March 7, 2018

Finding A Special Gift, The Scientific Method

Choosing a gift is rarely something that can be called easy. You want to find something with real meaning and real value to the recipient, not just another gift card. So, how do you ensure you’re getting the gift that will blow their socks off? When all else fails, turn to science. Here are a few gifts that science has shown can have the biggest impact.

The Experience
It has been shown that people tend to look back much more fondly on memories than the actual gifts themselves. This can mean that taking the time to put some presentation into a gift, whether you preempt it with a little ceremony or hide it somewhere as a surprise, can make just about any giving experience a lot more memorable. But it has also proven true of experiences like concerts, spa days, and even vacation gifts. The experiences can often be more meaningful than any physical object.

Rarity & Collectability
That’s not to say that the object isn’t important. Even if you’re anti-materialist, giving a gift is the time to set it aside. When you find something rare, valuable, and collectible, like the first print of a book or even a more unique gift like if you’re looking to buy gold coins from a country someone has been to before, it works on multiple layers. First of all, a rare and valuable gift makes your loved one feel rare and valuable, themselves. We can’t deny the social component of gift giving, either. Having something rare to display and show off in the home gives people a little more pride in their place. It might sound a little petty, but it’s important to contribute to that sense of esteem. Lacking it isn’t good for one’s emotional health.

The Personal Touch
Handmade gifts get a bad rap in the media and it’s not fair or justified. While there's no doubt that it can sometimes be used as a lazy option, to make the gift more 'legitimate', you should focus on the handmade gifts people actually want. Interestingly, the appeal of the handmade gift, the fact that it’s bespoke and only for the recipient, doesn’t just apply to gifts you make yourself. Having something else made for them has been shown to be valued just as much. The artistry and time that goes into a gift can often prove more valuable than the price tag or even the functionality.

Do A Little Good
With that in mind, sometimes the physical gift might be nonexistent or just a token compared to what it represents. Giving to charity as a gift isn’t always a surefire success and it should be saved perhaps for those of your loved ones who are most dedicated to a cause or to doing good in their own time, but it can also be said that they create a positive feedback loop which involves both parties in a little altruism.

Above all else, a gift that shows how much you know someone will be the most valuable of all, but some people have difficulty tapping into those mental reserves and get a real mind-blank when it comes time to choose. If that’s the case, let the tips above set you in the right direction.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

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