Body language expert shares how to fake loving a Christmas gift you really hate

In this season of holiday giving, many Brits will soon face awkward encounters as they pretend to love Christmas gifts that they completely hate.

Rather than hurting another person’s feelings, most people respond with an unconvincing ‘thank you’ after unwrapping that gaudy jumper from a beloved relative.

In fact, last Christmas (December 2021 to January 2022) there were a total of 300,100 searches for ‘returns policy [company name]’ as many rushed to return unwanted gifts received during the festive period.

In a bid to help Brits this holiday season, Funky Pigeon and body language expert Inbaal Honigman have pulled together a guide to help you act like you love those unwanted gifts.

Here are six key steps to mask your disappointment with surprise:

  1. Raise eyebrows up and widen eyes unblinkingly

  2. Send your limbs and facial features far and wide

  3. Put your shoulders up and arms akimbo

  4. Relax your jaw and allow the mouth to open up slightly making an O shape

  5. Turn to the thrilled gift-giver with all expressions, hold the gaze and raise your voice higher to thank them.

  6. Surprise doesn't last long, so ensure most of these steps are carried out quickly and feel free to drop the act after a few seconds, or you'll seem to be over-egging it

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Once you’ve mastered the surprise part, it’s time to deliver a meaningful thank you – here’s what you need to do:

  1. Clasp your hands together at your chest

  2. Narrow your shoulders

  3. Lower your eyebrows

  4. And with an 'awwww' etched all over your face, use a deep, faux-sincere voice to express your thankfulness.

Inbaal explained: “Surprise and gratitude are the two main emotions you want to convey when opening your Christmas presents in front of the gift-giver.

“The beauty of body language analysis is that we're doing it all the time. We sense whether someone is dishonest, just from the way they hold themselves.”

She added: “When you need to fake your body language, your key effort has to go into matching everything up – your words, your posture and your facial expressions have to send the same message.”

So, if a family member’s gift idea absolutely flops this Christmas, you know exactly what to do.

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