Again, that time of the year is around the corner for me and this was a near-enough accurate converastion between me and my youngest sister that took place yesterday.
Her: What do you want for your birthday?
Me: Cook for the day for everyone.
Me: Perfume. You know that perfume we got you from Dubai? Same one.
Her: No. I know what Im getting you for your birthday.
Me: Whats the point in asking me? I said Biriyani and Perfume. Birthdays are a great way to get a dopamine high by getting something for the person you love.
Her: Thats quite rude Achi.
Me: Think about it what were the best gifts youve given me?
Her: er…the video I made you for your 21st.
Me: Oh that was actually great. What else though? I love the watch. But thats not exactly what yous got me is it? I exchanged the one yous got for me and picked the one I have now myself. Whats one present that you got for me that you remember?
Me: what im saying is that we like the feeling that you get when you see the person opening the gift. So its kind of like a gift for yourself.
Her: Thats actually really really rude. I put in a lot of effort to get presents for everyone.
(*argument heating up*)
Me: All im saying is you get a dopamine from getting people presents. Why are you getting worked up?
Her: Im not getting worked up, you are the one whos getting worked up. You know what i will talk to you later.
Me: *Abruptly hangs up*
20 mins later i phoned her back.
We both puffed and huffed, shed few tears, blamed each other for the tears, had a go at Sterry for recording our convo and made up.
My family and friends are probably sick to death hearing my analysis of behavioural science. But cant help it. So the analysis: Human beings, just like animals, have a basic instinct to give and take what they need to survive. Social psychologist Dr Uriel Foa argued that all interactions are actually transactions, people co-operate to give and take resources from each other. Resources include physical items like money and food as well as emotional resources like love, advice, and status. Im going to take this a level up and list all the resources and mark the ones i ‘take’ and ‘give’ frequently.
Now, I know how important it is for my sister to show appreciation for others through gifts. I, on the other hand is not only picky when it comes to goods, my weakness is ‘affection’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘likeablity’. Unless its something that shows how much im ‘loved’, it doesnt unfortunately excite my brain. And not understanding mine and others needs can sometimes create a clash and few tears.
However, the moral of the story is not about the different needs of human beings but about the selfish needs of human beings. Both of us were right, both of us were wrong and both of us got angry. But when I was huffing and puffing, I kept wanting my sister to call back because heyy she was the one who started it, misunderstood me and was rude. With all this knowledge and understanding, I still relished in my belief that I was right and she wasnt it. It doesnt matter what I know in theory; when my pride is hurt, I become an animal or a human being may be? A human being with selfish needs?