Gifting Is Good For Both Giver And Receiver

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Published on August 3rd, 2021

Gifting Is Good For Both Giver And Receiver

Gift giving is a practice that is used by many people to strengthen relationships. The act of giving a gift expresses appreciation for another person, whether it is a family member, friend, partner, or coworker. Giving and receiving gifts can be a great way to help someone feel loved. It also helps the gift-giver feel good about themselves. A gift-giver goes through different emotions, like excitement, anticipation, and gratitude, as they take the time to invest their love for another person into the gesture.

It is a gesture of kindness to give a gift to another person. It feels good for a gift-giver to watch someone’s reaction when they are given a gift. The act of making someone feel good helps the gift-giver feel good. The receiver also has the pleasure of feeling appreciated. Knowing that someone thought of them and found a gift for them makes them feel loved and celebrated.

Appreciating Gifting Is Not Materialistic

Gift-giving can sometimes be misunderstood as materialistic, but it is not necessarily true. Being excited to give and receive gifts is not shallow. It is not fair to label people who appreciate gifts as people who do not understand the value of love. Dr. Gary Chapman considers gifting to be one of the Five Love Languages. 

According to Chapman, there are five love languages, and gifting is one of them. The gesture of giving a gift is a love language that helps people show appreciation. Gifting can be a beautiful method of expressing love, so it is okay to value the sentiment. It can be an invaluable tool for developing relationships with others.

People who genuinely value gift-giving and receiving are not necessarily focused on the item value. The hope and expectation for the receiver to be excited and grateful for the gift are not the same as an ego-fueled incentive. It is okay for people to want to be appreciated, so the gifter and receiver are allowed to feel self-pride and self-love from the gesture.

Gifts Are A Form Of Communication

Gifting is a powerful sentiment. It sends messages between giver and receiver. A great deal is communicated when a gift is exchanged. Whether in celebration, apology or just because, a lot is to be said for a gift a person gives to another. For people who value gifts, the sentiment behind the gift is much more important than the gift itself.

There are many different reasons for giving or receiving a gift. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations tend to be the major occasions, but there are other occasions for gifting as well. Giving a gift can send a message to the receiver even when there is not a traditional occasion to celebrate. Such messages include:

  • I am sorry
  • Get well soon
  • I was thinking about you
  • I love you
  • I remembered you
  • I thought you would like this
  • This reminded me of you
  • I believe in you
  • I support you
  • I extend an olive branch
  • I hope we can resolve this

A lot is communicated through gift giving, especially for people who may struggle with other methods of expressing how they feel. Gifts open space for dialog and connection between people. It is valuable for both gifter and receiver because it creates the potential to facilitate and strengthen relationships.

For Partners Who Value Receiving Gifts

Partners who value receiving gifts as their love language do not only value getting gifts, they also value giving gifts. To a person whose love language is receiving gifts, it is not about the material gift that is given, it is about the sentiment behind the gift. 

A partner whose love language is receiving gifts tends to be sentimental. They appreciate the intention and nostalgia behind a gift more than the gift itself. In the love language of receiving gifts, a gift means, “I was thinking about you today” and “I remembered that this is special to you.”

A partner whose love language is receiving gifts invests in the love and appreciation that is intended in gifts. To meet their needs, you do not only need to be mindful about giving gifts, you also need to be mindful of what it means to your partner when they give you a gift. 

A person with a love language of receiving gifts invests a great deal of themselves in gifts they pick out for you, and the gifts you pick out for them. Take care when giving gifts, and remember that the gifts you are given are important for your partner as well. Expressing and accepting love, respect and appreciation through the gift is more important than the gift itself. In short, “it’s the thought that counts.”

When Gifts Don’t Go Well

Of course, there are moments where gift-giving does not go well. On occasion, the expectation from the gifter or receiver falls short and leaves someone feeling disappointed. When this happens, there may be a deeper issue than the gift itself, as the experience of giving or receiving a gift does not feel sincere or genuine. A person who is not a gracious gifter or receiver may not fully understand the value of gifting. Some may be giving a gift because they feel obligated, and others may have too high of expectations when receiving a gift.

Disappointment in gift-giving can be due to unrealistic expectations set by the gifter or receiver. It can also be due to a lack of sentiment and thought behind the gift. In such situations, the people involved often are not upset about the material object. They are upset because they are left feeling unvalued, unappreciated, or unloved. In situations when giving a gift does not go well, it is okay to talk about it with that person. Finding mutual understanding about the sentiment that was meant to be behind the gift can be helpful, along with addressing any hurt or upset feelings.

It is also okay to set boundaries when you are left feeling uncomfortable with a gift-giving experience. Whether it was a gift you gave that was not appreciated, or a gift you received that made you feel uncomfortable, you have the power to take a step back and evaluate what you need. From there, you may set boundaries and expectations for the future.

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