The perfect Gift changes everything

Good gift-giving is an art. The perfect gift can lift your spirit or strengthen a relationship. It can repair wrongdoing, or simply remind a loved one that you care.

Gifting is a window into so many other important human traits: how we see others, how we assign value to things, our decision-making skills, and our ability to empathize.

Gift-giving around holidays, birthdays, graduations, or weddings is a great opportunity to show how much you care and can improve those relationships

Here are 4 simple rules for the perfect gift.

1) Don't add a small gift to a big gift

Tempted to add some flowers to go with a bottle of champagne? Planning to add a tie to an expensive shirt? Don't.

When we receive gifts in a bundle, we tend to unconsciously average out their value, so a small gift added onto a big one will hurt the main gift's impact.

According to the research, this is called the Presenter's Paradox.

Participants were given either an iPod Touch alone or one with a free download for one song. Those who received the iPod Touch with the cheap download valued it 20% less than those who didn't.

Participants were also asked to choose the gift option they would give, and nearly everyone selected the one that included a download, demonstrating that we don't always grasp that (sometimes) less is more.


2) Gift experiences rather than things

A new iPhone becomes old fast. But a dream holiday or seeing your favorite artist in concert will give you memories for a lifetime. Experiences often have more thought gone into them, and they create longer-lasting memories.

Experiences also create anticipation, making the days or weeks leading to the event more pleasurable.



3) Think like the receiver

Keep it simple: buy things that your receiver would buy for themselves.

This seems obvious, but it happens far less often than you think. Gifts are often taken lightly, used as jokes, encouragement to change one's behavior, or as a sign of something about oneself rather than providing value and joy to the receiver.

The best way to get it right is to simply ask the upfront question, "what would you like?"


4) Spend more on others than on yourself

The last rule is a no-brainer: remember the gift of giving. Spending money on others promotes happiness. The good feelings you may experience from giving someone a gift they love may also last longer than spending money on yourself.

There's a reason why we say that it's the thought that counts. Don't forget why you are giving gifts...Most people don't want lots of money spent on them, they just want you to think about them, and that can be done in lots of easy ways.

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