Surprising Strangers – The Seven Steps of Buying Gifts for People You Don’t Know
Buying gifts is something that can be very tricky sometimes.
The people you know best have many different interests and many things they want in life, and a lot of those things can be conflicting and confusing, so it’s hard to know what you can get them. Buying gifts for someone you don’t know is usually even more difficult again, and buying gifts for men can occasionally be an entirely different process to getting things for women or children. To help dispel this confusing cloud of criss-crossing cues, we have put together a 7 step process of buying gifts for people you don’t know very well.
Something useful can be a good starting point for someone you don’t know very well. Maybe you figure that they’ll always need a fancy bottle-opener on hand, so you get a low profile one that can attach to a keychain. Maybe something more along the lines of a portable charging station for their phone would suit their personality type? Neither of these are personal gifts, but they don’t need to be if you don’t know the person well.
Considering something fun is the next step. Most people like something fun as a present, it takes us back to our days of childhood when we would get a slinky as a present and we were entertained for a whole day with it. Simple and fun things like miniature drones or remote controlled cars can be a great, fun present for a new friend.
Colour can bring liveliness to a house, and especially in situations where you’re meeting someone at their housewarming, something colourful can be well appreciated. It can be anything, from things as simple as a couch cushion, to things like a set of bowls or glasses. Not complex or energy-driven, but simple and colourful can be exactly what someone wants.
It should be stated right now that a pet of any description is never an acceptable present for someone you don’t know very well. Something alive should largely be considered plant life, as plants are living things but can also be used for decoration and livening up a place, and a colourful plant can even meet two of the aforementioned steps at once!
If you don’t know someone very well, or are just meeting them, don’t go over the top for a gift. Reasonable, in this instance, means size and cost more than anything, because it is a unique kind of uncomfortable that is related to getting a large, extravagant, expensive present from a stranger or acquaintance.
Boring presents are usually set aside and forgotten fairly quickly, even though they are appreciated in the moment. An interesting gift might take a mantelpiece place for decades to come, if it’s interesting enough. A piece of history, a strange contraption, or even a rare coin can drip with interest to the right person, so find out what the receiver of your gift is interested in and aim for that.
Something (Relatively) Normal
You could have a hilarious sense of humor when it comes to gift giving, and your friends and family might love the wacky, zany gifts you manage to find and give, but to a relative stranger a strange gift seems just that. Strange.
Find a way to get something that conveys your message appropriately and is somewhat zany if you want to, but don’t go over the top until you are more of an established presence in their life.
With these steps you should be ready to purchase a gift for just about anyone, stranger or otherwise, so don’t let anything hold you back!