People shouldn’t feel guilty about passing on unwanted presents because those who gave them prefer the items go to a good home rather than being discarded,say researchers.
Attitudes towards re-gifting handing on a present to a third party as a new gift were examined by a team from the London Business School who wanted to find out if it really was a social taboo.
They discovered the original receiver of a gift felt worst about passing it on,considering it just as bad as simply throwing it away.
But in contrast,the gift giver was less bothered,and preferred it to go to a new home than to be discarded.
Reactions to either re-gifting or throwing a present away were measured on an offensiveness scale.
Givers were less offended when they learned the receiver had re-gifted than when they learned the receiver threw the gift away.
Receivers believed givers would be equally offended no matter what option they took.
The team believe the findings come down to entitlement with receivers feeling that givers should have a say in what happens to their gifts,while givers feel receivers are entitled to do whatever they like.
“Re-gifting isnt bad. In fact it is one way to ensure that gifts are passed along to those who will truly enjoy them,” Gabrielle Adams,from the London Business School,said.
“People shouldnt be afraid to pass along a gift they received to someone else,” he added.