If you’re the sort of person who loves giving gifts to people, you’ve probably already thought a great deal about what it says about your psychology. After all, from a purely material perspective, the giving of gifts doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You’re giving up resources and, often, not expecting to receive anything in return.
Now psychologists are getting a handle of various categories of gift-giving and what they say about the person giving them. It’s just about making yourself feel happy – as the cynic might argue. There are other motivations too.
The Person Who Loves To Complain
Put your hand up if you’ve ever bought somebody a gift to sweeten the fact that you want to spend all night complaining to them. If that’s you, then you’re not alone – at least according to psychs. The complainer is the person who loves talking about how difficult acquiring the gift was. Instead of just handing it over, they talk endlessly about the challenges that they faced and the lengths that they went to overcome them.
The Power Player
The power player is the person who buys gifts, just to manipulate other people. Sometimes they’ll go down the sentimental route, looking for ways to create powerful emotions in the receiver. Other times, they’ll buy you lavish gifts to make you feel guilty.
The Genuine Giver
Not everyone who gives gifts or flowers for birth months is looking to get one up on the other person. Some people just offer presents because they want to make the other person feel good in some way. If that makes the giver feel happy inside, then it’s just a byproduct, not the purpose of the act of altruism.
Genuine gift-givers tend to have highly developed senses of empathy. They think long and hard about the types of gifts they’d like to give the other person. And, usually, it’s just what they wanted – even if they didn’t know it.
The Status Junkie
Giving people gifts is a powerful way to display your title. Offering lavishness on another person is a way of showing both wealth and power – and sometimes a combination of both. The gift isn’t about the person receiving it, unfortunately. Instead, it’s all about the life and personality of the person giving it.
The good news is that this type of gift-giving doesn’t result in emotional pain if you don’t know the person giving it to you all that well. You actually benefit from their need for display and affirmation. However, it can be a problem when the present comes from somebody with whom you share a close relationship.
The Fake Giver
Finally, there’s a whole class of people who don’t really give at all. Instead, they repurpose old presents and package them up to look like new.
Fake givers are also experts at sending cheques in the post – very generic – instead of actual gifts that people might want. Sometimes, this gift-giver adopts this strategy because they don’t like the person on the receiving end.