PsychAlive’s 10 Gift Giving Suggestions for the Holiday Season
During the month of December, bloggers everywhere are offering their gift giving suggestions for the holidays. There are ideas for the perfect gifts to buy him, her, the kids, the in-laws, the dog, the house.
PsychAlive is offering some suggestions that will hopefully help you in selecting personal and meaningful gifts for the people who bring you joy in your life. Rather than discussing actual gifts, we are offering advice on how to approach gift giving. We are also offering some recommendations for how to graciously accept the gifts that are given to you.
“Perfect giving” involves being attuned to someone as their own unique person. It means being aware of them as an individual, separate from you and your relationship, with their own specific traits, interests, and desires.
With this awareness, take some time to “walk around in their shoes” and get a feeling for what they personally want or need. This awareness will enable you to respond to them with actions that are highly sensitive.
Be sure not to think in terms of what you would want or what you think they should have. Think about a gift that would be personal to them and have meaning coming from you.
Giving can take many forms. Money and other material gifts are the most easily measurable, but they can have less emotional and psychological impact than other types of generosity. A sensitive act of giving can be the willingness to drop anything to do a favor or lend a hand. With this in mind, what can you offer your friend?
This type of generosity—that is, giving freely of yourself, your time, and your energy— is highly personal as it is an outward expression of sensitivity and compassion toward someone who matters to you.
It is important to be giving without any expectation of reciprocal treatment. If your actions are designed to create an obligation, garner favor, or maintain a superior position, then you are not truly giving and will ultimately hurt your friend and yourself.
Giving is beneficial to you. When you are giving and extend consideration and kindness in response to someone else’s needs, you interrupt the self-protective patterns that restrict your emotional exchanges with people.
Being generous with your words, your time, and your affection can help you overcome a negative self-image as well as cynical, distrustful attitudes toward others. Your altruistic actions will increase your self-esteem and make you feel worthwhile.
Ideally, giving involves an equal exchange between people, with benevolence on one side and receptiveness on the other. Accepting love and generosity can be more difficult than it sounds. People are often defended against being vulnerable to wanting from others. Be sure to recognize when sensitivity and kindness are extended to you. Try not to overlook everyday acts of thoughtfulness and recognize what is given to you. When you acknowledge someone’s acts of love, you accept the love they are offering to you. Receiving is, in itself, a generous action—it is an act of love to graciously accept and appreciate affection, kind deeds, or assistance.
When giving grows out of this type of attunement to and appreciation of someone’s uniqueness, it gratifies both of you. Expressing your love in this manner enriches both of your lives. The empathy and understanding that are fundamental to being truly giving also sustain the vulnerability of both the giver and the receiver. Giving to others tends to leave you feeling liberated, energized, and less defended. Because this personal level of giving is such a profound expression of yourself, the more wholeheartedly you give to someone else, the more fully you realize who you are. Being generous is essential to our emotional well-being.
From the team at PsychAlive,
We wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!
Tamsen, Lisa, Carolyn, Lena and Sara Firestone