Don’t Let a Gift Mask Your Emotions: The Transactional and Trivial Nature of Gift-Giving


Don’t Let a Gift Mask Your Emotions: The Transactional and Trivial Nature of Gift-Giving

From my own experiences:

Gift-giving is a common practice in many relationships, whether it be romantic or platonic. However, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions.

First and foremost, a gift is a physical object that can be bought and sold. It is a tangible item that can be exchanged for something else. In contrast, emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold.

Expressing emotions through a gift is a transactional way of showing how you feel because it reduces emotions to a physical item that can be exchanged for money. This commodification of emotions trivialises the relationship and reduces it to a transactional exchange.

Furthermore, gifts are often given with the expectation of receiving something in return. This creates a sense of obligation and expectation in the relationship, which can lead to feelings of disappointment if the gift is not reciprocated. This expectation of a return on investment in the relationship can create a sense of distance between the two individuals, rather than fostering intimacy and connection.

Additionally, gifts are often given to fulfill a need or want that the giver perceives the recipient to have.

Giving a gift to fulfill a perceived need is not always the best way to attend to emotional needs. The emotional needs of an individual are complex and cannot be fulfilled by a physical item. A gift can only provide temporary satisfaction, whereas emotional needs require time, attention, genuine understanding and empathy.

In conclusion, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions. Instead of giving gifts, it is important to focus on understanding and fulfilling the emotional needs of your loved one. A gift is never the best way to attend to emotional needs. It is important to ask oneself, “Am I attending to this person’s needs?” before giving a gift. Emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold, and are much better expressed in a genuine and empathetic manner.


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