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How do I get friends to stop buying me stuff?

I have WAY too much STUFF. All my friends are bargain-hunters, garage-salers and thrift store scavengers. I have clearly stated to my friends that de-cluttering is my focus. I haven't beaten around the bush - I tell everyone this. I brag about how much stuff I have managed to give away online through freecycle! SO - why do my friends always show up with things they have purchased for me? The other day a friend gave me a big shopping bag full of gifts, including things like a fondue pot - which I already own but she wouldn't know that because it's packed away in a closet! I tend to thank people heartily for their thoughtfulness, but if I can't use the stuff it's off to Goodwill pretty quick. If they have money to spend, I'd rather go out to lunch and visit than to crowd my house with more trinkets. So what can I do, after they've been told again and again? I don't want any more STUFF!

Answer Question
 
Whimsee

Asked by Whimsee at 5:11 PM on Jan. 24, 2010 in Relationships

Level 13 (1,029 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • take, sell it, make money!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:14 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • The time required to sell these items would cost more than the items are worth!
    Whimsee

    Answer by Whimsee at 5:16 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • then tell them NO THANKS!!!! and dont take it
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:17 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • This would really hurt them. All my friends are "proud" of their bargain-hunting expertise and their perceived ability to find "just the right thing for you." It would almost be a personal attack against them.
    Whimsee

    Answer by Whimsee at 5:21 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • Well, just tell them that you don't need gifts in order to be happy with their friendship. If you want something, you will either tell them or you can also get it yourself if you like. But just tell them that perhaps, in terms of financial balance, they can cut that down just a bit. Save the money, for when you guys really wanna go out with it. Don't take it for granted, but don't refuse to accept it either. They are just treating you like the amazing person you are to them.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:28 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • Tell them that you would like to go out to lunch instead of getting more gifts.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:34 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • Tell them that you'd rather to do lunch bc you don't have anything that you need. I hear you though. We tend to buy something for others in our family that we think they can't do without! That's our compulsive behavior to buy. You could always tell them to donate it instead of giving it to you. I'm a hoarder but when someone needs it or if I have to clean house I give it to the Domestic Violence Shelter. Those ladies have to leave their home without anything sometimes and they really need it. Tell your friends to donate it to them and take you to lunch!
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:10 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • lol, I should have read anon 4:34 before I said the same thing she did!
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:11 PM on Jan. 24, 2010

  • I've thought a lot about this since I posted the question, and now I wonder if this is a way that my friends try to feel they have a purpose in my life. Maybe they get a feeling of being needed/a feeling of worth if they come to my house and see things they bought in use? This is definitely a recurrent theme among the adults I hang around with, so maybe I am attracted to people like this or maybe I stir some insecurity in them that they counter by buying me stuff. Admckenzie mentioned above being a hoarder. I am not a hoarder but I empathize with that issue. I fight against the emotional attachment to objects. When something is given to me I don't want or need, it is HARD to get rid of because I put the emotional link to that person on the item. I have been battling this and trying to get my life decluttered. So when people add more stuff, it isn't just stuff -- it is an emotional burden.
    Whimsee

    Answer by Whimsee at 11:26 AM on Jan. 26, 2010

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