Have you ever looked at a sentimental object like a baby blanket, school yearbook, or an old love letter and felt a wave of warmth wash over you? Thanks to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2015, we know that the sentimental value of an object remains the same, even as its usefulness decreases. Those beloved items may be collecting dust on a forgotten shelf, but they still matter.
For the study, researchers examined the ways that sentimental objects affect “hedonic adaptation”, which is the idea that happiness and excitement eventually wear off, no matter how good something makes us feel. However, sentimental objects are less likely to cause hedonic adaptation, so beholding them will always get us back to a happy state (Source).
Actually, sentimental objects are so powerful that they increase our mental well-being overall. When we enter a state of nostalgia, we’re promoting our own psychological health. According to an article from PsychologicalScience.org, “Inducing nostalgia in a group of study volunteers resulted in overall positive feelings in this group, including higher self-esteem and an increase in the feeling of being loved and protected by others.” Sentimentality can serve as a link between our past and present selves, so we can ultimately better understand our identities and our role within society (Source).
As gift givers, we sometimes forget the role of sentimentality in choosing a long-lasting gift and operate in more practical terms. For example, if you’re thinking about buying an Add-A-Pearl necklace for a new baby or even for a young girl, you may be wondering about the practicality of giving such a gift. Will she still like these pearls when she’s a teen or adult? Will they still be in style? It’s natural to ask these questions, but by doing so, you may be standing in the way of gift-giving success.
Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2017 found that too many people stop themselves from a buying sentimental gift because they worry they’ll choose the wrong one. Instead, they buy something “with superficial attributes that match the preferences of the recipient”. For example, if the recipient really likes dachshunds, then the giver will buy something with a dachshund motif. However, the reality is that most recipients would prefer to receive something more sentimental, and givers’ fears and insecurities are simply holding them back from giving the best gifts (Source).
At the end of the day, gift giving is about the exchange of enduring emotion more than it is about the physical object being given. When you give an Add-A-Pearl personalized pearl necklace, you give the promise not only of love but also of commitment. The gift recipient will feel confident that you’ll be supporting and loving her through all the stages and milestones of her life. She’ll look at her necklace and remember that you’ll always stand by her side, regardless of physical distance, and she’ll feel a greater sense of mental well-being and security. When she looks at her necklace, she’ll always remember you and the important gesture you made by giving it to her.