With new year around the corner, I was randomly browsing through the online shopping portals, seeking ideas to spoil my husband with gifts. I did come across a lot many cool ideas, which I personally loved. But wasn’t sure if he would really enjoy them. That’s when a question crossed my mind: Should my gifts reflect myself or the recipient, in this case my husband?
Most of us want our gifts to show how thoughtful we’ve been, and how we’ve taken the recipient’s interests and personality into account. It can sometimes feel like a real test. However, according to the new findings by psychologists, this isn’t the optimal approach.
It has been found that, giving a gift that reveals something of our own true self could be more effective at increasing relationship closeness because it’s an act of personal disclosure. Just like how we know that sharing intimacies – our private feelings and thoughts, with others acts as a powerful catalyst. The research suggests that, giving gifts that reveal something about oneself also have a similar effect.
Folk’s wisdom about how people prefer giving gifts that reflect the receiver’s interests and passions, seems to have gone wrong the whole time.
Your gifts are a piece of you
It’s not easy to choose a gift that accurately reflects the recipient’s true self. Any mistaken choice can go awry if it signals how little you know the recipient, especially if you’re giving to a man. However, giving a piece of you in the form of a gift, shows courage to share a slice of oneself with the recipient.
The anatomy of gifting a piece of oneself states, that the brain center, technically called the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) respond to the new with stimulation of dopaminergic neurons, which are parts of the reward system. It is said that novelty stimulates our brains because we are looking for rewards. When we see something new, we don’t know whether it will give us a reward or not, but it interests us until we find out. Alongside gifting something which reminds them of us is like gifting materials that represent our own self. Thus, providing the recipient double pleasure here.
On understanding what gifts are, and how the entire gift culture evolved, one realizes that the nature of gifting has changed significantly. Over the years, the idea of gifting has changed from pleasing for reciprocation to the way of expressing love and affection. During this evolutionary era, it is best to take advantage of the opportunity to grow closer to those you care about, by gifting something that depicts you.
What to have in mind?
It seems as though people may lack insight into what type of gifts might actually promote pro-relationship outcomes. It seems that giving gifts could have both positive social and personal implications.
But on another note, beware. In hunting for a gift that represent oneself, people are likely to come more self-conscious. Not to scare you, but it could eventually lead to narcissism or a self-obsessed person.
If you want to give a gift that someone will appreciate, then you should focus on getting a good gift and ignore whether it is a thoughtful gift or not. Here’s a common misconception: the bigger, more valuable the gift, the more it expresses our appreciation. Trust me, I know people who’ve received huge stock bonds or heavy jewelry, who still feel severely under-appreciated. A genuine, heartfelt holiday card can go a long way toward serving the same purpose of a gift.
There is absolutely no need to feel pressured into getting ‘The’ gift. Use your creativity to choose on a one.
Here are a few ideas I have, to gift your special someone. Gifts which actually involves efforts with love and involvement.
- Homemade Chocolate/Brownies:
What better way to show your love than with baked goods? Use your own recipe or find a perfect melting chocolate recipe online.
- Date jar:
Always have a plan for date night. Write date night ideas on little slips of paper and fold them up. Place them in a jar, shake it up, and give to your significant other.
- “Open when..” letters:
Write a series of letters with personalized stationery and enclose them in different envelopes. On each envelope, write a phrase such as, ‘Open when you miss me’ or ‘Open when you have had a long day’ etc. In each envelope include a letter that fits the theme.
- A monthly calendar:
You may draw cute drawings of you both for each month. Something special that had happened during the month and make a month wise calendar.
- Love map wall art:
Cut heart shapes out of maps from important places: where you and your significant other met each other, where you were engaged or where you got married. Label each location and frame the piece for keepsake art gift for your significant other.
- Scrabble board:
Choose the letters of both your names from amongst the scrabble coins, and place them like a crossword.
- Other diys:
If your good at hand works, you may put them to good use. A soulful painting, or a beautiful pencil sketch of a picture of your choice. If you are good with thread works, maybe a thoughtful stitching on a cloth or a handkerchief.
Thank me later! Now buzz away to make a DIY gift as a new year surprise for your loved one.