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Maciamo
02-05-04, 17:58
I have come to think of an interesting dilemma between 2 main groups of people in the society.

Presents

The first group think that it is virtuous to give present to people they like or love. They want to surprise them and are ready to spend a lot of money, even if they are not sure what kind of present the other person hopes for or what their tastes are. It is not even an issue, because the most important is to "offer" something. The gesture itself is more important than the present itself (but a more expensive present will look as a bigger gesture, regardless of how much pleasure it procures). These people think like this because they are themselves happy of receiving presents from one particular person as a sign of love, friendship, etc.


The second group thinks quite differently. The virtous action is only to give presents to someone when they expect it (birthday, valentine...), and they will almost automatically ask the other person what they wish for, or even better, go to the shop with them so that they can choose exactly what they want. In this 2nd group, it is more common to give money than gifts, because those people are afraid of mistaking and giving something that does not make the other person happy, but on the contrary uncomfortable because they have to fake joy or gratefulness. In other words, people from the 2nd group are worried about making other people uncomfortable, because they cannot dissimulate their emotions (maybe because they are oversensitive ?). They might also attach more importance to understanding the other's feelings and expectation in depth, so that mistaking present is seen as not knowing well enough one's lover or friend, which is a shameful thing for them - while people from group one don't care so much. The second group is probably composed of very honest, serious and sensitive people, who take great care in trying to understand exactly how other people might feel, and are nervous at the idea of making errors (too perfectionist ?).

Helping others

Let us now see how "helping other people" is perceived by each group.

In group one, people take the initiative to help people who seem to be needed it. For example, when someone is carrying heavy bags or suitcases in the stairs and is visibly in diffiiculty, if they have the strength people from the first group will propose give them a hand immediately and without being asked for it. In another case, if someone seems lost in the street or looking at a map, people from group one will usually ask them where they are going and if they can be of any help.

However, people from group two are more reluctant to do this, because they are afraid of offering unsolicited help or even took care about other's people business in the way that may disturb them or cause trouble. They are also afraid of having their help turned down on them and feeling useless or stupid.
But if they are asked for it, they will certainly be more than happy to help and even overdo it compared to the first group. Those people from group two usually don't like asking for help, and even less being helped without soliciting it. They don't like asking because they don't want to cause other people trouble, either because they might help other things to do, or worse because they would not be able to help and look stupid, useless or uncooperative. Let us say that people from group two are much more nervous about being seen as inferior or causing other people trouble. That is because they are so perfectionist and cannot tolerate mistakes, but also because they want to take responsibility for their own acts (eg. don't travel with 3 bags if you can't manage to carry them everywhere you need to go).

The first group has a much more relaxed and simple approach to life. They are more optimist, trustful and easy-going. People from group two tend to be cautious, perfectionist, deep and psychological.


Which one are you ? In my opinion, a majority of women are part of the first group, while more the second group dominantly male. Culture might have its importance. I believe that countries like the UK have a culture that naturally suits more the second group, while Japan (or even the US or Australia) has a higher percentage of people from the first group.

jeisan
02-05-04, 21:18
as far as helping people i'm both groups depending on what mood i'm in on any given day.
gift giving is moreso group 2, but if its someone i'm romanticly involved with then I will tend to give them more smaller gifts at random times.

Elizabeth
03-05-04, 03:47
I'm with Jeisan on this, more in Group 2 but not snobbish or controlled to the point of passing a stranger who is clearly struggling if there was anything I could do. It does have to be an unambiguous situation, however, and I try to be as casual and offhand as possible giving us both some space to back out. As for gifts, never anything extravgant and I make it a point to know what close friends will appreciate. Although those Japanese that clearly relish in receiving just about anything and often can expect a more liberal exception. :)

playaa
03-05-04, 04:24
I am Group 2, when it comes to gift's and group 1 when it comes to help, As I will be found going out of my way to help unasked.

Hachiko
03-05-04, 19:54
I voted for Neither (male). I'm in Group 1.5. :-)