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Giftophobia: The power of PULE

TORONTO ON (July 6, 2022) – Giftophobia is a genuine phobia even though it has not been researched extensively like many other phobias. 

Do you tend to buy gifts last minute? Do the anxiety and fear consume when buying any gift? 

In the end, consuming you to the point where you buy the most basic and maybe not the best gift for someone? 

Then you might have Giftophobia. No, It's not the fear of gifts such as doronophobia the fear of opening gifts but the fear of the process of giving gifts. The anxiety about giving the perfect gift.

Gifts play a big part in our relationships in our lives. We tend to exchange giving gifts for birthdays, holidays and important occasions overall. Usually, these gifts that are given and exchanged between a gift giver and recipient, act as a symbol of what the relationship means or even how well they know them. 

As a gift-giver, if you buy an amazing, thoughtful gift that the recipient loves, it can show the recipient how much you care about the relationship between you and how well you know them. However, at the same time, if you buy the most basic and undesirable gift, it can show the recipient how much you don't care about the relationship overall. As Elizabeth Dunn explains, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, unwanted gifts "may even negatively influence the recipient's view of a relationship's future potential."

However, what really surprising is how Giftophobia is mainly not caused by the idea of the perfect but also, by social media. We already know that social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook can really damage our mental health. In fact, Chamath Palihapitiya, former Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, admitted that he felt the guilt of the short-term dopamine loops. Dopamine is a feeling good that is associated with pleasure awards. It's the neurotransmitter that is present on social media when you scroll through feed and posts that causes you to stay on social media for hours on end.

According to GiftAFeeling, a research development company that focuses on gift-giving has found it harder to give a gift that can compete when the dopamine one gets from social media. 

It can lead a Giftophobe who also actively uses social media in a state of anxiety, trying to find the perfect gift with every post and add around them stating it to be a "perfect" gift.

However, in the book "Unearthing the gift" By Vinayak, the founder and CEO of GiftAFeeling found attributes or formulas you could always see that can help you find that perfect gift to fight and lessen your anxiety. Especially for those experiencing heavy Giftophobia, it's called PULE. 


Personalization, usefulness, long-term satisfaction and experience.

When looking for a gift, look for the four PULE attributes :

Personalization: How the gift can be personal or customized only for them. 

Usefulness: A gift that can be useful and impact their daily lives.

Long-term satisfaction: A gift that won't only be exciting when you give a gift but also provide a  long-term sense of satisfaction and value through an extended period. 

Experience: A gift makes them feel good overall. More than just the initial enthusiasm when receiving the gift.  

So you can find that perfect well-thought gift without all the anxiety and stress about where to start!



CEO Vinayak Mahajan

Giftophobia is a real issue that is not addressed even though it is so common. It’s getting even more common now as people get busier with their lives, not having as much time to make gifts or reflect on what makes a great gift.

It’s ironic that in today’s world, with the increased accessibility of online shopping, internet browsing and social media - giftophobia is an even greater issue. Maybe the root of the problem lies in not enjoying or reflecting on the simple joys of life enough and being in touch with what really makes us happy.”

“A study performed by California State University found that individuals that visited any social media site at least 58 times per week were 3 times more likely to feel socially isolated and depressed compared to those who used social media fewer than 9 times per week.”

According to Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, “Choosing the wrong gift can be kind of risky for relationships because it says you don’t have anything in common,”.

Undesirable gifts may even negatively influence the recipient’s view of a relationship’s future potential. This concept definitely adds a lot of pressure, trying to make sure you get the “right” gift causes a lot of anxiety, thus procrastination and asking others for help. In general, there is a lot of pressure around gift-giving, if someone gives us something nice - then we feel as if we’re expected to give something equally great or even better in return which further adds to overthinking or anxiety related to choosing an appropriate gift. 

Research has even found that someone who already has increased anxiety about gift-giving, is more likely to be embarrassed or negatively impact their relationship because of this overthinking.


GiftAFeeling is a globally recognized thought leader and the #1 leading R&D company in the gifting and giveaway domain around the world. GiftAFeeling's Shared Secrets Lab is the only research lab in the world that educates people, both individuals and organizations, on gift-giving based on research done on human psychology.

For more information and resources please contact our media team.  


Kuwarjeet Singh Arora, PR Manager 


Hania Noor, PR Associate 


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