Hey, Besties!

I’m back with another great question from Dear Prudence. It involves siblings. Those of you with siblings know how inappropriate they can be at times. Lord, knows I do. Ugh! Let’s dive right into this question. It reads:

My sister and I have an otherwise good relationship, but she is a terrible gift-giver. When her birthday or a special occasion rolls around, I try to give her thoughtful, useful gifts. For my last birthday, she sent me a butt plug as a “gag gift.” She has consistently sent me similarly unfunny/raunchy “gag gifts” that, quite frankly, are embarrassing to receive. Beyond it being gauche, I never use these gifts, and I can’t exactly give them to someone else.

I’ve tried subtle methods to get her to stop, like hinting at gifts I might prefer. At one point I tried to be more direct and asked her point-blank to stop, but she kind of shrugged it off. How do I get her to reconsider the “gifts” she sends me? My birthday is coming up and I don’t want to have to unwrap another piece of junk.


Dear LW,

Gurl, what??? A butt plug? Why do you keep opening her gifts? Listen, I know she’s your sister, but you need to set some boundaries. Stop dropping hints and be very direct. She probably thinks it is so funny, but I can’t imagine opening a gift like that in front of my parents, friends, family members, etc. If I were you, tell her straight up “No more gifts.” This is ridiculous. Like, what is wrong with this woman? You obviously don’t like her gifts, but she keeps doing it. She is definitely getting something out of this. She probably likes embarrassing you and finds it funny. It’s so inconsiderate, however. She needs to find her kicks somewhere else.

To sum up, tell her “No more gifts.” If she brings one anyway, politely give it back. You don’t have to keep this cycle going. End it. If she gets upset, which she probably will, so what. She didn’t consider your feelings when she continued to buy you embarrassing gifts. She’ll get over it. Be assertive. You can do it!

Good luck.

~Jana Leigh

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