gift-giving personality

NOTE: This is an updated version of one of my favorite holiday blogs.

One of my pet peeves is money that is thrown out the window buying gifts for people—gifts that the recipient doesn’t want or need. I started to think about “the why”—why we purchase the gifts we do. In my research, I found several articles summarizing a variety of gift-giving personalities. Here I’ll share some of my favorite personalities with you. But more importantly, I’m going to make life easier for you. I’m also going to share what I believe is the #1 gift for anyone on your list!

10 Gift-Giver Personality Types

According to Psychology Today, there are five personalities which I’ve listed below. Keep reading for five more I’ve found as well:

1. The Genuine Giver:
This person puts thought into the recipient and what would give them pleasure.

2. The Status Hound:
The gift is typically expensive. The purpose? A show of money or power, or perhaps both.

3. The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:
Though the giver’s gifts may be perfectly wrapped, (s)he has put no thought into them whatsoever. It’s all about appearances.

4. The Power Player:
These givers understand how gifts can cause us pain, consciously or unconsciously, and they intentionally choose gifts that do just that.

5. The Complainer:
Once the complainer gives you your gift, you have to listen to all the time, trouble, and inconvenience they went through to get it.

The following five personalities are common themes I found in a variety of other sources.

6. The Last-Minute Gift-Giver:
This giver never prepares in advance and either ends up giving money or something they found at a convenience store at the last minute—candy, cheap electronics, etc.

7. The Frugal Gift Giver:
This is the person who purchases sales/clearance items throughout the year and then gifts them during the holidays to people they think will like them. It’s like putting a square peg in a round hole and trying to make it fit.

8. The “It’s All About Me”: 
The giver thinks about items/gadgets that (s)he likes and assumes that the recipient will as well. The problem? Nine times out of ten, the recipient will not like it because it wasn’t something they wanted/needed to begin with.

9. The Re-Gifter:
This is the person who shops at home and re-gifts items they previously received but didn’t want.

10. The Safe Players:
These are the people who gift collectibles because it’s predictable. It’s also easy because they don’t have to put a lot of thought into the gift—you simply buy another option in the series from year to year—whether the recipient wants it or not.

What’s YOUR Personality?

Did you find your gift-giver personality(ies) listed above? If not, I’m sure there are several other types above and beyond this. But I’ve simplified the list a bit and narrowed it down into two major categories that should make it easier to classify yourself (and others if you wish).

  • It’s All About Me, The Gifter— This is the category you don’t want to be in. The focus is 100% on the gifter and what THEY want to give. There’s little to no thought put into what the recipient wants.
  • It’s all About the Recipient: In my humble opinion, this is the category we should all be in. I believe we should be the type of gift-giver who is focused on the RECIPIENT and what they want/need; not on ourselves.

What’s The #1 Holiday Gift Everyone Will Love?

If you’d like to give gifts solely focused on the recipient, the answer to this question is simple. Ask them what they want or need. That’s it—it’s that basic. And if they happen to be a child, ask their caregiver.

The Pro & Cons of the #1 Holiday Gift

As for the “Pros” of asking someone what type of gift they’d like, I believe there are several:

  • The recipient will probably like, if not love, their gift
  • You won’t add to the recipient’s unwanted clutter by buying something they didn’t want
  • You’ll save mental energy trying to come up with gift ideas
  • You will save time shopping for what you think will be the perfect gift
  • You’ll save physical energy running around and can avoid the “shop til you drop” syndrome

As for the “Cons,” I can only think of one, and that is that the recipient will know in advance the gift you’re giving them. But if that’s the worst of it, I know I could live with that. Could you? If you don’t already do this, give it a try and see how it works out for you and those on your gift list. And remember, this isn’t just for holiday gift giving, it works year-round for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.!

Looking for more holiday-related ideas? Then check out my other blogs: 6 Steps to Save Time, Money & Energy on Holiday GiftsOne Less Gift, One More Memory, My Top 50 Gift Suggestions for a Clutter- & Stress-free HolidayThoughtful Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas, Giving Green, and/or Eco-Conscious Holiday Gifts.

“The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.”

Sarah Dessen

LET ME HELP YOU:
What’s the BEST and/or WORST gift you’ve ever received? Please comment below– I’d love to hear!

Brenda Tringali, CPO® (Certified Professional Organizer)
Organizing | Productivity | Speaker
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or “virtually” anywhere via video

Cell/Text: 603.490.6062

Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Speaking, Organizing & Productivity services to Workplace/Residential clients both in person in the greater Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere else via video, phone, etc.  Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals) and the former Chair of NAPOCares, NAPO’s Social Responsibility Committee.