Birthdays and holidays are a great opportunity to flex your incredible gift-giving skills. For some, giving holidays are a time of joy and fun. For others, though, the expectation of a gift causes stress and a lot of second-guessing. How is it that some people seem naturally talented at finding the perfect present while others continually struggle?
It’s less of a mystery than many think, as the psychology behind giving great gifts tells us. To always impress loved ones with a present, you simply need to identify the nature of the relationship and then avoid obviously poor choices. Finally, you can either make a safe choice or choose something representing the relationship for the emotional bonus.
Gifts Are Symbolic of the Relationship
Gift-giving has long been a way for us to improve relationships we care about. It’s a way to reestablish our interest in a person through a single concise action. Depending on how much we care for the person, the level of care we put into our gifts changes dramatically. For instance, an anniversary gift for a life partner generally looks different and takes precedence over a friendship anniversary.
Avoiding the Unwanted
The thing that trips people up with the psychology behind giving great gifts is choosing something too obscure. For instance, a better juicer might be an expensive and thoughtful gift—but only in certain circumstances. If the receiver is a health fan who has mentioned wanting one or would very reasonably have use for one, the item will be well-received. If it just seemed like something handy that the person didn’t need, there’s too high a risk that it will end up never being useful. Avoid items that are just generally useful but seem unrelated to the needs or interests of the receiver.
Making Safe Choices
Options such as seasonally appropriate gift baskets are always safe choices, especially if you’re less familiar with the receiver. With just a few clues about the person’s interest, you can easily select a beautiful basket packed with goodies that they’ll enjoy over the next few weeks. The trick is to learn enough about a person to understand what they need or would find tasteful. Avoid colors, items, and themes that you’ve never seen the person take an interest in.
Regarding the previous point, a gift can also symbolize a relationship in its shape and design. Try to imagine what you want to say to the receiver of the gift. Then, begin to boil the ideas down into their conceptual essences. For example, heart-shaped jewelry bedecked with birthstones sends a pretty clear message. A heart represents love, and birthstones mark critical months and dates. In similar ways, you can reduce any statement to a very thoughtful and straightforward gift that the receiver will cherish.