When you are a generous person giving gifts is natural. However, you need to consider how the other person will perceive it and if it is helpful to do so.
Once when I was dating the woman that I was dating gave me some very expensive gifts. A gold bracelet with my name on it and other things. I thanked her for it but told her that the gifts made me feel uncomfortable because they were too soon. It was so sweet that she thought of me that way, but I wasn’t ready to receive those gifts. It made her seem a little desperate honestly, and made the feelings too clear that we felt differently about each other.
Another time that a gift made me feel uncomfortable was when I was doing my job and the vendor appreciated me going above and beyond and asked my boss if they could take me out to lunch. I told them it wasn’t necessary and that I liked learning, but they wanted to do something nice for me. Lunch was great and I appreciated it, but it was unnecessary. I did things because I wanted to, not because I was looking for a benefit or recognition.
Now I have had gifts that made me feel special and were appreciated. One friend sent me flowers and that was the first time that I had ever received flowers. That was sweet and I appreciated that. Another friend bought me lunch and that was great too. She shared with me her experience and helped me feel better about myself. I appreciated those gifts as well. She also would lend me books that she found valuable and I learned many things from those books.
What I have done in my life is ask people if I can give them something after considering if it is appropriate to give them something. For example, I once had a lunch order that was a mistake and I couldn’t eat it. I asked a coworker if he wanted it. He was surprised but I told him there was no pressure. If he didn’t want it I would throw it away since it was a mistake. He gladly took it. I also gave food to another coworker since she said she hadn’t eaten that day and I didn’t need the extra candy. That was appreciated as well. Spontaneous gifts always are more appreciated than ones that you think you need to give.
If you think you need to give a gift, you have to ask yourself why you feel that way. In some of my relationships, I would give gifts randomly because I wanted to make them feel special. At no time did I feel that I needed to give a gift for a particular reason. Some people believe you must give a gift on someone’s birthday, but I give gifts throughout the year and that is more special because it is the situation that inspires me not an artificial reason. Being authentic means that you do things because you feel it, not because you are required to do something.
When someone loves you they can give you almost any kind of gift. Other than people that I love, I don’t want/need other people’s gifts. It’s fine if they want to appreciate me, but saying “I appreciate you” means more to me than a gift.