (his OWN company, btw). They got all new printers so he boxed up the old one to give me. Thought I would be THRILLED. He was FURIOUS when I was upset. The year I was seriously involved with my ex and he knew something was really wrong he bought me diamond earrings, with a note that said they were to remind me of our covenant. Six weeks later, he wanted to know if he "had to" get me anything for Valentine's Day, because we were going on a trip with his parents. That THEY were paying for. I said, well, I'd like a card. A card??? he says in disbelief. I expected him to get me a card???? When we were going to be on vacation???? How was he supposed to do that? Somehow he managed to figure it out. So he bought a card for everyone in the whole family.
Aug 27 - 9AM
Nicole's picture


Well, after a year together, he gave me earrings. Nice, except I don't have pierced ears. There was a matching necklace and he said, "well, you have a neck don't you?" It wasn't my taste at all. Over the years nothing was ever personal - a gift certificate for something. Money was never a problem for him so he could go drop money easily but never really thought about what I liked or wanted. Snow shoes - another big one on Christmas Day at his mother's after she told everyone he would be proposing to me. The last year together, he dug deep - he bought me a Vespa, which was amazing. He wanted to make up for all the years. A month after the Vespa, he left me - again. Came back - again. And when he ended things for good, he gave me money to rent an apartment and buy a sofa and mattress. He said I could leave him the Vespa if I felt I needed to repay him. He's got more money than God. Eventually I sold the Vespa to start paying off all the bills I incurred moving and trying to replace my belongings. Nice, huh? Oh! Over a course of 6 weeks, he bought himself a grand piano for 30K and a new boat for 60K.
Aug 28 - 9PM (Reply to #21)
grossot's picture


Nicole, that is so funny! I am laughing outloud about the neck comment! You don't need his money - keep your dignity! nolongercontrolled
Aug 26 - 10PM
grossot's picture


Ok -let's hear 'em guys and gals: What's your best story of a gift from a N? Last year, for our 7 yr wedding anniversary, I came home to find my N setting up a borrowed projector machine to project ONLINE PORN on our bedroom wall! 6'x6' Here's the best part: In addition to this my gift was that I got to pleasure him all night! nolongercontrolled
Aug 27 - 2PM (Reply to #19)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


mine never even gave me a birthday card so much as a gift, well actually he couldnt even remember when my birthday was, I think I told him at least 20 times, he once said he would see me on my birthday and that was my gift, i sure felt special lol