Gifting without expectations is the surest way to feel fulfilled about your gift. We are coming upon what is euphemistically known as the season for giving. Unfortunately, with all of the advertising and hard selling that we see from the retail industry, it can feel closer to the season of forced giving. If you are starting to feel that giving is an obligation, rather than something freely offered, it may be time to step back and examine your motivations.
There are many valid reasons for giving. Sometimes, you see something that you know a friend or relative would never buy for themselves. It can be a joy to see the expression on their face when they are genuinely surprised. Other times, we may see causes or persons who are truly in need. Your gift can help to change a life for the better. Needless to say, that can be a very gratifying experience. Gifting can also be an expression of love. Other times, however, gifting can turn into something that is manipulative and controlling.
A healthy attitude toward gifting begins with an examination of your charitable intent. Why are you thinking of making a gift? What do you hope to accomplish with your gift? Are you gifting with the expectation that you will receive something in return?
Sometimes, the most satisfying gifts are made to people who can never repay you, or to causes that will never recognize your generosity. It seems counterintuitive, but a lack of self-interest is what can make gifting such a satisfying thing to do. Gifting with the expectation of something in return can cause more anxiety than it is worth. People may resent “gifts” with strings attached, such as shares of a company that they are forbidden to sell. You will set yourself up for disappointment if you gift with the expectation that your money should be spent in a certain manner.
Gifting without expectations is the surest way to feel fulfilled about your gift.