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05/10/2015

Reasons to Give Gifts As Often As Possible


People give of themselves in many different ways, such as, donating money to worthy organizations, giving time and skills to help someone move or remodel a home, making a meal for someone who is sick, or possibly organizing a fundraising event for a church. Giving of yourself has been demonstrated to strengthen communities by increasing social connectedness, creating compassion for others, and encouraging others to also give of themselves.

Similarly, there are many reasons to give someone a gift throughout the year. The most obvious are Christmas and birthdays, but there are numerous additional occasions to bestow a thoughtful trinket on a special person. The ritual of gift giving is deeply rooted in human culture.

Anthropologists postulate that the ritual of gift-giving dates back more than 50,000 years ago when they found that women were decorated with "ornaments" or jewelry. People of this time were distinguishing themselves from one another with certain pieces of clothing, jewelry, body markings, scarring or piercings. In large gatherings, these distinctive elements created an identity and let others know that they were part of a particular larger group. It is theorized that there was an exchange of knowledge and tangible items to help define these different social groups.

Giving a gift tends to bring joy to the receiver and ideally it is something that the person will enjoy owning, displaying and/or using. What some don't realize is that the act of giving gifts may benefit the giver the most. You tend to be emotionally uplifted when searching for a gift that the receiver will like. You have a heightened sense of self when you are doing something positive for another person. Studies have shown that people are happier when they are spending on others versus spending money on themselves. However, you need to make sure that your goal is to bring pleasure to the person getting the gift. Some people only give gifts because they expect something in return. This can bring disappointment and possibly resentment because expectations may not be met.

People are intrinsically social beings and gift giving tends to strengthen social networks and bonds with family and friends. The person getting the gift is aware that you are thinking of them, that you have an appreciation for them and /or have affection for them. Happiness is felt when giving a gift because your attention shifts away from your own worries or stressors. You are more focused on how the person getting the gift is feeling.

Be sure to put a great deal of thought into your next gift purchase. It is the thought and the gesture that counts, not the amount of money you spend on something.

 

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