Reading the Gift Between the Lines

Gift giving is never easy. With Christmas already knocking at the door it’s time for another month or two of anxiety and stress as we scramble about buying one another gifts. As people, we’re amazing at giving gifts. It really is easy to give something to someone that we know well. Receiving them becomes harder and buying them for those we care for but wanting to give the perfect gift becomes even harder when we want to convey the right sort of message through it. For my mom I bought curly clip in hair extensions since she’s all about wigs and the like these days.

It’s amazing how much energy and thought that we put into a gift. Trying to say the right thing through a gift becomes an exercise in social engineering as we hope the other person is able to understand what the gift means. We take something a distill it into a message for the person. It’s like when you buy a gift for an ex partner; you want to ensure that the gift is conveyed in a friendly manner without it suggesting anything romantic. With those that we care and love, we want the message to be more intimate and not something simple that we would give to a friend.

Gift giving and receiving then becomes a social hazard of sorts for those that are not very good at subtleties. It’s something that I struggle with myself as I love being able to give people exactly what they want and have only just learned to understand that sometimes a gift can be taken in a manner it was not given. It remains baffling to me that we put so much energy into reading between the lines but since humans see communication in all things, it’s not too surprising.

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