If a loved one declares “It’s lovely” when opening a gift from you, you may want to double check that you’ve hung on to the receipt, according to research.

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

Shockingly, 58% of adults confess to putting only some of last year’s gifts to good use and more than a third of recipients admit to commenting “This is really useful” when opening presents that they believe they will never use.

The research, conducted by beauty and grooming brand 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 and last for Christmases to come. 78% of recipients prefer useful gifts, like a shaver, over novelty items which might only be used once.

Others will say “Thanks so much – I nearly bought this for myself” but deep down they never would have bought it for themselves. When exclaiming “What a lovely surprise”, many simply don’t know what else to say.

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% of people agree that 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. 23% have sparked an argument with a partner because of presents they’ve been given, despite dropping a number of hints.

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

60% have felt guilty about how much someone has spent on a gift, 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.

Be warned: if your gift has been described as “interesting”, it more likely means it’s been thought of as a “weird” purchase; and if your partner says “I love it – where did you get it?” they are likely fishing to find out where to return it – some 42% confess to returning or exchanging a gift that’s not for them.

Here they are, the ten little white lies adults tell:

  • When people say “It’s lovely”, it really means “It’s lovely – but not for me”
  • When people say “This is really useful”, it really means “I will never use this”
  • When people say “Thanks so much – I nearly bought this for myself”, it really means “I would never buy this for myself”
  • When people say “What a lovely surprise”, it really means “I’m not sure what to say”
  • When people say “You shouldn’t have”, it really means “No really, you shouldn’t have!”
  • 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”
  • When people say “What an interesting gift”, it really means “What a weird gift”
  • When people say “I love it – where did you get it”, it really means “Where did you get it so I can return it?”
  • 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”
  • 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”