How gift giving turned into a realization of my conditional and unconditional love for the people in my life.

This post comes to you in three parts. A history, A realization and Some questions. 

Recently, I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern in my behavior, to be specific in the entire way that I give birthday gifts to people. I’ve always been the kind of  person who had to give a really good and personalized gift. I can’t stand the idea of a store-bought gift unless it’s something the person actually needs or a book and therefore most of my presents are handmade or DIY projects.

The fault is not in the way I made these presents but the people I chose to give them to. The thing with personalized gifts is that they need an immense amount of time, hard work and your compassion like any good present does. For me, gift giving doesn’t range on a scale of “good, better, best or anything in between” but two radical ends, “the best gift or the no gift”.

A History (what happened, which incident made me want to write about this):

Today, it was the birthday of one of my friends. Let’s call that person “the other person or TOP” for future reference, I guess. (Which I guess makes no absolute sense seeing how I don’t own an anonymous blog but, I’d prefer not taking names and anyways the post is about my realization and not TOP so let’s get on with it, sorry).

So, this morning I wake up knowing it’s my friend’s birthday, we’ve known each other for six months now, I suppose. I slaved myself for almost three hours and made a few drawings, a series of cartoons and funny aspects and anecdotes from our time together. Now the entire reason behind why I made the effort to do this may have been that today was a Saturday and I had six hours of class later so, I decided to allow myself to spend time doing something else instead of studying or maybe, it was the fact that I’ve been drawing again recently and I had some great ideas whilst in the shower and got hyped about making it for them. End product, half an hour before class I was done with it and quite happy, what happened later is what disappointed me, I guess as I progressed through the day, I came to realize that this person might not care about me as much as I thought they did. I guess what set it off was the fact that every one of their friends met up with them and cut the cake, and got to spend time with them whereas I couldn’t or maybe it was because I wasn’t invited, and the moment I realized this, it irked me just a little bit (to not say it blatantly).

I don’t blame them for anything at all, in truth it might not even have been in their hands to be with these sets of people, there could’ve been many reasons as to why I wasn’t invited to be with them and they are given the full benefit of doubt from my side, the person I do blame, though, is myself for spending so much of much time, effort and love on this thing, I believed it was beautiful and would’ve loved to keep it for myself. I’ve done this in the past too, given away presents I loved so much by the time I completed them, I expect them to give me a satisfactory response, in the end feeling like now that will result in them liking me better. I think the weird thing might be that I don’t and can’t do this for everyone for the lack of time and my obsession over perfection in everything and it has come to my notice that I don’t really give these beautiful gifts to the people close to me but to people who aren’t as close to me.

The realization:

My love for TOP is conditional, which is what allowed me to even come to this conclusion. When I gave them a gift it hadn’t a sole motif of “gifting” them, but an additive to it was to please them, which would improve their opinion of me in their eyes, it wasn’t to procure their love ,don’t mistake me, but to simply have them see me as I want them to see me because I didn’t feel like who I really was, was being seen by them. These were my conditions and when I didn’t get that “validation” in return for all the work I put in, I cursed myself for letting myself spend so much of me on something that gave me so little in return, and if there is one thing I hate it is when I expect something for my hard work and not have the results. Which got me thinking about unconditional love, there has been one person in my life whom I have loved unconditionally, who is the epitome of true love for me, to whom I give and I give and I give all of myself and my feelings expecting and not wanting anything in return, which made me realize how selfish and conditional most of our love is towards people, which isn’t ,to be honest, a bad thing because we cannot as survivors in this world afford to love unconditionally as that idea embodies that we be true altruists which doesn’t fare well for our survival and hence, is a rare human characteristic.

I think I lost the meaning of giving gifts for a moment, instead of putting so much effort into making something for the people I didn’t know so well, if I’d spent this on the ones that did love me, I would be much happier. Believe me, when I say it like that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t give my absolutely close friends gifts, I do, I do, it’s just that I feel like I can take it more lightly, like if it’s given later it’ll be fine still, because they already love me so much.

This exudes safety, that is what I feel in these close relationships, safety. I know that I’ve succeeded in procuring their love which doesn’t decrease my love or care for them one bit, it’s just as strong but when it comes to trivial matters like gift giving, I know they’ll understand if I can’t do it at that very moment. Which is just wrong of me, in the end this entire internal debate of mine isn’t on the actual gift but the idea of it, the gift in itself isn’t what is important at all but merely the act of giving it, it says “I love you, I care about you, and I might say it verbally and you might know it anyway but, today it’s your birthday and I’ll go a step beyond and try to make sure that you’re happier today and though it isn’t a lot, I want you to have this thing I made which is significant of my compassion and will show you how important you’ve become for me.”

So, I guess what disappointed me more today was not that I gave TOP the gift but that there are people in my life whom I love infinitely more than this person whom I HAVEN’T gifted anything yet due to whatever reason, and they let me get off so easy.

I don’t know, I’m a very immaterialistic person in general so “things” aren’t something that hold much value to me and using the term “gifts” so often in this post made me a little sick because I feel like I’m obsessing so much over some”thing” but as I said before it’s not the gift but the mere action of giving it, the amount of work and it’s representation of empathy for another that was the root cause of my innate controversy. What I was reminded from this incident is that it’s okay to want to improve yourself in the eye of someone else if you feel you are being misjudged or not seen to your full potential or if you just want to please them and make them happy but, while you go around securing these relationships, it is more important that you tend to the ones you’ve already made.

(P.S– this other person I talk about in this is a really nice and kind person, I love and care about them as a friend and do not hold any grudges against them, it was what I felt and hence wrote about which I feel ended up straightening my priorities, so it’s all good.)

Some questions :

What are your thoughts on this? Has this happened to you, what are your expectations from another when in a relationship? Do you think disappointment and not receiving “validation” makes the other person bad or are you a true altruist?

Other than that, I hope you are having a positive day and are happy. πŸ™‚

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14 thoughts on “How gift giving turned into a realization of my conditional and unconditional love for the people in my life.

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  1. The fact that you thought about this thing the way you did and held no grudges, shows how level headed a person you are! And such things do keep happening, like A LOT. You just got to learn from them like u did now.
    P.S.: Feeling things so deeply is an eternal curse(sometimes, a boon too) given to people who overthink, so, embrace it! πŸ™‚

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    1. That’s true… I really don’t hold anything against them, at that moment it felt bad but then I woke up today and felt perfectly OK with it, it wasn’t a big deal really, and I guess in the end a good deed is a good deed, and I’m glad I did my part and if the other person isn’t equally giving back, to be honest, I can move on very well.
      Thanks for that!😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey!! I know it hurts when someone is special for u and u do everything for them to make them feel special. And in return u only get disappointments. I completely could relate to this post. N i agree that a gift is not only a thing it is all what u feel for a person. Even a small peice of card can mean a lot if it is given by heart otherwise even an expensive thing is like shit.

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    1. Well, that’s the thing, this person isn’t like (to quote) special(like I’d die for them that kinda way, just a really good friend) you know and I guess I’m lucky that way, fortunately I know very well who likes me and who doesn’t so when I did give them a gift I wasn’t really expecting a lot in return and I’m feeling so much better already, I feel like I overthought the issue and as I said this isn’t even about the person it’s about the realization I had. Thanks anyways!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As a person who’s overly obsessed to emotions and gets attached to people I know how you feel. It has happened to me too, and the only way I’ve stopped myself from being hurt from time and again is that I’ve simply stopped anything in return. Not even their gratefulness towards me. Hope you stay strong, since it is just a step towards the mature side of the world✌Trust me, it isn’t a very pleasant place to live in.(Figuratively, ofc :P)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True… πŸ˜₯ Expectation is the root cause of all disappointment I guess, thank you for that! I’m very well now actually, I’m a very “forgive and let forget” sort of person, I mean sure I’ll remember this thing happened with me but in general I can look over peoples faults easily if they are nice and kind in general πŸ˜€

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  4. This is nowhere near my alley. I’m a terrible gift giver. I’ve never given anyone a personalised gift. I believe the best gifts you can give/receive are books. My closest friends are book nerds, so they all react well to it. If they didn’t however, as a hardcore Slytherin, I would start plotting. I wouldn’t work through my emotions in a beautiful post like this. Which just goes on to show that you’re on the path to become a mature person.😁

    Also, quick question: the gifts that you make, you obviously love doing it. Why not keep the finished product for yourself? Do you ever feel bad about parting with them?😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Lucky you! I believe the same! I mean if I had the choice I would definitely only give books but unfortunately not a lot of my friends adore books as much as I do and I can draw a little so I try to put it to good use. Haha, I’d like to believe I’m a Slytherin too!! But I’m very passive aggressive, if someone makes me unhappy and aren’t really close to me I can very easily stop giving a shit about them πŸ˜… (so much for being mature) Yes! I do love making them a lot and cannot tell you the no. of times I wished I could keep them for myself! Yes, I do feel kinda bad giving them as I rarely make such things for myself, but then I have to remind myself they are gifts….
      P.S – loved replying to this! πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Firstly, damn, your writing’s beautiful. Secondly, what you wrote kinda holds true for all, doesn’t it? People say we take our loved ones for granted, but that’s wrong. We’re just assured that they’ll understand if we’re not ‘punctual’ about showing love. It’s actually just as beautiful a feeling as it is unethical…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey JB! Firstly, Thanks for for that, it made me smile 😊. Secondly, yes I guess it does hold true for all and yes that assurity, that “safety” is exactly what I was talking about, it is definitely comforting to feel that way towards someone, we can rely on them to understand but only to a certain extent, they too deserve an equal show of understanding and love from our side, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I also believe a lot in giving personalized gift that I, myself, put effort into. If the person concerned is just a person I know, or I am ‘supposed’ to gift them something out of given circumstance, I would rather go and buy some gift from store (although, for that also I try to think of what that person may like). But as far as people I love are concerned, I try to put all my time and effort into making something for them that can tell them how much they mean to me.

    But the sad part is, with time, these people who I love, just get used to such stuff. It isn’t anything special for them if I gift them something I have made. They know I will make them something and that is like routine to them. In their eyes, it nothing more than a formality. And at some point I have felt they rather prefer some store-bought stuff. It does make me think. Whether I making too much of an effort, which is neither needed nor appreciated. But the only thought is to do something for them, that I would love if they did for me.

    Am I making sense? πŸ™‚ Probably not πŸ™‚

    Nice post dear. Loved it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh god I’m soo late on this, I totally forgot to reply. I agree with you here. That’s so true though, because they know what to expect they do not value it which is sad and I have often seen that sometimes people prefer “things” like the store bought concept of gifts instead of DIY… And you did make total sense! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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