The feeling of staring at a store shelf – or your computer screen – when trying to buy a gift is familiar. You know that you need to buy something, but you just can’t seem to do it. It’s theoretically possible, but nope, you keep coming up blank every time you try to make a decision.
It’s something that thousands of people go through every year, but have you ever paused to wonder why? There are reasons that buying a gift can be more difficult than you might think. If you can find the problem that’s relevant to your specific scenario, then you might finally be able to bust the problem once and for all.
Reason #1 – You Don’t Know Them Well Enough
If you’re trying to buy a gift for your Uncle, you probably don’t have much information to go on. Unless you’re a Modern Family kind of family – in that you see one another all the time – your Uncle is probably not someone you have a huge amount to do with on a regular basis. So you find yourself looking for cool gifts for guys and keeping it generic, but still struggling to find something that seems right.
Your Uncle is just one example, of course. There are plenty of people you might have to buy for that you simply just don’t know well enough to be able to do it. If it’s your sister or your best friend, then you probably have a good idea of what they like and what they already have. For anyone more distant than that – relatives you don’t see often or a work colleague you don’t see out of the office – then you’re going to struggle.
Generic gifts are always a safe bet, but if you want something more personal, then you’re probably going to have to be direct about it and just ask.
Reason #2 – Your Budget Is Strained
For mass celebrations like Christmas, you may often find yourself with the perfect gift idea for someone… but without the funds to do it. Inevitably, everything else that you come up with seems like a pale imitation on the actual gift that you want to give. You’re trying to make do when there’s still a part of your head that’s shouting: “but they’d really like that…”
The best way of resolving this is to be careful about when you give gifts. When you’re buying a lot of gifts for a variety of different people – for Christmas, for example – then it makes sense to keep things simple. You can then go all out on their birthday, when you have more freedom with your cash as you’re only celebrating one person.
Reason #3 – You’ve Received Bad Gifts
If you have a history of opening gifts and feeling the immediate crush of disappointment, then it’s going to make you hypersensitive. You know all too well the feeling of having to plaster on a smile and insist that you love it, summoning up some enthusiasm from your dormant acting skills to put on a show of adoration. If you’ve had to do that more than once in your life, you’re going to be terrified you’ll inflict that awkwardness on someone else. So you worry about your intended gift, as much out of concern for the recipient as much as for anything else.
When buying gifts, try and remind yourself of the times you received a gift and absolutely loved it. This should help put you in a better frame of mind, rather than obsessing about your own past experience and letting it damage your confidence.
Reason #4 – You’re Worried About Your Relationship With The Recipient
Finally, the last reason is perhaps the quietest, and one you won’t even have considered – but it is often lurking there in the background. If you’re feeling that your relationship or friendship is struggling, then choosing a gift can feel like a particular minefield. Your confidence is going to be dented with concerns about how they will react; you might even be worried they won’t like what they receive and it will damage your relationship further.
If you’re feeling insecure in a relationship, then sometimes it’s best to try and talk to the other person and assure yourself that all is well. This can give you the freedom to choose a gift, knowing that they’re not going to take it the wrong way and a friendship be damaged as a result.
Hopefully, by identifying which of the above you’re struggling with, you’ll find gift giving much easier in the future!
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