Make Any Day Memorable With These Special Gifts
Imagine: 3 gifts that no one will return on December 26th. Or on January 2nd. Or (even) on August 17th.
So this will save you (and your friends) a lot of time.
Now, these gifts are bit odd.
First, each is priceless. And then they’re free.
Everyone wants to feel connected to someone else.
> How to Wrap It
Spend time with the special people in your life.
You might, for example, invite them to your home. Or you could ask them to join you for a walk in the park, a cup of tea, or a meal.
If you choose to phone them, set aside time when you can give full attention to a phone call.
So if you use a cell phone, call when you’re alone (instead of while paying for a purchase at the supermarket).
When you visit, engage the person in a friendly conversation. Ask how they’re doing and then listen to the news. Ask questions about the their interests, hobbies, or activities.
The key to a truly successful connection is: Make the other person the star in your conversation.
If it’s difficult to talk to the person by phone (for example, the person is hearing impaired) then send a handwritten note. Just as in your phone conversation, use a friendly tone, ask questions, and share tidbits of enjoyable news.
Everyone wants to feel understood.
> How to Wrap It
Listen for the real message being conveyed by the other person. Thus, pay careful attention to the person’s choice of words, energy, facial expressions, body language, and other clues. Then respond with some statement that shows you understand what the person is really talking about.
For example, suppose someone is telling you about an illness. This could sound like a complaint. And so some people might respond with encouragement (“Cheer up, you’ll feel better.”), advice (“You should eat bananas.”), or boasts (“You think that’s bad? Let me tell you about my rash.”).
Certainly, none of these responses show understanding. Some of them could even lead to an argument. (For example, advice could receive “But I don’t like bananas.” which degrades to “So what’s wrong with bananas?” and there goes the conversation downhill.)
Instead, show that you understood the person’s real message by saying something like, “You must have suffered” or “You’ve been through a great deal of pain” or “You’ve shown a lot of courage.”
Everyone wants to be right.
> How to Wrap It
If someone is sharing opinions, just listen.
Avoid offering corrections, arguments, or conflicting information. Instead, just accept what the person is saying. Of course, if you agree, then tell the person that you agree. Otherwise, just listen (especially if you’re at a holiday party).
Recognize that everyone thinks they’re telling the truth. And that truth was reached from their experiences. So it must be the absolute truth – even if that truth came to them in a dream about little green men (about 14-cm high) who eat fruitcake for lunch.
In fact, it’s as true to them as your truth is to you.
So, if you hear something that seems really odd, accept it. Detach from feeling responsible for having to fix it.
Instead, respond with neutral words such as, “Amazing” or “Fascinating” or “Wow.”
Then change the subject.
Special Consideration: I fully recognize that we need conversations about our different views. And there are respectful ways to engage in such conversations. Rather than write about that here (because it’s a longer article), I recommend a special project. It is:
Take two different pens and write out a conversation between yourself and someone with a different opinion. Experiment with different types of responses. And evaluate the results you obtain with each.
You benefit, too.
Being good to others – showing compassion, respect, and kindness – helps you feel good about yourself.
In fact, people who help others, become better themselves. It’s the key to success.
So, when you give these gifts, you also reward yourself.