Gift giving by Narcissists

The act of gift giving by a narcissist is not really an act of giving.  For the receiver – they don’t experience the usual happiness that goes with receiving a gift.  It becomes a deal they made with the narcissist, it is a gesture that you should be so thankful for that you should supply them with the adoration, power that they want and think they deserve.  It is by no means a gift for the narcissist.

As with previous posts, I refer to an incident that I have experienced because I found that speaking in vague terms didn’t help me:

The Gift of Chocolate Liquor

While visiting Don and Lydia (narcissistic couple) just after the Christmas holidays conversation started with ‘how were the holidays, what did u do, etc?’.  Part of the day Lydia and I were hanging out and talking when she said oh, here is the Godiva Chocolate Liquor I got from Don this Christmas…she showed me the bottle in the cupboard and I said, ‘oooo very nice, that looks yummy.’  For the rest of the day I didn’t think anything of it.

That evening when we were sitting down and talking after dinner Lydia says to Don, ‘T Reddy wants some of my chocolate liquor that you got me.’  Sitting there surprised at what she said I stayed silent and then became hurt by what Don said next, ‘Absolutely not, she is not getting any of that liquor.’  Lydia said ‘well, it was a gift from you to me so I can decide if she gets some.’  Don replied, ‘I got that gift for you with my money and she is not allowed to have any, I can say who gets the liquor because I got it for you.’

That is no exaggeration of what he said.  I was sad for so many reasons.  One, I never wanted the liquor but Lydia wanted to open it and try some and she felt she had to use me as an excuse to do so.  Next, Don hadn’t given Lydia a genuine gift…he still saw the gift as his.  Lastly, he didn’t want to share the liquor with me or my boyfriend…he didn’t see us as friends.

After this incident I actually did not see Don as a friend anymore.  I don’t want to be around someone who obviously does not see us as friends and is so materialistic.  I felt bad for Lydia, she couldn’t tell her husband what she wanted nor had she enjoyed her Christmas gift.  She can’t do this which leads her to utilizing her friends to get what she wants…she obviously wanted to try the liquor…she has to use me to try to get what she wanted from her husband.

Gift giving is never simple with a narcissist.  It never is.

xxTR

Related posts:

@IBC: Giving Gifts to Narcissists – Myth 5: A horse is a horse, of course

The Narcissistic Continuum: Super Santa

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13 thoughts on “Gift giving by Narcissists

  1. So true. A gift by a Narcissist is never truly a gift. It’s more like a boomerang: they want something back for it.
    I think it’s really odd that Lydia felt she had to ask him whether she could offer you the liquor, if she felt it was hers, why ask him at all?

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    • I guess she never felt it was hers. He uses economic abuse a lot – he often would say ‘it is my money, I get to spend it how I want’ – because he had a career and she didn’t while she took care of the kids. He always made a distinction between what is his or hers. He often did that with me and my bf.

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    • Not a problem for me as the N I was in a relationship for 13 years never gave me gifts though he expected them from me and others -he was selfish to the bone and thankfully I am done with that situation Run Run Run away from anyone with NPD!!!! YOU will never feel normal until you do!

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  2. I look forward to more of your posts because of your insights — such as how you believe that Lydia never felt the gift of liquor was hers, and that’s why she asked Don if you could have some. Thank you for having enough of clarity of mind to see what you do. And thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

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    • It was weird experience with Don and Lydia. I started to google what he was saying to her and I found that it is a form of abuse called ‘economic abuse’. It is where a partner would say things like ‘it is my money’. It manipulates the person horribly. I believe she never say things as her’s alone. It was always going to be his because he earned the money and she didn’t. Don used economic abuse the whole time we were around him.

      Thank you for your comment. xxoo

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      • Narcissists are all about control – they want control in any relationship as they cannot love due to childhood issues, so they only understand power in relationships. It’s you or them in a zero sum power struggle and if you resist too much they will simply and abruptly devalue and discard you in favor of easier prey (that is always pre lined up on the side).

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  3. The only nice gift I was given by my Narcissist was a jade necklace our first Christmas together (because it matches your eyes)
    I had received nothing for my birthday and I chalked it up to have only going out for a few months at that point…but we had been friends for more than a year..we did go to dinner…but dutch.
    Anyway, I was robbed, and the necklace..along with all of my jewelry was stolen.
    I was never given a card, or gift for Valentines, he completely forgot my next birthday and when the next Christmas rolled around, he gave me a shirt from Goodwill (which I swooned over because I didn’t want to make him feel bad) Later Christmas night he said..I would have gotten you a nicer gift, but after what happened with the necklace, I’m not going to buy you fancy gifts because you obviously can’t take care of nice things.

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  4. Pingback: Myth 5: A horse is a horse, of course. | In Bad Company

  5. Pingback: Giving Gifts to Narcissists | In Bad Company

  6. My Narcissistic sister “re-gifted” a vinyl brief case to me for Christmas one year. We share the same initials & she’d just received her PhD. Our Aunt Florence was notorious for giving tacky things. Context is required here: I’d just had my first child & my sister had (still never has had) children. I wasn’t working – so WHY in the world would I need a briefcase? This sister went on to gift my daughter used consignment store clothing as a child, and when she’d wrap anything, it looked like she’d re-used the paper & took 20 seconds to wrap it. Post-it notes would be attached with my our names on items. Once, she came to visit 3 months after my second daughter was born and she poked my stomach & told me “You look like you’re still pregnant.” I could go on. I’ve had nothing further to do with her for several years.

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  7. Went out with Cluster B Anti Social/Narcissist Personality Disorder case mash-up for 3 months. She gave me extravagant bottle of special and very hard to get foreign brandy I like right at start, it was very uncomfortable and a red flag boundary crossing so early in relationship. After that gifts were very cheap and tacky – after thoughts – so much so I realized afterwards that some of things like Pistachio nuts she gave were actually from grocery orders her ex husband sent via internet for her and her kids, I know as there when one delivery was made and saw same products and brands in the boxes. Tacky as hell.
    They really don’t care about anyone else. When it ended experienced a full blown Narcissistic rage episode full of vitriol and devaluing abuse – they have to mentally devalue you if you don’t play along with their grandiose self delusions – and as part of rant she itemized her gift expenditure (including food and drink) on me and demanded it all back – yep got audited and called a sponger!
    Actually it felt rather good dumping all that tacky junk on her doorstep and out of my house (sans the brandy – I earnt that as for all the crazy).
    So yep, you want to steer clear of these people, they are actually very small percent of population, but really get around as their relationships cannot last long as they live in unstable and volatile reality and any challenge to it has to be ostracized completely – forcing them to seek new relationships in an endless cycle.

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