The season of “giving” (also known as the season of “getting”) has finally arrived. Generally, we end up with lots of stuff we really don’t want or even need. Though the gestures are nice, in reality, no one likes fruit cake and likely the scarf from your co-worker came straight out of their re-gifting closet.
So, what can you give that’s special instead of the usual Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards and Target candles? Well, as a relationship expert, I see a great unmet need. There’s a gift people are absolutely craving for … the gift of YOU, being real and actually showing up for them. I know of nothing better than a person who really cares enough to pay attention.
So this holiday, skip the “stuff” and give what matters instead. Here are 7 ways to give the people you love what truly matters this holiday season:
- Monitoring your complaints. The world is pretty stressful these days; it seems we’re constantly being bombarded with all sorts of negativity. When we get together with those we’re close to, whether a mate or friend, we look for “an oasis in the dessert.” The last thing we want to hear is more negativity. Take a personal negativity check and if you tend to be a complainer, reel it in.
- Express real interest.Okay – so you’re someone who makes inquiries about those close to you. But do you really listen to the response or are there several other things on your mind? When you first got together with your mate, everything he or she told you was important – you paid attention to the details. Well, time to get back to that behavior and make it more of a habit. Your mate will love this gift of real concern.
- Be sensitive to other’s situations. Lucky you – you’ve got happily married kids and a couple of grandkids. When you’re out with friends, be aware of their situation. Though they may be polite, it’s not enjoyable for them to hear you go on and on about your grandkids or look at tens of pictures as they’re silently craving they’re lives had a couple of grandkids also being toilet trained.
- Different styles. You and your friends love spending time together – but at what cost? The two couples may not be able to afford the same style of restaurant or indulge in the same drinking patterns. At least have the courtesy to offer to balance out the check.
- The little things matter. Part of being a couple is the business of living. So that includes the usual chores of food shopping, doing the laundry, taking out the garbage, preparing dinner, etc. Sure these are mundane tasks but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated. Acknowledging what your partner does will send the message, “You matter.”
- Your opinion counts. Nobody likes someone who’s wishy-washy or who flip-flops. Alternatively, being a “know-it-all” isn’t so appealing either. You’re entitled to your opinion and so is the other person. So, when you’re going to voice your opinion, state it as such and be willing to hear what the others have to say.
- PDA with a twist.You’ve probably learned that public display of affection might be a bit embarrassing to others. Well, so can pointing out your partner’s faults in public. Not only can it make others feel uncomfortable, but doing this is one of the biggest breaches of trust in a relationship. If something upsets you, you need to talk about it with your mate in private.
There’s probably a bunch more of these gifts, but it’s a good start. My guess is that if you can get into this mindset, you can think of many more on your own.
As I said, they won’t cost you anything financially, but I know they’ll offer you a whole lot towards creating an Empowered Relationship. Happy giving!