What is Gift Giving and How Does the 5 Love Languages Apply?
Well, quite simply it’s giving gifts, but gifts that show that you know, understand and appreciate somebody. This quick article is about giving gifts to “gift people” or people who’s love language is gift giving. I wrote a blog post about all the 5 Love Languages and how you can give gifts for based on that structure, for more in-depth information you can read that here.
This particular article is a fast read and will focus only on the gift people. If you haven’t taken the test or if you’re unsure about your love language or the language of your loved one, I encourage you to check out that article. You can also download a PDF of the test here.
Who Are the Gift People and How Do I Know?
Gift people are usually pretty easy to spot because they always remember things like anniversaries and birthdays. Pretty much any occasion is an excuse to give gifts. They may seem to give you random little things that tend to have a meaningful thought behind it. Maybe an inside joke that you both share, something you say to each other, a gift that really holds a special memory or an event is how they tend to give gifts. They don’t give the gifts expecting anything in return, they give the gifts to express to that person, “Hey, I thought about you today. I remembered you loved this and I know you. You’re important to me!”. For these people, giving a gift is a way they express love. They’re not monetizing their love for you, but merely expressing your importance in their life. It’s how their brains are wired to give and receive love.
Who In My Life Is a Gift Giving Person?
Think for a moment about those people in your life, the ones who always seem to remember these details. Maybe they are a bit cheesy, or maybe they seem to never forget special events. If it’s a partner you’re thinking of, do they always seem to be romantic in their gift giving? Do you wonder how they even had time to remember this?
Did you think of a few? Those are the people who are “gift people”. They make automatic mental notes when they hear of a good idea of something to give you. They may even spend months looking for exactly the right gift for you, whether they make it themselves or finally found it somewhere. Giving a gift becomes one of their ways to express their love and care for a person. Whatever you do, don’t look at these people as materialistic because there is great meaning behind the gift-giving love language that they have.
Okay, So What Pulls Them In?
Well, they feel connected and loved when they feel known and thought about when they’re not even around. When someone gives them a gift that they love, it fills them with joy and shows them that they’re known and that they’re loved. It does take time to get a gift or make a gift, although these days with online shopping it can definitely take less time. Gift people instantly imagine this person stopping during their busy day, to think very specifically about them in order to get a gift. This feeling makes them feel loved and special. This is where the saying “It’s the thought that counts” really rings true for gift people. It’s not the amount of money being spent, It truly is the meaning and thought behind the gesture that really counts for these people.
What About Non-Gift People?
Although gift giving is not my primary love language there is a still a deep appreciation I have for someone who takes all these counts into consideration. It can still apply to others who are not necessarily gift giving people.
For example: Someone had gotten me a pillowcase. This pillowcase had a really had a meaning behind for me so it wasn’t just a pillowcase. First of all, this person knew I loved throw pillows, kind of an obsession really. Second of all, it was not only my favorite color, but it was the color that I decorated my living room, so it matched perfectly. It’s functional, useful and it’s something I would not have gone out and purchased for myself. Oddly enough, it’s something I didn’t even know I wanted until I received it. The quote that was printed on the pillowcase had a double meaning to it, which really makes it special to me. And lastly, every time I see this pillow, I think of that person.
Do you see how this works? A simple, caring thought can mean a lot to someone, much more than the cost of the item. It becomes priceless.
Gifts That Are Tangible Become a Piece of Memory
When you give a physical gift, the gift becomes a reminder to a person, “hey…I care about you.” For me, every time I see that darn pillow, I think of that person. So when you gift in general, to evoke a lasting memory for them, give a gift that will trigger a special event, a moment or a memory. These often hold the most special place in someone heart.
What Stresses the Gift People Out?
When they’re given a seemingly, thoughtless gift, like a gift card or something generic from the checkout aisle, like a Yoyo, they begin to question, am I really loved. Now of course if this person collects yoyos then sure, you hit the nail on the head and this works too! If not though, they might think, “were you really thinking about me when you got this gift for me? Did you get me this out of obligation?” This is a terrible feeling for someone who’s primary or secondary love language is gift giving. Aside from that, no one wants to receive a gift because the other person felt like they “had to.” Can you agree that it becomes meaningless at that point?
So How Do We Love Them?
Well, if you know someone whose love language is gift giving, take the time to know them and study their likes and dislikes and then buy or make them a gift, large or small, that shows them, I know you, I’ve been paying attention to you. I’ve become a student of you, and this gift is a demonstration that I get you. This gift will fill them with love and joy, and remember that the gift is far more valuable than the price tag with this. Again, I can’t stress this enough, It really is the thought that counts.
It’s important to be yourself of course, in any relationship and perhaps you might feel overwhelmed trying to become someone who listens to the details. When you love someone, it’s important that you are able to understand who they are. What moves them? What inspires them? Giving to them in the ways they need doesn’t always mean the ways you need. It’s perfectly normal and actually quite common to speak a different love language, especially in a romantic relationship. It’s your job as their partner to learn how they feel loved as it’s their job to learn how you feel most loved. If their love language is gift giving, then this is a skill you’ll need to sharpen up on!
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To read more about the different love languages and how to gift gifts using this technique click here.