More than half of Americans agree that small gestures make for great surprises

·3-min read

"Go big or go home" is overrated — at least when it comes to surprises.

According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, split by whether or not respondents enjoy surprises, 52% agreed the best kinds of surprises are small gestures, like getting a small thoughtful gift or treat.

That's compared to bigger gestures that have a greater chance of failing — and results revealed that sentiment is even more relevant during the summer.

The survey found 59% of those polled agreed that often, the best memories they have of summer feature small, surprising moments.

Conducted on behalf of Bubbies Ice Cream by OnePoll, respondents were asked what surprises they'd look forward to this summer.

And 34% of those surveyed said "a sweet treat in the afternoon" would brighten their day.

What treats might these be? Regardless of their preference toward surprises, ice cream topped the list as Americans' favorite summertime treat (75%).

Those who like surprises were slightly more likely to choose ice cream (78% vs. 71%) — and they were more likely to say ice cream makes them happy (81% vs. 69%).

"Ice cream is essential for any hot day — whether that's in the form of a cone or something perfectly portioned and a little less messy like mochi ice cream," said Katie Cline, Vice President of Marketing at Bubbies Ice Cream. "Many of our favorite summer memories are spent on the beach or by a lake with friends, eating ice cream with our loved ones, or enjoying other treats to sweeten up our life. It's not surprising to us that whether people like to be surprised or not, they'd still love to be treated to a cool and refreshing frozen dessert to beat the summer heat." 

Beyond a treat in the afternoon, respondents also said they would look forward to the following surprises during the summer: a vacation (50%), taking a trip to the beach (41%) and having "a quiet afternoon to myself" (40%).

Those who do like surprises were more likely to look forward to a vacation, while those who dislike surprises chose a quiet afternoon as the top surprise they'd like over the summer.

Perhaps that's not surprising, as the survey delved into the personality differences between those who like surprises and those who don't, and results revealed those who enjoy surprises are more likely to be outgoing.

Results also revealed that those who like surprises are more adventurous (41% vs. 22%) and more spontaneous (27% vs. 16%).

On the other hand, those who aren't fans of being surprised were slightly more likely to identify as sarcastic (38% vs. 35%) or anxious (38% vs. 34%).

But regardless of Americans' feelings toward surprises, results found something interesting. Turns out, both groups of respondents would rather plan the surprise than be the one surprised.

"During the summer, why not surprise a loved one with something small — maybe you take a trip to one of their favorite places or bring them their favorite dessert," said Cline. "It's clear that for most people, small surprises, like a thoughtful gift or sweet treat, are the most meaningful. And this summer, that's especially true as we are more able to appreciate the small things that many of us may have missed over the past year."

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