Psychology of Giftgiving and Receiving, or How to Choose the Right Gift

Giftgiving is not as easy as it may seem. Many people feel anxious when they need to choose gifts for their friends or family, and these feelings are quite normal. At heart everyone’s afraid of giving wrong gift, because usually it’s not about the things, but about the emotions of a receiver.

There are lots of people who rejoice even at little presents as well as those who keep being unsatisfied with whatever you give. To choose gift means to think about a particular person and to buy something special for him. There are several issues you should consider to make a right gift in terms of psychology.


Psychological type

All people can be divided into 3 psychological  types by the learning style. There are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. You can find out who is in front of you once you pay attention to the way one interacts with new object, or to the words he uses in his speech.

Visual learners usually start to examine objects with their eyes, use words like “see, beautiful, picturesque”, and look at new things extremely carefully at once. If you choose a gift for such a person take a look at home decor items or any other good-looking things.

Auditory learners perceive infromation by the ears and may ask to tell something about an object. At the same time they are good at describing things. They use words like “hear, loud, melodic”. They’ll definitely appreciate tickets to the concert or new audiobook.

Kinethetic learners perceive the world by their sensations. They almost immediately start to handle and re-handle things the moment they take them. These people usually speak about their sensations using words like “sense, warm, soft”. The best gifts for them are things, which are pleasant to touch or smell.

Type of temperament (traditional classification)

People with choleric temperament are excitable, impulsive and sometimes unbalanced. They’ll like non-typical gifts in bright colors or with sound effects.

Sanguine temperament means that people are active and communicative. They value exclusive things and hand made gifts as well as active kinds of entertainment.

Phlegmatic person is calm and conservative, that’s why he likes to receive practical gifts like clothes, kitchenware, necessary home items.

Melancholics who are rather sensitive, introverted, and touchy will also be glad to have practical and useful things as gifts, but they should be more personal like rare book, leather purse, tickets to a chamber concert, etc.


One and the same thing can be perceived differently depending on the inner mood of a person. Let us say a woman who likes to cook will be happy when you present her a new kitchenware item, while an experienced 50 years old housewife in the same situation may take offence. Be careful with presenting perfumes, because one may consider your gift as a hint of his bad smell.

Choosing and giving presents is an art in a way. You are to divine other’s desires, to find really interesting and special thing for him. All you need to do is be attintive and think not about the gift, but about the feelings of a person you want to please.



Leave a comment