Am I right or wrong? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please by very honest with me
Usually, selling a gift isn’t well perceived, and that is understandable. Whether it is is something meaningful or not, it can be seen as a way to reject a person (or a place). It makes sense for your boss to feel like you were ungrateful (although he retaliated by saying this in front of an important client, which is definitely a wrong move).
This is very personal take of course: I don’t think you’re wrong. I understand your boss reaction - it would have been very likely the same from a loved one - regardless of all the bad environment you’ve been in at work. But we also have individually a different way to perceive material things. I’ve personally given away gifts I received in the past because either it meant nothing for me or I had no meaningful relationship with the person who offered it. It was either that or it takes place in a box that I’d never open - so there’s no point.
To me it’s a little bit like other principles that are understandable but also go a bit against just being human. Like: having to eat all the food in your plate, otherwise it’s perceived as disrespectful for the person who cooked. But what if you’re just full and can’t take another bite? It doesn’t make sense to force it, and you can 100% appreciate the care and time of the person regardless.
Sometimes, offering gifts in an already bad relationship is also a way to control the other. When your boss says you were ungrateful, they also express how that affected their ego (in the strict sense, not being pejorative here). He was expressing how you receiving this gift (and how you dealt with it) made him feel, but had not considered if whether or not this gift was bringing you joy in the first place. If the place you work with is already painful… then fuck this hoodie, and good for you for trying to get money out of something you didn’t want. Wearing it would have been like pulling the knife deeper into a wound that’s already open and bleeding. What you do with what is given to you, in the end, shouldn’t be others concern. What you’ve shown is that you have values and principles, and I think that’s honorable, especially in a conflictual context where stakes are high - where basically everything would pressure you to give up on what you believe in or stand for.
In your specific context, it’s also definitely uncomfortable that your boss used the personal information he could have on this. In some places the work environment is friendly and small enough for bosses and employees to be together on socials… But in others, it can be at the opposite a way to control or pressure a little more employees. It feels like boundaries were blurry, especially after this event, so it makes sense that it made you feel uncomfortable and you prefer now to keep your private life away from his view.
Hopefully this event can become a part of the past soon for you, just so you don’t have to feel too much awkwardness when you’d interact together, especially if the environment you’re currently in is not one you feel fulfilled with. It sounds like it would be good if you could receive some good news and have the possibility to find a place that suits you better. It’s painful when you have to somehow wait and endure for the right moment and the right opportunity… Fingers crossed.