Given Objects: An Acquired Item Presented as a Token of Acknowledgement

A gift is something we receive voluntarily without payment in return. We give gifts to honour an occasion like a birthday or as a token to show our appreciation to someone. When we receive a gift it is usually a physical something that is bestowed upon us without us contributing any effort to acquire it. Items that we have been GIVEN are the objects that are the toughest to part with. There are many justifications for keeping these items even when the owner is not using it or doesn’t particularly care for it! How we feel about gifts we are given tend to be associated with the person whom you received it from and less about the intrinsic value we have for the item. Our fixed mindset is activated when it comes to letting go of our GIVEN objects. To Keep or Not To Keep client Margaret had this to say about how she felt about parting with some of her gifts: ‘I felt that letting go of gifts I had received were tied up with thinking how the person who gave it to me would feel if I didn’t want it anymore. Once I thought about it, I decided that this person would not want me to keep something that no longer brought me joy. The real gift was in the moment when it was given to me.’

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