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Controlled Giving

Definition: This is the gift given to you by someone that is spurred predominantly by feelings and thoughts of gaining or maintaining control in your life.

Now classic giving doesn't fall under this domain. A controlled gift is one that comes with strings attached. It's not coming from that nice, fuzzy place where you just want to give your partner a present just because, or even for their birthday or anniversary.

A controlled gift is one that stems from you wanting to have a string or connection to the receiver. You want something in return, or are giving mainly so that you can hold it back over the receivers head. "Look at all I have done for you, I have bought you yadayadayada." He/she will always be indebted to you (in your mind), because of what you have done for them. It might even be a standard scenario of bribing you buying your affection.

For example, a friend of mine was recently offered a free gym membership from one of his Exes. You might say that this could just be a gift of a friend to another, but bear in mind that she went out of her way to gift him with this. She signed him up, on her gym account and he doesn't have to pay a single dime. Controlled gift? Yes.

Most people aren't gracious receivers and feel that any present given to them must be repaid in one shape or another. That is not true. Gifts are that...simply gifts. They should not be turned into chains to leash you to any action besides a heartfelt thank you. Just because a guy buys you a nice bracelet doesn't mean that you should throw caution to the wind and let him treat you like crap. Just because he paid for dinner doesn't mean that you should serve yourself up as dessert, (unless you want to).

Alot of people give because it makes THEM feel good to give to you. They just like the look of absolute pleasure on your face when they present you with something they know you will like. It has nothing to do with how they want to be viewed by you or what they want you to do for them. Although not fully altruistic--it is a human, and more realistic motive.

It's all about the intent. If the gift is coming from a genuine desire to please you and make you happy, then hey, I'm all about receiving graciously. However, if it's a gift disguised as an expensive way for them to keep you in their corner, have you at their beck and call or throw back in your face at some distant future I'm going to have to say "Thanks but no thanks," to your subtle form of control.

What are some controlled gifts/givers you've encountered? How did you deal with this?

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