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10 Gifts You Should Never Give a Friend

Rutuja Ghanekar
In today's more or less materialistic world, if you steer clear off certain items, it might just get easier to narrow down on your gift.

Did You Know?

Gifting a knife, or scissor for any occasion is considered bad luck, as it is believed that gifting sharp objects causes relations with the recipient to 'cut' into half. Often, on receiving sharp objects, the gift recipient returns the person a coin to avert ill luck.
You have to admit that giving strange gifts to your friends as a prank is always the high-point of a birthday celebration. Sometimes - rather most of the time, people don't know where to draw a line and where the seemingly funny gifts turn into plain awkward ones.
Now, it goes without saying that gift items that are considered superstitious in various cultures should be avoided at all costs; but what about those which you should not even think of buying?
The following story includes such gift ideas that you should be running away from, no matter how good they sound in your head. So, let's make sure you don't fall into trouble and scratch the following items off your list - forever.
Note: The gifts can and will vary depending on your friendship and how well you know him/her. The ones included in the article are solely from the author's point of view.

10 Gifts You Should Never Give a Guy

Stuffed Toys and Flowers
Stuffed toys? Seriously? Who would, in his/her sane mind, even think of giving a guy a soft, furry animal, that's not even alive! As if you have not embarrassed yourself enough, you decide to couple it with flowers; you are definitely digging your own grave, my friend.
Who said a tacky piece of jewelry for your friend is a terrible idea? Umm... everybody! Not only is this one of the most inappropriate gifts, it almost always never looks good on men. So, unless he has asked for it, please do stay away from all such items.
Chick Flick DVDs
Okay, so both of you are movie buffs, and you even watch certain rom-coms together, but that is in no way a hint that he secretly desires for an entire DVD collection of the same. He may have certain favorites that he does not mind accepting publicly, but do not expect a mushy reaction and a warm hug if you still go ahead and gift him one.
Outdated Gadgets
Girly movies out; gadgets in? Seems like a good choice - only if you yourself are tech-savvy. Giving your friend a Gingerbread version of an Android phone (when its Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean versions are already doing the rounds in the market) is a terrible gift; worse, if the gadget is clearly an old product.
There is nothing wrong in making a scrapbook with all your memories decorated in it. It's just that it's not a "guy thing." He will not be able to appreciate your efforts; don't blame him, as he's just not programmed for all this. Moreover, a guy gifting his friend a scrapbook is downright weird.

Matching Items

Some people love to flaunt their friendship and want the world to know their special bond. It is okay (only sometimes) to do this, but buying similar tees with "Friends Forever" printed on them, or "Friendship Bracelets" where each has the same one, will only compel your friend to go underground.
Feminine Home Decor
Home decor items as a whole might also seem as a not-so-bad idea, but certain items, like the lamps in the above picture are just too feminine for any guy's taste. Agreed that items like these are very useful, but those having a feminine touch to them will surely lie in the dust. Moreover, such gifts are suitable for entire family than that person himself.
Strange Showpieces
Gifting something that is useful to that person is always a better idea than something that will just sit there and stare at you. Yet, there are a bunch of overenthusiastic people, who go out of their way to buy such showpieces that help little in creating an impression that you know him well. Frankly, they are a thing of the past.
Bright-colored Outfits
If you really don't intend to sabotage your friendship, please do him and yourself a favor by not giving him something that would hamper his vision in any way. Do not make a futile attempt at changing his wardrobe by overpowering him with your taste of clothes that are nowhere close to his sense of style, and which may not even fit him.
Photo Frames
Photographs of yourself, personalized mugs with only your pictures, and the like qualify as a gift only if you top the list of the most self-absorbed and vain person anyone has ever met. As much as he likes you as a friend, I am pretty sure he would not want to see you all the time.

10 Gifts You Should Never Give a Girl

Fake Flowers
If you want to witness a dramatic reaction and increase your chances of jeopardizing your friendship, give her a bunch of fake flowers. However, you will have yourself to blame for what will follow. As much as girls adore flowers, they equally hate the fake ones and often directly relate it to the 'fake' emotions that you're attempting to display.
Self-help Books
We often live by the golden rule - never ever tell a girl what to do and what not to do. The rule stays put even if you make a feeble attempt of telling her something you have always wanted through means of self-improvement books. Everyone is flawed, and they are aware of it; do not make matters worse by pointing it out to them in the form of a "gift."
Weight Loss Equipment
Just because she has been complaining about her ever-increasing weight, does not mean that you gift her dumbbells, or a diet cookbook.
You might as well tell her directly that you agree with her. At the end of the day, looks aren't the reason you are friends with her, right?
Bathroom Scale
A bathroom scale can indicate two things - either you want her to maintain her skinny self, or you want her to drop generous amount of pounds. Almost always, neither type will appreciate it, or be over the moon; so I'd suggest you to save your money and time; instead, brainstorm on a better gift.
Cheap Gift Coupons
If you can extend your budget, treat her by giving a voucher for a relaxing massage at a spa, but don't even think of replacing those with coupons to a low-quality shop, or supermarket that she won't even consider going to.
Cooking Utensils
Believe me, people who love to cook have received utensils as a gift even on their birthdays. If you ask me, going for electronic appliances is any day a better option. Imagine her expression when she opens a perfectly wrapped gift only to find a wok.
Cheap Jewelry and Makeup
Giving low-quality makeup products and/or jewelry is the best way of telling your friend that you don't really like her. If you really want to gift her one, you should ideally start saving for the gift well in advance. If she does not like the gift, she won't even pretend to do so; you have my word for it.
Hygiene Products
Products from Bath & Body Works is still a good idea, but epilators, shaving screams, or machines are a big no-no. Even if it is conveyed indirectly, you just cannot tell a girl that she needs to wax her legs, or get her eyebrows done. Same goes with body sprays; while perfumes are a great gift, deodorants are not.
Weird Pets
Unless she has asked for one, stay away from the thoughts of giving her exotic and/or unusual animals as a gift. Not only would it be an added responsibility (which she might not be ready or willing to undertake), but the chances of your money and efforts going down the drain also quadruple.
Even if she is the kind of girl who can multitask as a plumber, or repair her own car, I really don't think that a toolkit fits the definition of a gift. Girls, in general, don't dig a toolkit as a gift; so save her the disappointment, and take your own time while zeroing in on the perfect gift.
It is often said that it's the thought that counts and not the gift; but a majority of the population agree to disagree. Expressing your love, or friendship is always coupled with a perfect gift, and while that becomes increasingly tough, I hope this article has made the task a tad easier.