DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl, and all my life I have had trouble accepting gifts, even inexpensive ones. I do believe it's the thought that counts, but I have trouble expressing gratitude.
An example: My brother was disappointed by my reaction when he got me soap shaped like a rock last Christmas. My smile was forced. I feel anxious when I get presents, no matter what they are.
I have started seeing someone, and I was planning to save up for a really nice present for him. But when he said he wanted to do the same, I felt uncomfortable. What's a great line I can use to express my gratitude -- "I'm happy that you thought of me"? -- SEARCHING FOR WORDS OUT WEST
DEAR SEARCHING FOR WORDS: Always say thank you. After that, you might express that the item is "beautiful" or that you like the style or the color. In a case like your brother's gift, you could have said, "Wow! This gift rocks!"