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G iftophobia is based on the thought that many people suffer from the anxiety and fear associated with gift-giving and receiving. This is the fear of gift-giving is described as the dreaded feeling one gets when looking for a gift, feeling a lot of fear that the recipient won't like the gift or just being unable to choose the right gift. Many people generally struggle with the simple act of choosing a gift for someone they are unsure about what to give them. They feel a sense of anxiety about the whole concept and it affects their confidence and even social life. As far-fetched as it may sound for such a situation to produce such anxiety this tends to plague the minds of people every day. Gift-giving happens every day in the world we see it on holidays, within industries to employees and customers and even within relationships working to enhance them. This means that potentially anyone on a day-to-day basis is susceptible to the anxiety that Gift giving brings to us. Thus, if this makes you wonder whether you too may be struggling with giftophobia unconsciously you may find your answers here.

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What causes Giftophobia ?

Gift-giving anxiety is a form of social anxiety and can affect people in many different ways. In some people, the stress comes from trying to find the perfect gift for a loved one. However, there are others it may be about trying to give generously while having a very limited budget. There are several triggers that can leave an individual feeling very anxious and this anxiety rises depending on the need for approval or the worry that they or the gift will be judged negatively. You may have certain feelings that arise when thinking about the gift that may be connected to gift-giving anxiety such as;

  • What if the person hates the gift I get them?
  • Will they be worried about how much I spent?
  • How will they react to the present?
  • What if they spend more on a gift for me than I did for them?
  • What if they actually hate it?

These simple questions and emotions are simply the starting point of where the anxiety begins to settle in. According to research all these thoughts and more tend to circulate around in your head and become all-consuming. Meaning we are unable to enjoy the process of even selecting gifts for loved ones or even receiving them.

What could Giftophobia affect?

Other than our mental and emotional state of mind where the anxiety causes trouble within ourselves. We see in studies that giving the so to speak “ wrong” gift to someone may cause relationships to fall apart with tension where people may feel they are not appreciated. This ultimately adds a lot of pressure, trying to make sure you get the “right” gift for those you feel are significant to you. This form of perfectionism is what leads us to procrastinate and even ask others for help and this in all may just prolong the process and have you getting the wrong gift in the end. If in a situation where someone gives you a nice gift you feel obliged to give them the same thing back because by nature that is what has been deemed normal. Research has shown that those who have had their anxiety high due to gift-giving may lead to a negative impact on the relationship.

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Tips to reduce Gift-Giving

Make a list
In the event, you have a bunch of gifts to get your loved ones and you and have some ideas then make a list to organise and therefore calm your mind. This list would make sure that the anxiety is reduced because there is less uncertainty about what could be gotten.
Don't expect the worst
In the event, that one starts catastrophising and thinking of the worst possible outcome within the situation we must remember to understand that people will always appreciate being thought of and getting something even if the gift may be a miss. For the instance, if you meet someone ungrateful for a gift it's good to remember that this is only an instance and doesn't reflect you as a whole. Understand you did your best and they should see that.
It's not a competition
When we feel that gift-giving is a competition we forget the sentimental side to it and feel the need to give gifts just to win or be the best. We must remember that gifts are all about trying to make the recipient happy and show them appreciation. We shouldn't be trying to give presents just to get one over someone else. That takes things away from gift-giving as a whole
Relationships are not about possessions
A few people are all about the gifts, but most people appreciate any gesture. If an issue arises, keep in mind that it is the recipient's fault, not yours. It may be worthwhile to shift your focus away from people who are materialistic and superficial and toward friendships and relationships that value people over things.

Jesse Siambi
Psychology Blogger,
The Shared Secrets Lab,
GiftAFeeling Inc.

Read The Official Research Paper On - Giftophobia

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