Do You Suffer From Gift-Giving Anxiety?
In the UK, we spend over £19 billion on presents. Individually, the average Brit spends £379 buying 22 gifts for nine different people. If the thought of this sends you into a meltdown or perhaps there’s one person whom you hate buying gifts for, you are not alone. Gift-giving anxiety is hugely common, and with festive spending on the rise, it is an anxiety that is growing.
What is gift-giving anxiety?
Gift-giving anxiety is a form of social anxiety, and as a result, it can affect people in many different ways, with a huge range of triggers. For some people, the stress will manifest through a determination to find the perfect gift for a loved one. However, for others, it may be about trying to give generously while having a very limited budget. In other cases, the anxiety may appear if there is a particularly troublesome person to buy for. You may also agonise over buying a gift for someone that you have a strained relationship with.
Gift-giving can also be incredibly stressful when the to-do list is endless, and there is not enough time to put time and thought into the present. In many cases, people feel like they’ve spent far too much money on gifts that will not be appreciated.
All of the triggers can leave the individual feeling hugely anxious, and this anxiety rises depending on the need for approval or the worry that they, or the gift, will be judged negatively.
If you have gift-giving anxiety, your mind may be full of worries such as;
- What if they hate it?
- Do they already have it?
- Will they think I spent enough?
- What if my children think I spent more on a sibling?
- How will they react to my present?
- What if they spend more on me than I do on them
- What if they don’t love it?
- Will they see the funny side?
All of these thoughts and more may circulate in your head and become all-consuming. This means you can’t enjoy the process of selecting gifts for your loved ones or even receiving gifts yourself.
The problem with gift-giving anxiety
It’s no secret that Christmas and the holiday season can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for everyone. So much so, the risk of dying increases by 5% on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Furthermore, during frantic festive shopping, people report increased heart rates, blood pressure and lots of unhealthy stress. So, if you want to avoid this and prevent anxiety setting in, here are some top tips for gift giving this festive season;
Top tips to reduce gift-giving anxiety
Make a list
Just like Santa, making a list of people you need to buy for, and potential present ideas can be a great way to organise and, therefore, calm your mind. Make sure the check your list several times and don’t be afraid to be ruthless with your list. Some people will appreciate a card and won’t expect a present from you.
Time over money
If your budget is limited, don’t put yourself into a difficult situation. Instead, come up with gift ideas that cost nothing but your time. This could be a voucher to babysit for an evening, something handmade or perhaps offering a service. People appreciate the thought of a gift rather than the expense and creative solutions will show you care.
Get to know them
So often, we actually buy for ourselves, rather than the other person. Put yourself in their shoes when deciding a gift. Think about what may make them happy or will make their life easier. It is easy to descend into a panic buy, but a gift from the heart, however big, small, cheap or expensive will mean more.
Don’t expect the worse
There is no point catastrophising the worst situation when you give a present. Most people will appreciate the thought behind the gift, even if they believe it slightly misses the mark. For anyone that is ungrateful, simply remove them from your list in the future or let it go. You did your best, and they should see that.
Relationships, not possessions
Some materialistic people will be all about the gifts, but most will appreciate any gesture. If an issue does arise, remember the problem is with the recipient, not you. It may be worth dialling down the attention you pay to people that are so materialistic and superficial and focus on the friendships and relationships that understand the importance of people over presents.
Dial down your competitiveness
Competition to get the best gift is especially apparent when it comes to siblings. However, holidays are a time to spend together not to compete. You should only be gift-giving because it makes you and the recipient happy. You should give presents just to get one over on someone else. That is not what gift-giving is about.
Get rid of gift-giving anxiety
If the festive season increases your anxiety, did you know that hypnotherapy can help? At my practice, I offer a bespoke blend of therapies, specially created for each client and their circumstances. So, if you want to focus on enjoying holidays without the worry, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free consultation.