To Celebrate Or Not To Celebrate?

Q: I think having a big feast to celebrate my sons 1st birthday is a waste of money and it’s better to just buy him a gift or take him on a holiday. Is this wrong?

A: Dear P

Let’s examine the unconscious payoffs

that someone wanting to throw a big party or celebration may be looking for.

1. Conform to social obligations: It is customary to celebrate certain occasions and the person may like to conform to these social norms because it is easier to do what everyone does and not stand apart and be criticized or questioned. What will people think or say is the real motivator here.

2. Fulfill social expectations: He may want to win the approval of others and look good in their eyes so he chooses to do as is expected of him. Person wants others to believe that he’s a great guy and a jolly good fellow.

3. Show off: It’s an opportunity for him to display his abundance of wealth, style, creativity and love for his child. Wants others to say, that was a fantastic party.

4. Be Applauded: He may wish to be acknowledged for his generosity and grandeur. Person wants others to believe, he’s so generous; what a lavish party he threw.

5. Enjoy the spotlight: He enjoys being center stage and having the spot light on himself and his family. Wants people to notice him and believe he has arrived.

 Let’s examine the payoff in not throwing a big party

1. Wiser use of money: You might think that this is just a waste of money or that there is a better way to spend that money.

2. Social disconnect: You may not have a large enough circle of family or friends with whom you share a meaningful enough relationship to invest in them.

3. Personal beliefs: You may not subscribe to wasteful expenditure, showing off, display of wealth, pretenses of closeness where it doesn’t exist or believe that being in the spotlight attracts the evil eye.

4. Defying the norm: You may subconsciously be rebelling against the established order and wish to stand apart because you believe you are different.

5. No positive payoff: You may believe there is nothing positive to gain- either in terms of image enhancement or feeling good- from throwing a party and hence what’s the use of it anyway.

Understand that there are different strokes

for different folks and no right or wrong way but only what gives you greater personal satisfaction. If you are an image- driven, socially oriented extrovert, you may enjoy the payoffs of throwing a party. On the other hand, if you are more introverted or inward- oriented, you may wish to have a silent celebration with your core family. The important thing is to recognize what gives you greater pleasure and to do just that without feeling guilty for not doing otherwise.

Recognize your basic nature,

understand your motivations & drives and respect the choices you make.



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