Why do some people tell their loved ones in advance that they do need any presents for say, their birthday? Most of us have had that one person in our lives who insist that they do not want any gifts when it's their special day (Or we may be one of those people). Either way, it is an occurrence that deserves an explanation, or at least a list of probable reasons as to why it occurs.
1. To ward off disappointment
As sad as it may sound, not expecting any gifts ensures that a person does not set themselves up for a let-down or failure. When you tell others not to get you gifts, then you will not feel offended if you get no presents eventually. Unfortunately, this method rarely works. Even when people state specifically that they want no presents whatsoever, it is hard to miss the way their faces light up when someone goes ahead and gets them a present anyway. Therefore, chances are that when no gifts are given at all, we feel a tinge of disappointment.
2. To avoid feeling indebted
The process of exchange of gifts is largely one that involves reciprocation. According to Psychology Today, giving gifts is based on the principle of giving as much as you receive. This is important, but it should never be taken to heart because it is the thought that counts. However, some of us may want to avoid feeling indebted to a person after they have given us a gift. Subsequently, we will not feel like we have to give them a gift that is of the same value or higher when their birthday rolls around. For most, not asking for gifts or expecting them frees us from having to return the favour later.
3. Bad past experiences
For some, the indifference towards receiving gifts may be the result of bad experiences in the past which resulted in them associating gifts with negative feelings. Examples may include people whose birthdays were never celebrated. It may therefore not make any sense to them to begin being appreciated later in life. For others, they may have been disappointed by gifts given in the past and will therefore not want to relive the experience at a later age.
4. To save relatives the trouble
It is rare but, there are occasions where the recipient of a gift chosen to sacrifice their happiness for the comfort of a loved one. As seen in recent times, the process of selecting a present can turn out to be quite daunting. Instead of putting someone through it, one may choose to forego the gift altogether. This is a rare form of altruism, and perhaps we should strive to get gifts for people as well-deserving as those who put their needs last for our comfort.
While these are not all the reasons people may request not to receive gifts, they go a long way in helping us understand this upcoming trend.