How to Effectively Choose Good Gifts
Avoid Relationship Damage by Giving the Right Gifts
Remember the last time you received a horrible gift? Or maybe you even gave a bad gift yourself? Either way, it’s a bad feeling to be on both sides and the worst part is, that a bad gift can permanently damage your relationship.
This guide will help you to prevent this from happening and allow you to unleash the amazing power of giving, already shown in The Secret Power Behind Gift-Giving. By reading thought this page, you will learn the 3 characteristics of a good gift and how to recognize and avoid bad gifts. You will also learn a technique that will enable you to find amazing gifts with ease.
The 3 characteristics of a good gift.
Before we start, something must be clarified: universally good or bad gifts do not exist. Only the recipient decides whether a gift is good or bad and this is solely based on the feelings that the gift triggers in him.
But how can I choose gifts that trigger positive feeling and avoid negative? The answer to this question is provided by the breakthrough results of psychology and sociology. Based on their research, there are 3 characteristics a good gift has.
A good gift:
1. Resonates with the interests of the receiver
2. Outlines similarities
3. Creates a positive memory
Let's review the properties of a good gift in detail.
1. A good gift resonates with the interest of the receiver.
This can be a hobby, food, sport, travel destination and many other activities. To put it simply, everything your friend or loved one has a passion and interest in. By giving him something that suits his interests, you show first, that you know him well and second, that you support him in his passion. And that makes him feel loved and welcomed just the way he is.
2. A good gift outline similarities.
To show similarities with a gift seems unintuitive at first but makes perfect sense if you think about it. By showing the recipient what you both have in common, you remind him why you are friends. And it’s actually not that hard. Just think for a moment, what do you talk about the most? What are the common interests you share? Fulfilling this characteristic is one of the best ways to strengthen a new friendship.
3. A good gift creates a positive memory.
As we already know, gifts are all about positive feelings and creating a strong memory is a fantastic way to multiply them. Because every time the recipient remembers the gift, he will experience the feelings again and remember you for that well-chosen gift. The best way to achieve this is either by giving an item that the person often sees or uses or by providing an exciting experience.
Not all gifts will be able to fulfill all three criteria and they don't have to. However, it is important that the first characteristic of a good gift is fulfilled, otherwise it won’t be able to invoke true positive feelings. Therefore, consider the first characteristic as mandatory and the other two as major enhancements.
Now that you know the 3 characteristics in theory, let's have a look how they work in practice. The following example will help you to apply this powerful concept in your own life. Afterwards you will be able to distinguish between good gifts and bad gifts with ease.
Imagine you know Amanda. Amanda has a passion for flowers, likes jewelry and loves doing yoga with her best friend Susan. She also enjoys to round off her evening with a glass of wine.
Amanda received 5 gifts for her birthday. Please rate them from best to worst while considering the 3 characteristics of a good gift.
A necklace with her favorite flower from her fiancé David
A t-rex shaped beer opener from her work colleague Jake
A voucher for a quad tour through the mountains from her brother Brian (By far the most expensive gift!)
A yoga themed tank top from her best friend Susan
And 50$ from her parents.
Ready? Very well.
Here the solution - from best to worst:
1.Yoga themed tank top
2. Necklace with her favorite flower
3.Voucher for quad tour through the mountains
5. T-Rex shaped beer opener
Did you get right? If so, well done! If not, it's all right this task was a bit tricky.
Let’s have look how this order came to be.
The first place is well deserved. Why? Well that’s an easy one, since every of the 3 characteristics of a good gift come here in play. This gift strongly relates to Amanda’s interests. It clearly underlines the similarities between herself and her best friend Susan. And creates a strong memory, since every time Amanda uses the tank top, she will remember Susan’s well-chosen gift.
The second place is also an amazing gift. How? It relates to 2 interests of Amanda and makes a wonderful keepsake. It only lacks to establish a similarity between her and David. Anyway, a good choice and only slightly behind the yoga themed tank top.
Let's get to number 3 - the most expensive gift on the list. This gift is actually not that good. Reason? It completely bypasses the first 2 characteristics of a good gift and only has the potential to create a good memory. How so? Well put yourself in Amanda’s shoes and imagine someone gave you a voucher for something you never done and never show interest to do. How would you feel? At least you'll have the feeling that this person doesn't know you very well. This gift can be either mediocre or awful - depending on whether the tour experience will be pleasant or alienating.
The 4th place – 50$. None of the 3 characteristics come here in play and therefor it’s a bad gift. Even though most people who giving money, will say something like 'Buy something you like' or 'Make yourself a joy' - such a gift will never create any of the characteristics of a good gift. Why? Just try to remember the last item you bought with the money you received as a gift. It’s actually pretty hard to do isn’t it? Since 50$ in your purse are just 50$ and in the end you choose and buy the item yourself. Such a gift shows no love and is a missed opportunity to improve your relationship.
And the last place – the T-Rex shaped beer opener. It’s by far the worst gift on the list and at the same time the most common mistake made in gift-giving. Reason? It absolutely ignores all of Amanda’s interests and manages not only to show the differences between her and jake but also to create a negative memory. This is one of those 'Uhm, thanks I guess' gifts. Best case scenario: Amanda puts it on her attic and that's it. Worst case: she puts it right into the trash! The funny thing is, Jake is going to think that his gift is the best. Why? He thinks that this beer opener is hilarious and would be delighted if someone gave him a gift like that. But that’s the point, it is a good gift for him but NOT for Amanda. This kind of gift will definitely damage your relationship.
This example should give you a sense of how to distinguish good and bad gifts. If you are still uncertain how to choose good gifts, don’t worry. Choosing good gifts is actually pretty easy if you use the right technique and asking the right questions. And that’s what the next chapter will be about.
Technique for Choosing Good Gifts
Did you know that a group of researchers has found that most people find it difficult to choose gifts? According to their research, people spend more time and money to buy an item as a gift in comparison to when the same product is bought for personal use. They also discovered that choosing a gift causes a high level of stress in most people. But, since you already know the characteristics of a good gift, it should be pretty easy for you. Especially if you use the right technique.
One of the most common mistakes made, is starting to looking for a gift without thinking first. You will most likely end up with a gift that you like yourself but does not resonate with your friend or loved one (the Jake mistake). To prevent this, you need to ask yourself the right questions. The best way to learn this technique is to use it in your own life.
Sit down for a moment. Imagine the person you want to buy a gift next. Visualize the face of this person, remember their voice. And now ask yourself the following questions:
What does he or she talk about the most?
What interests has he or she shown in the last two years?
Is a he or she particularly passionate about one of them?
Please do this only for one minute, do not overthink! You don't have to remember all the little things someone told you years ago. The most obvious interests and passions are usually also the best ones. Try to find at least 5 but not more than 10.
Ready? Well done! Now you have all the required information to fulfill the first and most important characteristic of a good gift.
Tip: Before you start looking for a gift say to yourself: 'I have everything I need to find the perfect gift for X'. Replace X with the name of your friend or loved one. It may seem a bit weird at first, but try it out anyway! It will help you choose a better gift and at the same time significantly lower your stress level.
If you have found a gift that may fit the first characteristic, double check by asking yourself the following questions: Does this gift really relate to at least one interest of my friend or loved one? Does it outline the similarities between me and him or her? And is it able to create a lasting memory? Remember, the first question must be a strong YES and the other two are powerful bonuses.
And that’s it. Now you have the ability to find amazing gifts!
Thank you for reading my guide. If you have doubts whether the whole effort is worth it, my answer is a clear yes! Reason? A good gift is able to start a feedback loop of positive energy that will improve your life and that of your loved ones. A detailed description how this works can be found here. On the other hand, bad gifts can damage your relationship permanently. This is especially the case when they do not relate to the recipient and show differences between you and them. Such a gift will make them doubt the future of your relationship. This effect is stronger in men than in women.
There is no reason to give bad gifts. Good gifts do not cost more money than bad ones, they just require you to think a little about the person you are giving a gift to. And thinking about people you love is a pleasant task for everyone.
You see, you have nothing to lose but plenty to gain. Gift-giving is just amazing.
PS: Share this guide with your family and friends to help them find better gifts with less stress!
PPS: Already looking for gift? Browse through this site to find matching interests of your loved ones and discover amazing gifts!