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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I dunno about you guys, but I kinda get worked up over little things.

I rarely give things to my friends usually just relying on how well we get along. Usually I just pick a random gift, but the real gift I emphasize is the presentation. Usually I somehow tailor the gift to the person's personality/interests, but I don't know whether people consider that as a gift or not. Also, I feel like gifts pressure people to make happy emotions. It's sort of like Christmas and how you don't get what you expected.

Well, they're probably happy either way because random gifts (which are really apologies but they don't know) are a good way to brighten their day somehow....even though it's probably going to clutter their houses maybe a month down the line and never see the light of day again. Huh, maybe the gift is in the moment of giving.....

OK. That was a large digression. I was just wondering whether you guys get worked up over gift-giving or expressing care for your friends and family. I just feel like rationals get labeled as socially inept really often around the internet and it gets boring to keep on reading and discussing the same sorts of things.


tl;dr
How do you guys show you care about others?
Does gift giving ultimately damage or enhance a relationship?
 

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I have basically no social skills to speak of, so my go-to tends to be "Do you need anything?" rather than trying to guess something on my own.

I imagine that gift-giving makes a relationship stronger in whichever direction it was already going: if the relationship is already positive, then the other person will appreciate that you got something, and if they relationship is already negative, then the other person will think you're trying to buy your way out of any problems.
 

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I don't think I can say that I get worked up over gift giving or expressing that I care. Actually, I don't really say that I care, but rather show it instead, like through the act of volunteering or taking care of the daily needs of my little boy. I don't see how gift giving would damage a relationship, at least when it's warranted. I think it would be fun to find a gift for someone, like challenging myself to see if I can get it right.

It does get rather boring, or even annoying to keep reading how NTs are cold. It's gotten to be a mantra.
 

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I rarely give gifts. I don't get them often either. One thing I tend to do tough is giving people food. Like, I often ask friends over for dinner, or bake a bunch of cookies and just hand them out to everyone.

I hadn't even noticed that other people don't do this. I just figured that when I bake something, I can't eat it all yourself, so I might as well share it. And I always found it easier to talk to people over dinner.
 

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I don't neccesarily go out of my way to show that I care. I figure that's self evident if I seek out and enjoy your company. If I'm already planning to bake and I know I'll be seeing a friend with a sweet tooth later that day I'll probably set some aside for them but that's about the extent of it.
 
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I consider myself a very caring individual, and most people who know me would agree. But I'm not exactly the warm, mushy, emotional sort of caring most of the time. I too enjoy giving people very heart-felt gifts which show my appreciation, such as a replica of something from their favorite TV show or a book they'd mentioned wanting to read months ago. I put a lot of thought into Christmas gifts when I have the energy. I don't necessarily worry about it, especially when it's someone other than my significant other.

NTs can be just as caring as anyone else. Whether or not we can figure out how to express that care is another matter. I always think back to high school, when I watched one of my NF friends comforting a crying girl and asked her, "How do you do that? Can you teach me?" She said, "All you have to do is listen, give them a hug and say, 'Aww.'" To this day I have taken that method to heart.
 

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You may be confusing the T in nt to mean that we use thinking 100% of the time over feeling when I'm reality we just use it predominantly. If we did not feel then we would not be far off from sociopaths.

A history lesson for you: it is believed we have emotions as a direct result of sorting out what to do with spur of the moment stimuli. For example, if a tiger jumps out at you it would be in your favor to have a surge of adrenaline to tell you to either fight the tiger or flea as opposed to standing there thinking about how to deal with the tiger. After we started building villages and civilizations, feelings then adapted to help us develop better relationships with one another. Sociopaths however always do what's best for them in one sense or another.

So to answer your question, we do feel. Speaking from personal experience, being introverted I do tend to not show my feelings very well. I'm not terribly comfortable with emotion, so when someone is upset I honestly do want to help, but I know that I deal with things differently than others when I'm upset (I use logic) so the golden rule of "do unto others as you'd want them to do unto you" doesn't really apply. I tend to be a bit like an actor and "exaggerate" my empathetic side. For example, if my gf is upset, I hug her and comfort her (typically following a somewhat scripted pattern) instead of explaining to her that it's illogical to be upset (which is what seems to calm me down).

showing that I care through body language, tone of voice, or even physical touch just doesn't come natural and it's not necessarily that I care what most other people think, but for friends and family who I do care about (especially those more prone to feeling as opposed to thinking) I do tend to exaggerate my actions to show them that I value them (because most people aren't logical).

Anyhow, I hope this helps. I certainly can't speak for the majority but maybe enough individual people will chime in to help give you a better understanding of what the general consensus is on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
NTs can be just as caring as anyone else. Whether or not we can figure out how to express that care is another matter. I always think back to high school, when I watched one of my NF friends comforting a crying girl and asked her, "How do you do that? Can you teach me?" She said, "All you have to do is listen, give them a hug and say, 'Aww.'" To this day I have taken that method to heart.
Does it ever feel formulaic to you though? This feeling of "canned response" just keeps on popping up...it's like it's somehow too easy and too automatic to just do what the person would respond to. As Holden Caulfield would say, I'd be a phony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have basically no social skills to speak of, so my go-to tends to be "Do you need anything?" rather than trying to guess something on my own.

I imagine that gift-giving makes a relationship stronger in whichever direction it was already going: if the relationship is already positive, then the other person will appreciate that you got something, and if they relationship is already negative, then the other person will think you're trying to buy your way out of any problems.
Haha, that "Do you need anything?" reminds me when we (students) were asked how we make friends (in 6th Grade) and I said "To use them." (of course it just meant that people hang out with others if they have something to offer)

I completely agree with that rationale about gift-giving. That's a really fun way of looking at it. Kinda makes gifts seem like a buffer or something. Haha, we're speculating reactions towards a gift.

How do you deal with that conclusion though?
It should be obvious, but acting on it is a different story...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think I can say that I get worked up over gift giving or expressing that I care. Actually, I don't really say that I care, but rather show it instead, like through the act of volunteering or taking care of the daily needs of my little boy. I don't see how gift giving would damage a relationship, at least when it's warranted. I think it would be fun to find a gift for someone, like challenging myself to see if I can get it right.

It does get rather boring, or even annoying to keep reading how NTs are cold. It's gotten to be a mantra.
Yeah, saying you care is a lot more blatant and raw than just doing it. Maybe that's just me.

I react more than say what I think most of the time. Maybe rationals are labeled as cold because that's how society needs them to be. I wonder if there is a real difference sometimes....(probably).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I rarely give gifts. I don't get them often either. One thing I tend to do tough is giving people food. Like, I often ask friends over for dinner, or bake a bunch of cookies and just hand them out to everyone.

I hadn't even noticed that other people don't do this. I just figured that when I bake something, I can't eat it all yourself, so I might as well share it. And I always found it easier to talk to people over dinner.
Haha, yeah. It's kinda like "Oh, might as well. I can't get diabetes all by myself, now can I?"
 

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Does it ever feel formulaic to you though? This feeling of "canned response" just keeps on popping up...it's like it's somehow too easy and too automatic to just do what the person would respond to. As Holden Caulfield would say, I'd be a phony.
Yes, all the time. It seems wrong and inauthentic to me, to simply give a "canned response" as you say when people are upset. By I have to remind myself every time that it isn't about authenticity or honesty in that moment. What is more important: Your friend being okay and feeling loved, or you feeling authentic? Fuck my need to always be right and clear and honest. My needs aren't important in that situation, but my friend's needs are. And what they need more than anything is for me to read off a canned response to them. So I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, all the time. It seems wrong and inauthentic to me, to simply give a "canned response" as you say when people are upset. By I have to remind myself every time that it isn't about authenticity or honesty in that moment. What is more important: Your friend being okay and feeling loved, or you feeling authentic? Fuck my need to always be right and clear and honest. My needs aren't important in that situation, but my friend's needs are. And what they need more than anything is for me to read off a canned response to them. So I do.
Thanks for the reality check :)
 

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My social skills are not completely abysmal, but I tend to convey my sympathies by asking whether one wants something done or wants something as a gift or whatnot. As others have said, gift-giving is the best way of conveying gratitude without being so emotional about it.
 
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My love language is Acts of Service. I show I care by trying to relieve a burden for someone else. If I'm lazy, I'll get a gift (my second language of love).

Generally, if I'm giving practical advice or doing something for you, it means I care. I don't usually verbalize.
 

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In terms of love languages, I'm more an acts of service person, not a gift giving person.
 
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I show my care for others by having discussions on various topics (school, current events, ideas, etc.). Playing video and board games is how we spend time together. I also try to sometimes share something I have with certain people (I like to give people a french fry whenever I buy them)

I'm kind of a scrooge with gift-giving. I actually only give gifts if I see that the person has been a good enough friend in terms of hanging out. I may sometimes reject giving if the person hasn't meet a certain agreement in my head (which I probably didn't say out loud) because I see it as an empty 'investment'. An example would be how I didn't give my entp crush a birthday present since she never gave ME a present and didn't invite to her party. true story.

I guess I'm just some selfish prick...
 
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