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Woman Calls Out Partner For Giving Friend A Thoughtful Gift, But Only Getting Her Gift Cards

Woman holding a gift card
Light Field Studios/Getty Images

Gift giving is a love language in and of itself.

For some people, gifts are a token of their love for someone.

But for others, like Redditor sunni____, giving gifts is no simple task, and opting for gift cards or the like is a simpler solution.

The Original Poster (OP) recently had a stroke of genius before their best friend’s birthday and came up with a thoughtful gift.

This change of character took the OP’s girlfriend by surprise, causing her to accuse them of using “weaponized incompetence.”

This interaction led the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

They asked:

“AITA for “using weaponized incompetence” when getting gifts for my girlfriend?”

The OP went on to explain.

I have never been the best at gift giving. It’s something I can’t seem to master the art of. I don’t know if I’m just not as thoughtful as everyone else or what.”

“I’ve had maybe one or two moments of spotting something and going, ‘this reminds me of [insert person here], let me buy it.’ Other than that, I’m pretty much phoning it in with gift cards.”

“Whenever a holiday or special event approaches, it’s like my mind goes blank to what the person would like.”

“My best friend’s birthday was this weekend, and I truly felt like I had a stroke of genius leading up to it. He’s a history buff and spends most of his time studying and traveling.”

“He’s also spent the last year of his life writing a dissertation that he hopes to turn into a book.”

“I’ve read over the draft versions of it as he works (sometimes out of curiosity, mostly to help out with proofreading as a fresh set of eyes), but it’s now very near completion.”

“I requested another copy of the manuscript, had two copies properly bound, and wrote up an “about the author” section myself to include.”

“When I presented them to him at his birthday party, I told him the first was for him to keep as his very first copy, and the second was a copy for me – the very first autographed one if he would be so kind as to sign it.”

“The whole thing was a really nice moment for us and his family, who I’m very close with. When he read over what I had written about him in the ‘about the author’ section, he teared up a little.”

“This is one of the only times making someone cry has ever made me feel so good.”

“My girlfriend was there during this whole display and didn’t say much. She went home early while I stayed the night with my friend.”

“When we talked the next day, she told me the gift thing was overkill, and it was proof that I was using “weaponized incompetence” previously in order to get out of putting time and thought into gifts for her.”

“I’m kind of at a loss here. I didn’t think the nice gesture was indicative of anything other than me doing something kind.”

The OP was left to wonder…


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“Ngl, I’d be pissed if my bf ‘didn’t know how to get me gifts’ and then got his friend literally the most thoughtful gift ever.”

“I’m not sure you’re a reliable narrator. How hard can it be to buy something for someone you love? YTA”

“Edit: not going to reply to all the replies, but holy sh*t, you guys make me sad. Gift giving is so simple if you actually care about someone.”

“Actually, listen when they talk. My friend casually mentioning she’s been looking for a certain item is my cue to get her that item.”

“My friend saying he values experiences with others is my cue to take him to a high tea. It’s not rocket science.” – LinhardtHevring

OOF. Yea, buddy sorry, but YTA. Look at it from your girlfriend’s perspective.”

“You admittedly never put thought into presents for her, and then all of a sudden she’s seeing you gift a VERY meaningful and thoughtful gift to a friend.”

“‘I’m not good at giving gifts, maybe I’m just not thoughtful’ is not something someone who isn’t an a**hole says.”

“Perhaps just work on being more thoughtful, or this is going to continue to be an issue.”

“Your girlfriend WILL move on and not be attracted to you anymore if you don’t step it up. The resentment is clearly already there.”

“Like…just try.” – UsefulAccident3031

I think the gift you gave your friend was thoughtful. I think you’re NTA for this particular gift. However, it’s hard to say when it actually comes to your girlfriend.”

“I think your entire first paragraph is kind of an excuse. Sometimes buying gifts sucks, sure.”

“Especially if you don’t know a person well, and this is for a white elephant or something (but hey, that’s what wine baskets were made for).”

“But if you’re close with a person, like a girlfriend, and you seriously can’t think of something they would enjoy based on how well you know them, then you aren’t listening very well.”

“I am under the impression you may have given your girlfriend thoughtless gifts in the past, and she’s feeling resentful, though deciding to bring it up at a poor time.”

“The fact is, we’re all constantly talking about what kinds of gifts would be important to us. Obviously, not intentionally.”

“But by listening to your friends, knowing the wants, needs, and likes they talk about, you can easily become a fantastic gift-giver. Just by listening.” – echoCashMeOusside


“Some tips from a better gift giver:”

“-Keep a running list year long. She sees an ad and says ‘Oh that’s cool look at this,’ write it down. She breaks or loses an item she likes? Write it down.”

“She talks about wanting to try a new restaurant, experience, anything? Write it down. When it becomes gift-giving time, consult your list.”

“-Make something like what you did for your friend. My pandemic project was learning to crochet – I’ve since given many, many little crocheted things as gifts.”

“Even if it isn’t some amazing thing, they really appreciate the time and effort more than anything. Play to your strengths. Do you woodwork? Draw? Paint? Music?”

“-Pay attention to her hobbies and her struggles. Find something that would make her life easier or make her hobbies more enjoyable.”

“-The best gift is one a person wouldn’t buy (or wouldn’t think to buy) for themselves but are happy to have.”

“This is important as you get older and have more disposable income, as people than just buy whatever they need.”

“So stay away from needs and find some wants, especially if they’re a little decadent.”

“-If you’re really desperate and your list is empty, you could at least pay attention to what she buys from the makeup store and buy that instead of a gift card. At least try, dude.” – ScienceNotKids

“YTA. Based on your comments, you put more thought and effort into this one gift for your friend than every gift you’ve given your gf combined.” – mutualbuttsqueezin

YTA. It may not be weaponized incompetence– it could just be that you don’t give a sh*t about your girlfriend’s happiness and/or don’t pay enough attention to her personality and interests.”

“Lots of possibilities here. None are good.”

“This gift for your friend wasn’t a ’stoke of genius.” You pay attention to what your friend cares about, so coming up with an idea is easy.”

“You care about your friend’s happiness, so you put the extra effort when necessary. You’re capable of these things. Why aren’t you doing them for your girlfriend?” – Kittenn1412

“YTA. Can people who are bad at gift-giving explain to me how much time and effort they put into it?”

“I’m good at it – simply because I spend a long time researching and brainstorming gifts the receiver might like.”

“My assumption has always been that people who are “bad” at it are spending a couple of minutes thinking then give up when the answer doesn’t come immediately.”

“So yeah, it just takes thoughtful effort on the part of the giver. Which makes me think YTA for not doing that for your girlfriend, OP.” – furkfurk

Nah, it kinda is. You demonstrated you knew your friend well enough to know what he really likes and would appreciate … and you don’t know your gf at all.”

“Sure, he’s your best friend. Maybe you’ve known him longer, but not even knowing your GFs hobbies and interests to try?”

“YTA man.” – NatashOverWorld

You can’t be bothered learning enough about your gf to get her thoughtful gifts?”

“YTA.” – Cpt_Riker

“YTA. Even my kids can give nice gifts just by paying attention. They get me merch from my favorite shows, cooking gadgets, really good coffee because they take minimal interest in what I like.”

“My oldest has even realized that I prefer silver jewelry with semiprecious stones. These are things you should notice and remember about someone you care about.”

“Your girlfriend is right about ‘weaponized incompetence.’” – splendiferous_wretch

There’s a difference between being bad at something and not even trying.

We hope that OP can put a little extra effort into the next gift to help remedy this situation.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)