The Effect of Giving

Gift icon image

Gifts make you happy. However, they should also make sense. © Edwin Tan, Getty Images

Gift giving is deeply rooted in today's society. It doesn't matter whether it's a birthday, Christmas or a small gift in everyday life - with gifts, an attempt is made to make the other person happy. It is often the gesture that is behind the gift. But not only the recipient can be made happy by a gift. Even when giving as a gift, there is often joy.

Money rules the world: not with gifts

In today's society, every product and service has to be paid for. Giving and taking are based on economic principles. People calculate a price for a specific item or charge a certain amount for a period of time. The gift itself therefore speaks against any economic sense. Nevertheless, gifts have been firmly anchored in almost every society for centuries. There is also a psychological phenomenon behind giving. In principle, no consideration is demanded for a gift. However, those who go to great lengths with a gift and in return receive a pair of socks are often disappointed. Gifts between private individuals are therefore usually a continuous chain. Every gift is eventually followed by a gift from the other person. The situation is somewhat different in the economic sphere. A pen or Logo backpack is not given away in order to receive a gift from a business partner at some point. Here much more the appreciation is expressed. Of course, there has long been an economic calculation behind this type of gift. Gifted customers feel honored, which in turn strengthens loyalty.

Giving should not become commercial

In recent years, an anti-trend has developed in many families and circles of friends. The greatest gift here is often not receiving any gifts. This is mainly due to the increasing commercialization of gifts. Whether name day, Christmas or valentines day -There are more and more occasions where clever marketing suggests that people should give each other presents. Of course, this creates a certain amount of pressure. Duplicate gifts are often considered a no-go. If you have a wide circle of friends and a large family, you often can't stop giving gifts. In order to take the burden off one's own shoulders, gifts are often dispensed with. But even this arrangement is often not that easy and someone is guaranteed to always bring a gift. If you stay true to your decision, you often have a bad conscience to speak up. If you give it away again, the vicious circle starts all over again.

The warm glow effect

When people give something away, they usually feel good about it. This feeling has even been given its own name with the warm glow effect. This is probably one of the reasons why so many people like to give presents. A gift can also express your own love. If you like other people, you try to make them happy. Giving can also show mindfulness and appreciation. Because a gift costs either time or money. This allows you to express what the other person values. However, the warm glow effect cannot always be conveyed. When an adventure lover gifts a couch potato with a skydive, it's more likely to make them uncomfortable. Then the disappointment can be great on both sides. The person receiving the gift is unhappy because the gift does not meet their expectations. The person giving the gift, on the other hand, would have expected a different reaction.

Happiness can be given away

There is a well-known saying that happiness cannot be bought. To a certain extent, that may be true. Luck can always be given away. Various scientists and studies have already dealt with gifts. For example, it was found that gifts are valued above all when they have a deeper meaning. The price is often irrelevant. Particularly expensive gifts do not necessarily have to be well received. On the contrary, they can also cause discomfort. A gift with meaning, on the other hand, can provide pure joy. It pays to be a good listener and to be able to read between the lines. This makes it much easier to choose a suitable and, above all, meaningful gift.

Science is convinced: Giving makes you happy

Gifts are more than just a nice gesture. They help to make you feel good about yourself when giving gifts. There are already numerous scientific studies on happiness research. These confirm the assumption that selflessness can contribute to a long-lasting feeling of happiness. Whether consumer goods, handicrafts or time together is given away - those who buy or treat themselves to something instead are often happy for significantly less time. Hedonistic habituation also plays a role here. If moments of happiness are repeated frequently, their intensity decreases significantly over time. According to current research, however, this does not seem to be the case with gifts. Even if gifts are given to other people for years, the feeling of happiness remains the same. Of course, exceptions also prove the rule. Some people don't see a deeper meaning in gifts and don't get happier when they give gifts.

08/28/2023

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