Person: “Hey! I got you something!”.
INTJ: “…Lets’ not do this”.
Okay, I’ve recently been to a few places and further realized that upon looking into the abundance of gift/ souvenir shops that I am a terrible person to buy gifts for, let alone actually me buying a form of souvenir for myself. Then I thought that this interlinks with my need for things to be continuously practical for the money that was to be exchanged; then I realised that this was the logical INTJ side of me rearing its voice.
So, I found myself vocally expressing how impractical and useless souvenirs are when I’m being pressured (yes, pressured) into buying something (not that I bought anything….until I was dying from the sun and needed a cap with the unwanted word ‘AMSTERDAM’ scrawled upon it…and that it was on sale for 2 caps at the price of €10. The caps were needed and I like Amsterdam and all, but I’m not one for marketing things or telling people where I’ve wandered about). All the while questioning why people would buy pricey souvenirs that seemed to either always be clanky, heavy and space-wasting; in my head, I’m obviously bypassing the knowledge that these items are SOUVENIRS and shouldn’t really serve any purpose other than look pretty and be an evidence of your visit.
Sure, it’s nice to buy or receive something as a memorabilia but honestly, most souvenirs or gifts in general are generic, impracticable, hoarder-ey and yields an unnecessary notion of reciprocation – especially when something was bought for us.
Honestly, INTJs are not the only ones that relates to this and for a fact, I know others who feels the same about gift giving. Coming from an INTJ perspective though, I wonder how accurate it is for you also…
~ INTJ vs Gifts ~
The most accurate criteria for when buying us INTJ gifts is to NOT buy us gifts. The thing is, we will say that we don’t want anything or we may upgrade to a “I don’t know” when you ask us repeatedly as to what we want, we really mean it (granted, a small % of us would want you to actually buy something for us anyway despite not saying what we want – these mind games are tiring though, please don’t do this).
Here’s the bomb though, before you actively buy anything gift-related, you should know that we INTJs exhibits the natural flair for criticising gifts – somehow, we’ll always find something to complain about; be it what you bought was overpriced, that it’s not our favourite colour or that it’s a useless commodity whereby this gift now requires us to put it in something or on somewhere collecting dust. Okay, yes, we sound ungrateful and most certainly deserve a punch but we’re not being ungrateful in a sense (explained in a few seconds)…nonetheless, we are really picky a$$holes too.
Another reason that we are hard to shop for is because we don’t want to feel the need to reciprocate your kind gesture or feel indebted to you, even if you meant well and just bought us something to make us happy. Also, we don’t want you to spend money on us, just your time and company is enough (hopefully this applies to most INTJs rhetoric). In a way, writing this out, it seems like what we are doing is subconsciously deterring you from buying us stuff in the future via words that potentially sounds hurtful and unnecessarily unappreciative to you…whereas we should really just shut up and accept your gift with good grace.
Additionally as to why we’re a picky bunch is that, if we want something, we’ll buy it ourselves. Plus, we don’t feel like we deserved to be gifted, we haven’t done anything to warrant such an action and so there isn’t any reason to gift us, regardless of whether it is our birthday or a special holiday/ occasion.
***Side note: My personal reality is that on my birthday, I’m over here being all like, “happy another day!”.***
Nonetheless, gift-giving is a social activity that instigates and extenuates bonding in a society of consumerism. What better way to tie yourself to someone than by giving gifts to each other and then making people feel indebted to you? Such a nice tug-of-war going on here, and, not to mention some people silently being unhappy with a present when they actually receive it…seriously, let’s not start this unnecessary silent hate shall we? All these mind games and negative emotions happening just because of a gift…”no thank you”.
On a similar note, I suppose in a way, we INTJs like to view ourselves as individuals with our own free will and mind to be unconstrained by society and social norms of consumerism and social bonding – not that we tried super hard to fit in to begin with. Nonetheless, adding the core INTJ trait of justifiable reciprocation, honesty and authenticity into the mix; our “sense of moral justice” if you will, makes us feel compelled to reciprocate – yeah, we can get ensnared into this gift-giving social activity annnnd we tend to dislike it unless it was a mutual agreement whereby both parties are 100% happy being aware of an imminent gift-giving. Other than that, if we knew what you were up to, we will try to stop you before you start gift hunting.
If even after knowing the above and you still want to carry out your gestures then I have some suggestions that will appeal to INTJs…even though you know that the majority of us don’t want anything anyway.
As a ‘precaution’, here is an overall summary as to what makes a good gift in general:
- It should be practical;
- It should be something that we need;
- Gifts that involves meaningful experiences – so that we can come away from it with an amazing memory afterwards;
- One quality gift item is better than several mediocre quality gifts in a year;
- We are sentimental and observant; therefore, we like things that depicts our relationship with you (something that serves as a reference to our relationship in the form of something useful),
- Don’t buy us an expensive anything – the more expensive the gift, the more we feel pressured into buying something of its’ equal – also, we’ll question you as to why you did this.
Supposedly, you’d think that giving cash to us so that we can buy whatever we want would be a good choice, well, it is, but just know that, we’ll feel guilty and will become extremely reluctant to take it (unless some of us end up to be…money grubbers or something); in general though, we’ll probably take it out of knowing that whatever we say, you’d end up forcing the money onto us; nonetheless, we’ll still be hesitant in receiving it. Again, we really don’t want to have the hassle to think about buying you something or owing you something that equates to the amount of cash that you gave us. Similarly, gift cards are annoying and poses more of a problem than actual money as there are all these terms and conditions and expiry dates etc…that is unless the gift cards refers to a fine dining experience or involves services that includes maintenance of our face and body/ well-being as we don’t tend to spend money on something luxurious like this in general – with the exception of some INTJs of course.
Another great way to go about this whole thing is giving us gifts that lets’ us know that you know our life and who we are as an individual, for example:
- Buy us our favourite food/ snack out of the blue;
- Buy us something we have been really needing (earphones, hand creams or breath mints if we stink – juuust kidding~~~);
- A fun day away out exploring the woods or doing some form of skill enhancing activities – (pro tip – state that the ticket/ money is none-refundable if we try to back out);
- Rolling from the above, gifts that allows us to practice and further our new or existing skills (weird example, if we have a dart set but no dart board…then get us a dart board so we can actually practice!) Take us to archery or surfing lessons, ice-skating or badminton;
- Try out a new restaurants together etc (experiences and memories results in a deeper connection);
- Take us somewhere that drowns our senses – orchestra, concerts etc;
- Buy us stationary. We frikking love stationaries (notebooks and pens is perfect as we always need to write down stuffs). Bookmark is another good idea as we’ll most probably end up using ripped pieces of paper as a substitute instead of investing in a proper bookmark; also, reading book lamp…those things are swaggidy;
- Quirky technologies like recording pens, spy cameras in the form of a badge or glasses (inception gadgets), mood lighting or anything that are classed as multifunctional-thingy-mcbobbers are good. Yes, pretty much any gadgets that are interesting and useful;
- Craft supplies if we are into modelling sculptors, clay or knitting etc;
- If you have a hobby yourself, create something for us with your skills – if you like learning new words, compile a small booklet of words that you are loving so we can expand our vocabulary too. If you are musically talented, compose or learn a piece for us that makes you think of us or takes you to a happy place when you play (it’s meaningful and we’ll be in awe of you). If you like technology, give us our name made up of the keys on a keyboard glued onto a motherboard (this is quirky, geeky and awesome. Even better if you glued a mirror onto it to or attached a clip and a stand to it to turn it into a photo holder – you know, make it useful). Cook us something if you are good in the kitchen. Again, with these though, make sure to make it practically usable for us or make sure it’s something we don’t have to ‘look after’, otherwise, they’ll end up as gifts that we hoard or put in a ‘safe place’ never to be seen again. Basically, we’ll end up holding onto any tangible sentimental gifts because you made it and you spent time and effort on it. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate them though, I definitely know that some of us don’t mind staring at a handmade teddy bear that was made with your time, care, thought and effort;
- Gifts that engages us for a good period of time whereby we don’t grow bored easily or think a gift is a chore – examples of these gifts could be along the lines of learning and understanding how to make something from scratch (knitting, alcohol making kit), language learning, fact books, learning how to knit (gain a new skill), learning about another culture (for example, ‘best places to go and see book’ guide). If you are with an INTJ who is spiritual, tarot cards are excellent to have in our asset (the colours and meanings are interesting);
- Some form of furniture that allows us to be organised – for example, tables that has crevices/ shelves and secret compartments where we can store our unmentionables that are piles of notes and books on world domination. Again, stationary organisers are great too as we’ll most likely have pens and papers everywhere;
- Thought provoking gifts that reflects who WE are, or, who YOU are (we’ll love to learn about you…depending on who you are to us);
- Coffee or tea sets with a variety of coffees or teas to try;
- Interesting puzzle gifts – although these are a bit of a touch and go as they rarely end up serving a purpose other than being tossed aside nicely when finished;
- Actionable personalised coupons for us to use on humans…it’s a nice way for you to show that you know us well too…
(Not the typical INTJ coupons but I’m not your typical INTJ…you’ll get the gist of this whole ‘coupon’ idea when you think about it)
- A personalised gift of you and us is also a good option – even better, an inside joke that is just understood between the two of us engraved on a mug or on a jigsaw puzzle that could be framed and hung etc makes for an excellent gift – it’s something symbolic between us both,
- Useful gifts that highlights our sarcastic or dark sense of humour – be it on a cup, bag or a t-shirt.
If all else fails, a treasure hunt leading up to a gift is fun and exciting for us as we like hunting and figuring out clues. It doesn’t really matter if the end resulting gift was a hug or a Swiss army knife set because we’ll know that you spent a great deal of thought, time and effort on how to plan out said treasure hunt :) We appreciate that, thank you.
Finally, we actually prefer giving gifts than receiving, with the exception of feeling less awkward when receiving gifts from someone close to us. This is because we would rather know you thoroughly enough in order to actually think and stress about what to get you as the ideal gift in return as opposed to stressing about buying a suitable gift for someone that we barely know.
Another reason that gifting if unnecessary is because well, in our mind (correct me if I’m wrong here fellow INTJS), we already think that we already have the greatest gift from you, that is friendship. A strong friendship in itself is hard to come by for us, even harder when it comes to being in a relationship etc.
When an INTJ gives, one of the main reason is because we feel that what we say seems to never really be substantial enough in order to convey the depth of our heart, gratitude and appreciation for you. So a gift really helps to put a tangible touch to our expressions and thoughts – our gifts doesn’t tend to be anything substantial either, just buying certain food types to stock up on someone else’s cupboard is a little something that we do if you cooked us a meal etc.
In our mind, gift-giving is more of an act of service to help you “see” our personality, observation of you, appreciation and our connection with you. We don’t want you to guess how we feel or what we think, we want you to know. Ultimately, gift-giving to us does not have a materialistic connotation to it, there’s no underlying connotation to it, neither do we need any reciprocation from you.
When we understand that you are the same like us, then with time, we’ll learn to accept gifts from you gracefully and with comfort.
After all this, the bottom line is, you don’t have to do anything. You really don’t.
Geomeun Goyangi =^-^=
***Disclaimer: 87% of these quotes are from myself. Also, please note that these blogs should NOT influence you to generalize that all INTJs, as a niche group, are all the same – because we are not; a lot of other factors shapes and individualizes a person.***