Narcissistic Gift Giving (8 Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Gift Giving)

Are you interested in the narcissistic gift-giving telling signs? Then this guide is for you!

In the beginning, narcissists hook their victims with charisma, charm, doting, generous gifts, and affection. That’s all gone quicker than a magic palace in an Arabian Nights tale.

Next comes the devaluation phase, and there will also be gifts during that part. However, the gifts will change, and so will their reasons.

These are some of the most common things you can expect with a narcissist’s gifts.

1. The gift pales in comparison to what you deserve

Perhaps you just graduated from college. Maybe you’re celebrating a milestone birthday, an anniversary or your wedding.

While most people buy you a gift from your registry or something meaningful, the narcissist may show up with some irrelevant dollar store trinket.

It’s one thing when a person truly cannot afford a nice gift, but even a $1 card with a heartfelt message is better than a thoughtless gift.

The narcissist may have plenty of money to spend. Since narcissists put themselves first, they don’t buy nice gifts for others unless they’re in the love-bombing phase or for various self-gratification reasons.

It doesn’t matter if you bought the narcissist a new car for their birthday or gave them a kidney. Don’t expect anything meaningful in return, even if you deserve it.

2. The gift is something they want

You unwrap a gift and reveal something that you have no interest in. For example, the gift may be tickets to a concert for you and the narcissist, but the band is one that only the narcissist likes, and you’ll be going together.

Here’s another example. You may hate skiing, but the narcissist gives you a new pair of skis.

After some arguing, victimhood antics, and shaming from the narcissist, you find yourself giving back the skis.

Narcissists have low self-esteem and feel better about themselves when they buy others gifts.

However, they’re not above buying something they know you’ll give back because you don’t want it.

That way, they get something they want because they’re most important!

Also, they look good to everyone else for being so generous.

3. The gifts show subtle devaluation

In some cases, a gift may be a jab at you. It may be what you asked for or talked about at some point, but the narcissist may be giving it to you to add to the devaluation quietly.

This is a tactic to tear down your self-esteem.

Perhaps you said you want to go to the gym more. The narcissist may buy you a low-tier gym membership.

Maybe you haven’t said anything about wanting to get fit. You may be fit as a fiddle, and the narcissist will still give you diet pills, a coupon for Botox, or something else that may make you feel unattractive.

4. The gift is just pure crap, and they lie about it

Going back to the first point, the cruddy gifts aren’t just limited to special occasions. Nope! Narcissists are always happy to spend as little on you as possible.

You may find a clearance tag on the item. It may be cheap and of terrible quality, but it may be designed similarly to something that’s popular and expensive.

Another thing narcissists do is re-gift things that you or someone else gave them.

While a few may brag about getting a good deal because of their charm or good looks, others may flat-out lie and say it’s expensive.

In most cases, there’s an elaborate story about the unique dollar store trash they bought.

You’ll probably be stonewalled if you call them out instead of acting grateful and impressed.

5. There’s no gift, but they’ll get it to you soon

Sometimes, you’re lucky to get a gift at all. Well, not really, but you get the point. Narcissists often show up with empty promises as a gift.

“Oh, you wouldn’t believe what happened…” This is where you insert a long and untrue story. “I promise I’ll get your gift to you next month.”

You won’t get a gift, but you probably already suspected that.

Still, you’ll be expected to praise the narcissist for putting aside all that wild drama to come to your party and give you such a generous empty promise.

6. The gift is completely unsuitable for you

The narcissist gives you a sweater that’s your least favorite color despite repeatedly saying that you hate that color.

Remember that narcissists always like to chip away at your self-esteem, so maybe that sweater is also two or three sizes too large.

The narcissist will have a big explanation or story of how they found the gift. Despite feeling insulted, you’ll still be pushed into praising the narcissist for the way-too-big sweater and pretending to like it.

The narcissist is only after praise and attention.

Maybe you don’t like a rustic or country theme. Everything in your house is elegant or modern, and the narcissist gives you a crusty, rusty old decorative milk jug and a decorative twig broom.

The unsuitable gifts aren’t just limited to a narcissist’s direct supply.

For example, if the narcissist is invited to your daughter’s high school graduation, the person may bring a cheap doll or some other gift for a small child.

7. The gift has more strings than a puppet convention

There may be conditions with your gift. Maybe you’re only allowed to keep it as long as you and the narcissist stay in a relationship.

The narcissist may buy you a car, but you won’t take charge of it.

Give it a week or two if there aren’t immediate limitations or conditions. “Since I gave you that gift, now I need you to do this for me.” Narcissists are always going to manipulate you.

The possibilities are endless with the design and type of strings attached to narcissists’ gifts.

8. The gift may be covering up something unpleasant

Where’s the stink coming from? That’s a good phrase to remember when you get an unexpected gift from a narcissist.

Why? Because when they give gifts out of the blue, especially after the short love-bombing phase, it’s often a sign that they did something wrong.

Adult narcissists are like toddlers emotionally but have adult bodies. They’re not good at hiding their guilt, and you can probably figure out what they’re hiding with a little investigation.

The narcissist may have told a lie about you that spread further than intended. If the narcissist is your partner, the person may have cheated on you.

The possibilities are endless. Look for the source of the stink.

Remember, the narcissist will still expect gifts from you; they better be awesome and free of strings.

Even if the gifts are exactly what the narcissist wants, you may be met with grumpiness. “That’s not what I wanted.”

You know they’re lying and trying to devalue you, and that’s just what they do.

You’ll still get stonewalled or guilt-tripped for giving them the gift they wanted, even though it’s “not what they wanted.” Yeah, we’re confused too.

Remember, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people and actively work on building your self-esteem if you must deal with a narcissist.

When it gets to be too much, walking away is completely ok. Good luck!

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