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Social etiquette dictates that we say “thank you” and express gratitude when someone gives us a gift. Not receiving a verbal thank you or a thank you card or note for a gift can be annoying. Rather than stew about the issue, you may try to deal with not getting a thank you. You can do this by confronting the person about their lack of thanks or by accepting the lack of thanks and moving on. You may also adjust how and why you give gifts to others in the future as a result of the lack of thanks you received.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Confronting the Person About the Lack of Thanks
- 1Find a quiet, private place to talk. If you decide to confront the person you gave the gift to about their lack of thanks, do so face to face and in a private spot. You may choose a neutral spot, like a coffee shop or a park bench. Or you may invite the person over for coffee or dinner at your home and have the talk then. Try to choose a setting where you can talk honestly and freely with the person.
- If you can, have the conversation with the person face to face. Confronting the person over text message or email can make it difficult for you to strike the right tone and manner. Even a phone call would be a better option than a text or an email.
- 2Ask the person if they received your gift. Before you confront the person, ask them directly if they received your gift. You may do this if you did not give them the gift in person, such as a gift sent by mail, or if the gift was left in a pile of presents and opened later. Confirming the person has received your gift will ensure you are not confronting them for something they did not get or open yet.XResearch source
- For example, you may say to the person, "I was just wondering if you got my gift?" or "Did you get a chance to open my gift?"
- Doing this may also prompt the person to remember to thank you for the gift. Give them some time to respond and see if they offer their thanks when prompted this way.
- 3Express your displeasure at not being thanked for the gift. If the person confirms they received the gift, you may tell them simply and honestly that you were surprised and disappointed you didn’t get a "thank you" for the gift. Explain how it made you feel to not get a thank you and be honest about your feelings.
- For example, you may say to the person, "I was disappointed to not receive a thank you from you for the gift" or "I was hurt when I didn’t get a thank you. Did you not like the gift?"
- Often, saying this will prompt a person to respond with "Sorry" and "Thank you" or explain why they did not say thank you to you right away. Be patient when listening to the person’s response.
- 4End the conversation on a positive note. If the person brushes off your question or does not respond with a "thank you," try not to let it bother you. Work on ending the conversation on a positive note, even if you did not get the thanks you wanted.
- For example, you may say to the person, "It bothers me that you do not show thanks for the gift. But I can accept it and move on."
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Accepting the Lack of Thanks
- 1Keep in mind the lack of thanks may have nothing to do with you. If you do not want to confront the person about their lack of thanks, you may need to work on accepting the situation as it is. Keep in mind the person’s lack of thanks may have nothing to do with you or with your gift. Sometimes people do not say "thank you" for their own personal reasons and you are not responsible for their actions.XResearch source
- For example, perhaps the person has poor interactional skills and does not know how to say "thank you" properly. Or maybe the person feels embarrassed by receiving a gift and does not feel comfortable saying "thank you."
- Think about the person's character and personality. Consider if they are just not comfortable saying "thank you" and try to accept that you cannot control their actions or their preferences.
- 2Remember that giving without expectation can be beneficial. You can also try to take a more generous stance on not receiving a thank you by seeing it as a selfless act. Giving to others without expectation of reciprocation can help you build empathy for others. It can also make giving gifts more enjoyable, as you are doing it only for the other person’s enjoyment and not just so you can receive thanks or praise.XResearch source
- Giving without expectation can also be useful for building a reputation for being generous and thoughtful with no strings attached. Your friends and colleagues may come to see you as someone who gives freely without expectation, a quality to be admired.
- 3Try to move on from the issue. Try not to get too hung up on squeezing a thank you out of the person or forcing them to show appreciation. Work on moving on from the issue so you do not let it cloud your day or get you down. Though the person may not have said "thank you," you will likely receiving thanks and praise from other people you give gifts to. Do not let one person spoil your entire outlook on gift giving.
- For example, you may tell yourself to let go of the issue and take a few deep breaths to release it and move on. You may then focus instead on the people who did say thank you to you for your gift.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Adjusting Your Gift Giving in the Future
- 1Opt to only give gifts to those who say "thank you." If you are bothered about not receiving thanks for the gift, you may adjust your gift giving practices in the future to only include more appreciative people in your life. Perhaps during the next holiday season, you only give gifts to people who said "thank you" to you the previous season. Or maybe you skip giving someone a gift for their birthday the following year because they did not seem to appreciate the gift you gave them this year.XResearch source
- You may set your own limits around giving gifts to only those who appreciate them based on your comfort level. For example, you may not be able to get out of giving a close relative a gift, even when they do not say "thank you." Rather than get them a lavish gift, you may go for a less expensive gift so you spend less money on them and potentially feel less upset about not receiving a thank you from them.
- 2Try to practice gift giving without expectation. Moving forward, you may also try to give gifts to others without the expectation of a thank you. This may be hard to do, but setting yourself up for no thanks or praise at the onset can make it easier for you to give gifts freely and generously. Practicing giving without acknowledgement from others can be a good way to be more selfless and generous towards others.XResearch source
- For example, for the holiday season, you may focus on giving gifts to those you love and let go of expectations around receiving a thank you from them. That way, when and if you do receive thank you’s from them, you will feel surprised and pleased.
- 3Skip giving out gifts to others. If you do not feel comfortable giving without expectation, you may decide to skip gift giving all together. Rather than spend a lot of money on gifts every year for friends and relatives, you may opt for spending that money on yourself instead. You may feel better about focusing on your own needs rather than give to others, especially if you do not get the thanks and praise you feel you deserve.
- Another option is to donate money to charities or local organizations rather than to family or friends, as you will definitely receive thanks and praise from a charity or organization for your gift. This may be a good way to still give to others and get the thanks you are seeking.
- QuestionAm I right to feel hurt that my boyfriend didn't acknowledge or thank me for his Valentine's gift?Community AnswerYes. It's downright rude to not acknowledge a gift, and since he's your boyfriend, it's a sign that he doesn't really appreciate you. Try having a talk with him about how this made you feel.
- QuestionMy nephews never thank me for their gifts, they are 8 and 15. Their parents are the same. I am tempted to stop offering them gifts altogether to teach them a lesson, is this the right way forward?Community AnswerThe best way to do it is to say something to the parents. Tell them how you feel. It is rude to not thank the gift giver after receiving a gift, but it sounds like their children don't know this because they haven't been taught properly. If you stop giving the children gifts, they'll have no idea why you did it, which will defeat the purpose.
- QuestionMy brother deliberately doesn't thank me for gifts, but thanks my mother. What should I do?Community AnswerYou should tell him about your feelings, and if he still does not care, then tell your parents about it.
- QuestionI gave a really nice gift to my crush and he didn't say thank you, and I found out that he opened it and passed it out to all his friends. What do I do?Community AnswerIt sounds like your crush is pretty insensitive and rude. I would just take this as a sign that this is not the right guy for you and move on. If you really want to you could confront him and tell him his behavior was rude, but it's probably not worth it.
- QuestionI found out that friend gave me a gift basket for the birth of my son, but It's been six months and I do not recall ever getting the gift. How do I respond to the sender?Top AnswererSay thank you anyway. "So nice of you to give me something for the birth of my son. Sorry I didn't pay more notice to it back then. I can't recall what it was; I must have been overwhelmed back then. I'd love to see you soon, let's talk."
- QuestionGave a shower gift, but received no thank you. Gave a cash wedding gift two months ago, and again no thank you. Asked if it was received and expressed disappointment. I received a thank you note with money returned. What should I have done?Top AnswererA great part of this is your own expectations. Gift giving is supposed to be terminal; i.e. we can't expect anything in return. Once a gift is given, that is the end of it. Sure, a thank you is nice, kind, polite, even a cultural custom, but not obligatory. It's "Here's my gift," not "Here's my gift, now give me validation." What if the person issued a general thank you to all gift givers that you may have missed?
- QuestionWhat if I had an email gift card sent to my niece 2 months ago and haven't received a thank you? At this point, I would just like to know if she received it.Top AnswererIf you sent this by e-mail and did not get an error message in return, then it has been delivered. She has seen it, appreciated it, and moved on. Let's be honest, though a thank you is nice, it is not obligatory, and these things are not the most important in anyone's life. Just let it go.
- QuestionShould you expect your adult children to thank you for gifts you purchase for the grandchildren (their children)? And what would the normal time frame be to allow before confronting them?Top AnswererDo not confront them about this, as maybe they believe the children should be the ones to thank you. However, being thanked shouldn't be the main reason for gift giving, you should do it to make the recipient happy. If you expect thanks, then you've made the giving conditional, in which case, it's no longer well intended nor a gift.
- QuestionJust found a son and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Do I start giving gifts for birthdays?Top AnswererThis would be a nice thing to do, but check with them to see whether they would accept gifts from you. That way you can be sure your gifts will be accepted.
- QuestionJust curious as to how people feel about getting a "text" for a thank you as opposed to getting a personal thank you over the phone or in person. A text to me is very impersonal.Top AnswererIt is different for everyone. Some may think a text is fine, whereas some may not. Whoever sent you a text to thank you probably wasn't intending to hurt you.
About This Article
It can be hurtful when someone doesn't thank you for a gift. Try to remember that someone not saying thank you has nothing to do with you. It's just a poor reflection on them. No matter why they didn’t thank you, remember that giving without getting anything in return just makes you a more generous person. However, if it's really bothering you, you might want to confront them about it. Ask the person if they got your gift first just to make sure. If they did and they still don’t thank you when you bring it up, let them know that you're hurt. You could say something like, “It bothered me that you didn't say thanks or even acknowledge your present. Did you not like it or something?” For advice on how to move on if someone refuses to say thanks, keep reading.