Psychology of Gifting

Have you ever wondered why people give gifts? What is it that compels us to offer gifts to others? Why go through the trouble to look for a gift and buy it for someone instead of simply giving them cash?

Research suggests gift-giving is a psychological process. Psychologists have found that people often have two major goals considered when buying a gift for someone. The first is making the gift’s recipient happy. The second is strengthening the relationship between the gift giver and recipient.

The first goal is achieved by offering someone a gift they want or desire. The second goal, on the other hand, is achieved by offering someone a memorable gift. Offering a gift that covers both aspects indicates that the giver knows the recipient well. To achieve this, one must figure out what the recipient wants without directly asking, which can sometimes be a daunting task.

If figuring out which gift to give someone is a daunting task, then giving cash is the best way to go, right? Wrong. As much as cash is the easiest way to go, it is also the most impersonal form of gifting. Cash goes against the two major goals of gifting and serves no psychological purpose in gift-giving.

Using Psychology to Choose a Gift

Figuring out which gift to give someone without asking them can sometimes be challenging. However, psychology plays a significant role in helping us find ways to present the best gift to someone. Let us look at some ways of approaching gift-giving psychologically.

Do Not Worry About Expense – Opt For Practicality

There is a common misconception that the more expensive a gift is, the more someone will appreciate it. However, recent research suggests the practicality of a gift matters more than its expense or quality. This is not to say that one should always opt for the cheapest and lowest quality gifts. Still, the practicality should be at the forefront of priorities when choosing a gift. That being said, one should not hesitate from spending a little more on gifts that will bring the most practicality to the lives of the recipients. 

Longer-Term Satisfaction Over Short Term Enthusiasm

A gift should pay dividends over a long period of time rather than bring initial happiness then be quickly forgotten. When choosing a gift, you should stop thinking about how a particular gift will wow the recipient and begin thinking about the long-term happiness it will bring them. In retrospect, this links up to the earlier point of a gift being practical for the recipient. In today’s world, it is easy to get customizable gifts that will match and fit the practicality of the recipient. Therefore, it is worth going the extra mile to customize or personalize a gift that will ensure the long-term happiness of its recipient. 

Give Gifts That Have Been Requested

When giving someone a gift, there are two paths you can choose. You can choose to offer surprise gifts or requested gifts. However, there has always been the misconception that surprise gifts are always better. Studies by psychologists have suggested that people actually prefer receiving gifts they have requested. A gift request might not always be direct and clear. One needs to carefully listen to the intended recipient of a period of time to find out what they would like most as a gift because people often tend to mention things they would like a lot. As a result, giving someone a gift they have directly or indirectly requested demonstrates the intimacy of the relationship between the gifter and the recipient. 

In conclusion, psychology plays a significant role in the world of gift-giving. Psychology helps us understand why we give and receive gifts and how to choose the perfect gift for someone. 

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