Why Am I So Obsessed with Giving People Gifts? - Deepstash
Why Am I So Obsessed with Giving People Gifts?

Why Am I So Obsessed with Giving People Gifts?

Curated from: hbr.org

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Unhealthy gift-giving

Some people are obsessed with giving gifts, even if they can't afford it.

Science says we do this because giving to others genuinely makes people happier. Even if you’re struggling to meet your own basic needs, you’re more likely to derive happiness from spending your money on someone else. But there is a limit.

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Overcoming an unhealthy behavior

It is useful to map out the habit loop.

  • The trigger: what thoughts or feelings are driving your behaviour?
  • The behaviour: What action do you take when you experience that trigger?
  • The result: What is the feeling you get after completing that action?

People often think that a behaviour feels good, but when they pay attention while acting out that behaviour, they notice that it actually doesn't. After they notice unhelpful behaviours, it is important to replace the habit with something uplifting.

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Gift giving: Equating worth with giving

If you equate love and worth with things and giving, it doesn't mean you have to repeat the pattern. You have the autonomy and agency to decide what feels okay for you.

Love, care, and appreciation can be shown in other ways, such as a phone call or a glass of wine with your partner over dinner. People feel happier when they're making a real connection.

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Understanding how people feel appreciated

The idea of Gary Chapman's love languages is that everyone gives and receives love in different ways. If we want to show people that we care about them, we need to understand what behaviours they interpret as an expression of appreciation.

The five love languages are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Acts of service
  4. Physical touch
  5. Receiving gifts

Most people prefer one over the others. Knowing which one a person prefers will free you from the need to spend money on fancy presents.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

matthewyi

Father, Husband, Friend.

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