The Joys and Dreads of Giving and Receiving Gifts


Are you an enthusiastic, appreciative receiver or does getting a gift make you feel uncomfortable?

What do you think about giving and receiving gifts? Are you an enthusiastic, appreciative receiver or does getting a gift make you feel uncomfortable? Are you a spirited gift giver picking up small (or large) tokens of your esteem and affection wherever you go for the people you care about?

In a small survey I conducted over the last several months here’s what I discovered:

More from YourTango: Family Gift Giving For the Holidays

  • Women tend to be more comfortable than men giving gifts to family and friends not related to a special occasion;
  • Women are more apt than men to give a gift to a friend;
  • Men are willing and eager to buy gifts for loved ones especially for special occasions, though they feel enormously uncertain most of the time that the gift they buy will be valued and appreciated by the receiver;
  • Men have less of a need to receive a personal gift than women, particularly for birthdays and anniversaries;
  • Men are more welcoming and appreciative of a wider range of gifts than women; and
  • Women make more meaning of the gifts they receive than men.

Here are a few personal Gift Giving & Receiving Guidelines I’d like to offer for your consideration:

When I give a gift the very act of giving says, “I was out in the world, saw this gift, thought of you and bought it for you. Please know that you are special to me and I care for you.”

It is not so important to me that people like the gifts I give, though I certainly hope they do. It is very important to me that people to whom I give gifts know that my “gifting” to them represents one of the ways I show that I care and that I am thinking of them.

As far as I am concerned, if someone doesn’t like the gift or would prefer something else, I want them to feel perfectly comfortable returning or exchanging it. The really important outcome of my gift giving to the people I love and care for is that they know I love and care for them.

  • Why do you or don’t you give people gifts?
  • What is it about receiving a gift that feels good to you? Or uncomfortable to you?
  • If you could change one thing about giving or receiving a gift so that it would be a pleasurable experience, what would that one thing be?

I hope you can make giving and receiving gifts fun and meaningful!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

©2006-2010 Dr. Jackie Black, LLC All rights reserved is a member of the Dr. Jackie Black, LLC family of companies
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More from YourTango: Dating? Gift Giving for the Holidays

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