5 Science-Backed Tips to Give the Perfect Gift (#4 will surprise you!)

August 5, 2020
Helpful Advice

   Have you ever gotten a gift and been a little disappointed?

   Of course you have, it happens all the time.

   So how do you avoid having that happen to you again (and avoid causing it)?

   Use science!

   These tips will help you pick the perfect gift, even for those friends that seem to have everything.

Tip #1:

Give gifts that you know the recipient would use. It could be something practical, like reflective gear for runners, that lets them enjoy their passions.

park, shoes, jogger

It turns out people like getting practical gifts significantly more than extravagant or material ones. The urge is to give someone something really special, but that ends up being an expensive or unusable item. I should know, I once got my friend a kit that lets you add a smoky flavor to drinks. It sounded great, but also required a torch (dangerous for a small apartment) and that torch required him to go out and buy butane for it. I’m fairly confident he has not used it yet.

Tip #2:

Give money!

money, finance, bills

Most people feel weird giving money as a gift, right? But science says most people like getting money MORE than a solicited gift. The above study asked people how they felt giving and receiving money in comparison to a gift that was asked for. It turns out that most givers assumed that giving a physical gift would be better. But those same people said that they’d prefer to receive the opposite. Makes you wonder about the phrase, “money can’t buy happiness”....

Tip #3:

Give someone an experience to give them good memories.

flight, sky, flying

If you still feel weird about giving cash, here's another great (research-backed) alternative: give someone an experience (or more free time)! These types of gifts are higher valued for longer amounts of time, make you more memorable to the receiver, and make the receiver significantly happier. Sure new shoes will make you happy for a little while, but eventually you forget about them.

Tip #4:

Try giving someone the gift of free time to spend how they want.

pocket watch, clock, time, hand

Behavioral psychologists Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton found that freeing up time for someone makes them happy. It also takes away the stress of trying to choose a gift. This seems kind of obvious, and yet most people don’t do it. Try letting your loved one outsource their chores and other menial tasks so that they can spend their time doing what they love (which may be spending time with you).

Tip #5:

Give gifts with enough time ahead to let the person anticipate it.

calendar, agenda, planner, appointment, event, hands, diamond, ring, writing, planning, iphone, mobile, technology, desk, office, business, pens, pencils

Just the anticipation leading up to an experience makes people happy. The psychologists Dunn and Norton (from #4) found that the anticipation can produce more happiness than the gift or the memory. Try scheduling your next gift to see how happy the receiver gets imagining it!

A great way to do ALL of the above is the gifting feature from Wellist. Best of all, it's 100% free to use.
That means all of the money you send to a friend or loved one to give them a practical gift and make their life easier goes directly to them. We don't charge you and we don't charge them either.
Did I also mention that giving makes you happier?
So what're you waiting for?

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