two white gift boxes

4 Crucial Signs You Are a Codependent Giver

Some people give gifts to others because they think it’ll make that person feel happy. Others provide presents because the goal is to quell the turmoil they feel inside.

Codependency involves reliance on someone else. It’s often a family member, friend, or intimate partner. The term comes from the 1950s, when people tried to take alcohol out of their lives.

You have a codependency issue to manage if you give gifts to gain approval, love, or control.  Here are some of the signs to watch for if you think this issue applies to your life.

How to Tell If Gifts Are Based on Codependency

1. You try to solve problems.

If you purchase gifts for people to help them solve the problems you’ve perceived, that action falls into this category. It’s a passive-aggressive way to suggest that someone needs to change.

2. You don’t want to turn someone down.

Giving gifts because it is mandatory can turn into chaos, especially for a large family. It’s usually a relief to avoid that process altogether.

3. The focus is on yourself.

People often give gifts in a codependent environment to avoid their internal negative feelings. The transactions might provide some relief, but the problem is still there waiting for when you stop running away.

4. The goal is to impress others.

When you can imagine people thinking that you’re awesome for giving a specific gift, it feels good. If you would be disappointed if the outcome isn’t as expected, you’ve discovered that your actions are based on your needs. Giving is about the other person.

You can give thoughtful gifts without a deeper purpose. You can’t make people care about the person you are, but you can try to get them something they’ll appreciate.