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People love giving gifts, don’t they? Considering the financial cost of it, you’d think that when birthdays or Christmas comes around, people are silently cursing and praying a prayer for their poor purses. But that’s not the case, we love giving gifts and receiving them – but it seems like the giving does outweigh the receiving.
The New York Times noticed this and ran with the below:
“Gift giving has long been a favorite subject for studies on human behavior, with psychologists, anthropologists, economists and marketers all weighing in. They have found that giving gifts is a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction, helping to define relationships and strengthen bonds with family and friends. Indeed, psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift. Frustrated by crowds, traffic and commercialism, people can be tempted at this time of year to opt out of gift giving altogether. A 2005 survey showed that four out of five Americans think the holidays are too materialistic, according to the Center for a New American Dream, which promotes responsible consumption.”
The thing is, there is so much social value to be gained from the giving of gifts. It’s been done for thousands of years from native tribal culture all the way through to today; some cultures even bankrupted themselves just to gain prestige through giving gifts!
“Gift giving is often the most obvious way a partner can show interest, strengthen a bond or even signal that a relationship should end. One colleague of Dr. Rucker’s noted that she knew her marriage was over when her husband handed her a gift in a brown grocery bag.”
So if you like people, give them gifts that they will enjoy and not only that, gifts that you will love to give to them!
Now, where do you start? That’s easy – with the recipient. If you know them well, this should be easy – you need to give them a gift that is all about them! Sometimes, you can’t see the trees for wood, and if you know a person too well, it can be hard to pick a perfect gift. Meet up with your target and try to employ some active listening during your next conversation to pick up on some hints. This is a great starting point.
But if you don’t know them that well – it shouldn’t be a problem. For fun lovers, there are items like all custom bobbleheads which are zany and quirky little things! For foodies, you can always get a good recipe book or an amazingly special ingredient. For wine lovers, there are plenty of classy wines on the market. There’s always an option, and you just need to know who you are buying for, whether it’s the latest addition to the family or the boss you are desperate to impress, it doesn’t matter – you just need to know them a little tiny bit.
Go on, giving gifts can be great fun!
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