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The Psychology of Giving

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Gift Giving(108602)
Credit: google images

According to the New York Times, when a person gives gifts or time to others, they are usually the main beneficiary rather than the recipient because the giver feels a sense of satisfaction in helping others. This is especially true when the giver grows tired of the materialism and selfishness that permeates society. Another reason why givers benefit from giving is because maybe they were not shown a lot of compassion over the years and they want to show others what they did not receive. Overall, giving allows them to build a sense of empathy, which should be a part of every human being.

Guilt-Driven Giving

 One would like to think that they received a gift or verbal acknowledgement because the giver was sincere but this is not true all of the time. There are people who give gifts out of guilt for an action they knew was wrong. For example, some relationship experts say that one sign of infidelity is when the cheating partner suddenly gives gifts and this is not part of his or her regular habits. There may also be a situation when your friend may bring a gift because they feels bad about something they did to you after you confronted them. This is not to say that all givers who give out of guilt do not mean well, but it may not be the most altruistic type of giving.

Giving With Strings Attached

 Other people give because they want something in return. For example, if you want to give money to someone because you know that the other person has social benefits you want, you are giving in order to gain friendship. Or if you choose not to help someone because you know the other person cannot pay you back, this is not true giving.

How Advertisers Play on The Psychology of Giving

 Have you noticed that advertisers always put out major bargains during holidays and the rest of the year they focus on regular sales? This is because advertisers know the psychology of giving, and they know that most people want to give the best gifts during holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day. Advertisers also use the psychology of giving to make millions of dollars each year.

Identifying With The Need

 According to PsychCentral.com, some people are more likely to give if they identify with the need that is presented to them. For example, if you receive a request for financial help for unemployed veterans and you were homeless for several years after leaving the military, you will probably donate funds.

Teaching Children to Give

According to the Case Foundation, if you get your kids in the habit of being generous early, they may continue this habit as they get older. For example, they suggested that you find community volunteer projects for the children to get involved with such as food bank drives, serving meals to the homeless or inviting lonely kids to church with them.

Giving Takes Your Mind off Your Problems

When you become consumed with your own problems or goals in life, you have little time to stop and consider how you can help others in need. This is true in modern American culture, where we let our love of stuff and obsession with status choke out compassion. However, when you give back to others, your goals and setbacks seem smaller than what they really are.


 A generous attitude will do wonders in your life. First, it will give you a better perspective on the world around you and you will develop a less arrogant and selfish attitude. Another benefit of giving back is that your life is less cluttered. If you see shows such as Clean House and Hoarders, you will notice that the homeowners have peace of mind once they got rid of things they no longer need. While sometimes giving is done out of selfish motives, there is something about giving that benefits you and the recipient.

Why Should I give at all? It is a question that you might have asked yourself. Of course, you have the right to keep your hard-earned money, but according to research you make yourself a happy person through giving, as you are making others happy. That is an important thing in the psychology of giving. When you give back, look for people who society would normally turn their backs on. For example, if you live in a city where single mothers are judged and criticized, assemble a group of the mothers and help them with job searches and obtaining a better education.



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