A psicologia por trás dos presentes de Natal

Sejamos francos: seria muito mais útil receber e dar dinheiro de presente no natal. Pelo aspecto financeiro e prático dar presentes de natal é altamente irracional.

Diversos economistas já fizeram as contas, e dinheiro serviria bem melhor aos propósitos de quem recebe o presente do que um par de meia ou um cachecol.  Primeiro, comprar um presente incorre no risco de comprar algo que o presenteado não deseja e, portanto, não valorizará. Segundo, comprar o presente correto gasta um tempo enorme além de consumir outros recursos, como o pagamento do estacionamento no shopping, por exemplo, além do tempo economizado se simplesmente fizéssemos um cheque.

Joel Waldfogel, um professor de economia aplicada da Universidade de Minnesota, fez o seguinte experimento: ofereceu dinheiro em troca de presentes recebidos. A surpresa deste estudo é que em média as pessoas aceitavam trocar seus presentes por valores menores do que o valor gasto no presente (por exemplo, os participantes preferiam 50,00 em espécie que um presente de 100,00).  Isso deve significar bilhões no mundo inteiro que poderiam ser economizados se conseguíssemos ser mais racionais.

Por que então  escolhemos, natal após natal, gastar mais dinheiro, tempo e recursos presenteando uns aos outros?

Presentes na verdade sinalizam o quanto você se importa com o outro. Isso explica porque quase que universalmente se prefere presentes que exigiram grande esforço e tempo ao invés de presentes que são simplesmente mais caros. Se déssemos dinheiro uns aos outros no natal seria simples forjar afeição simplesmente escrevendo cheques maiores (não que isso não aconteça indiretamente…). Além disso dinheiro frequentemente tem uma conotação social negativa, sendo visto frequentemente como algo sujo ou egoísta, ao contrário de presentes.

Mulheres são desproporcionalmente as que mais dão presente no natal (como todo mundo com muitas tias pode comprovar), sendo responsáveis por 84% de todos os presentes dados, e recebendo apenas 61% deles. Homens dão bem menos presentes e quando o fazem geralmente os dão para mulheres. Apenas 4% dos presentes são dados de um homem para outro homem. Mulheres dão muito mais presentes de natal e dão mais presentes individuais que homens que frequentemente “generalizam”os presentes.

Presentes, então, são sobre tudo o que está além do embrulho. É sobre atenção. É sobre afeto. Cada presente diz muito sobre o que aquele que dá pensa daquele que recebe o presente.

Se quiser esticar ainda mais, aproveite o “espírito natalino” e ofereça um presente para alguém que você sequer conhece. Encontre alguém que precise, doe pessoalmente um alimento, um brinquedo e principalmente um afeto, e perceba o quanto isso te deixará mais feliz.

Apesar da ideia de encontrar montes de dinheiro embaixo das árvores de natal fazer coçar o meu bolso, espero sinceramente que isso nunca aconteça, pois significaria um enfraquecimento grande das relações, e uma diminuição do esforço de se preparar e mostrar para meus caros o quanto me importo com eles. Não, obrigado, não quero ser nada racional no natal.

Feliz natal a todos! (e boas compras)

About Rodrigo Scalia

Formado em medicina pela Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. Residência em psiquiatria pela Universidade Federal de Uberlandia, mestrando do Programa de ciências da saúde da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. Pós graduação em Terapia de familia e casal pelo Instituto de terapia familiar do triângulo

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