Brits will spare the feelings of others by telling little white lies around the Christmas tree

If a loved one says “It’s lovely” when opening a gift, you may want to double check that you’ve hung on to the receipt, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed 86 per cent of Brits will spare the feelings of others by telling little white lies around the Christmas tree.

When exclaiming “What a lovely surprise”, many simply make the remark when lost for words on how they really feel.

Others will say “Thanks so much – I nearly bought this for myself” but in reality, it’s a gift they would have never purchased.

The research, conducted by Braun via OnePoll.com, was commissioned to inspire Brits to leave undesired gifts on the store shelf and get something for loved ones which will be used all year round.

More than one third of recipients confess to saying “This is really useful” despite opening gifts they know they will never use.

And take note when a friend says “You shouldn’t have” as their inner thoughts might be whispering “No really, you shouldn’t have!”

42 per cent of people agree they’d rather be asked for their Christmas wish list than get a surprise, suggesting that thinking outside of the box isn’t always the answer.

Twenty-three per cent have sparked an argument with a partner because of presents they’ve been given, despite dropping a number of hints.

A spokesman for Braun said: “There’s always temptation to have a bit of fun around Christmas, buying friends and family gifts to make them laugh, but not necessarily something they’ll love.

We conducted this research to uncover how many of us are telling fibs to spare the feelings of others to encourage the nation to try and get it right the first time around, with a useful gift like a Braun shaver or IPL which the recipient is bound to find useful all year round.”

The research revealed seven in ten often say things they don’t really mean when opening presents.

When it comes to protecting other people’s feelings, Mum is the person we are most likely to tell little white lies to, followed by partners and friends

Six in ten have felt guilty about how much someone has spent on a them, and as a result, over half have made a point to wear clothes or jewellery in front of their gift giver despite disliking the purchase.

Brits should also be warned if their gift has been described as “interesting”, as it more likely means it’s a “weird” choice.

And if your partner says “I love it – where did you get it?” they are likely fishing to find out where to return it.

As a result, 42 per cent confess to returning or exchanging a gift that’s not for them.

A spokesman for Braun added: “Striking the balance between a gift that you know your loved ones will actually use beyond January and something that makes them feel treated can be tough. This year take a moment to really think about whether the presents your buying this year will be used year round – sometimes there is a reason they wouldn’t buy it for themselves.”

Shockingly, over half of adults confess to putting only some of last year’s gifts to good use.

And 78 per cent of recipients prefer useful gifts, like a shaver, over novelty items which might only be used once.

Ten little white lies adults tell:

1. When people say “It’s lovely”, it really means “It’s lovely – but not for me”

2. When people say “This is really useful”, it really means “I will never use this”

3. When people say “Thanks so much – I nearly bought this for myself”, it really means “I would never buy this for myself”

4. When people say “What a lovely surprise”, it really means “I’m not sure what to say”

5. When people say “You shouldn’t have”, it really means “No really, you shouldn’t have!”

6. When people say “This is so lovely and it’s great because it goes with everything”, it really means “It goes with nothing I own”

7. When people say “What an interesting gift”, it really means “What a weird gift”

8. When people say “I love it – where did you get it”, it really means “Where did you get it so I can return it?”

9. When people say “It was so nice of you to think of me”, it really means “Maybe next time think about me a little harder and get something I like”

10. When people say “Wow – I can’t believe how well you know my taste”, it really means “I can’t believe how little you know my taste”

  • Mat is a writer with an interest in public opinion research. He has a passion for stories covering lifestyle, travel and technology.

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