If over-analyzed, gift-giving is an odd cross-cultural behavior.
A myriad of potential answers present themselves if you explore the question of why gifts are given. As a guiding principle, the primary motive seems to be to increase mutual positive feeling and interaction. Other factors do creep into this thought exercise however. Could giving gifts be a sophisticated method of feeding one’s own ego? Do we like ourselves more when we give gifts to others? It is difficult to believe that humans can act in absolutely unselfish ways. Gift-giving is supposed to be an exercise whose primary focus is the gift-receiver. The moment is theirs, and any attempts to shine light on yourself as a gift-giver may hurt your cause of providing positive emotion to the atmosphere at hand.
This article serves to be a reminder to be unselfish in ways you may not have thought of being, surrounding the act of giving gifts.
A common mistake gift-givers make is attempting to shine a positive light on their act of giving gifts. They may force people to open gifts on the spot in order to receive the praise which they just can’t wait for, and they may make the process of giving gifts a rather conspicuous event. This article will make the argument of being as inconspicuous as you can be while in the process of giving gifts to others.
You Are Not a Provider, nor a Competitor While Giving Gifts
Steer away from being interpreted as any sort of provider while presenting gifts to others. Do not operate with the vibe of, “There is more where this came from,” or, “This is not a big deal to me,” while giving gifts. Do not make a scene out of your positive actions. Give you gifts humbly, and make them personal. Acting to draw attention to the act of you giving a gift can be interpreted as self-serving. Gifts are, and should always be, absolutely free to the people receiving them. If you choose to label something as a gift, then expect nothing in return. Nothing, encompasses the lack of attention, praise, and any form of positive reception.
Your goal should be for only the person who’s received your gift to know who gave them the gift. If your gift is for one individual, then only that one individual should be saying, “Thank you,” and praising you for your generosity. Those who make their act of gift-giving an event, present themselves as a provider of positive feeling and emotion. There can be people around them who begin to envy being seen as a provider of these good times. People can react in unanticipated ways to you making your act of giving, an event which demands attention. One of these unanticipated effects is a competitive drive to devalue your gifts.
Remember, your are neither a provider nor a competitor when giving gifts. Do not get dragged into determining whose gifts are better at a gift-giving event. You serve to gain more by being inconspicuous in your act of giving gifts as the mark you’ll make on the person receiving your gift will travel further. It is always better for your reputation to positively travel by word of mouth, one-by-one across individuals, rather than to a large audience at once. The moment you as a gift-giver, and the person receiving your gift share, will increase in importance and meaning the more private it is.
You Only Have One Goal
Your one and only focus is to increase the positive feelings of the person who you’re giving presents to. Do everything in your power to make the moment about them, and do anything you can to not draw attention to yourself as the gift-giver. Make them feel special by allowing them to own the moment. Present your gift with as little dialogue and explanation as possible. Allow them to explore the gift on their own accord, at their own pace. Some people will tear open the gift-wraps vehemently and at once, while others prefer to discover their presents on their own and by themselves.
Provide people the opportunity to be in charge of how they receive the gifts that you give. Be seamless in your act of gift-giving, and yearn to be invisible in your attempts to deliver gifts to others.