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Gift Giving






     We just left a season of gift giving for many around the world and are fast approaching Valentine's Day. When you are deciding what gift to give, how do you choose from all that is available? Do you give something practical a person needs, something a person really wants, something you might like to receive or something you want them to have whether they want it or not?

As humans, we are wired to be basically selfish. Every single thing we do is designed to get us something we want, not something someone else wants. Wait a minute, you say . . . I do nice things for other people all the time with no strings attached. That may be true but the real reason you do that is it is consistent with the image you have of yourself as a "giving" person. The fact that it is good for other people is secondary to the good feelings you get when you act in line with your value system. And you may also want appreciation from the person receiving the gift.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, as a child I didn't appreciate those gifts of socks and underwear that got wrapped up and put under the tree because they were things I needed, not necessarily wanted. As a person who was raised with my necessities provided, I expected gifts to be the things I wanted, not the things I needed.

The other consideration is whether the gifts you give are actually gifts you want to receive. My father always joked, "You should never give a gift you wouldn't want to receive. That way, if they don't like it, they might give it back to you." He definitely had a point coming from a selfish point of view but if your goal in gift giving is to improve the relationship or at least maintain the one you have, shouldn't you take the time to consider or find out what that person would like to receive instead of what you might like in their shoes?

Another fatal flaw in deciding what gifts to give occurs when you identify something you would like a person to have regardless of his or her actual desires. My mother was always great at this. She used to buy me clothes she wanted me to wear knowing they would be clothes I wouldn't like. She wanted my brother to love reading so she would buy him books, even though to this day he has yet to read one of them. My father hated to wear ties but my mother was always buying them for him. You get the idea . . .

Sometimes we think we know better than the other person what they should want and we are determined to help them see what they are missing.

I recently began thinking of this because the man in my life lost his mother. He is broken up about it. He is grieving and in his grief, he prefers to be alone. This has been challenging for me because I am a nurturer. I want to take care of him during this crisis. He wants to handle it independently. If I don't give him the space he wants, I will be just like my mother giving me clothes I will never wear. I'm offering time together when what he really wants is time alone. I know if I was hurting, I'd want him to take care of me and spend time with me.

I was reminded of this yet again while having a conversation with a man about his girlfriend. She has been experiencing a lot of back pain. He wants to rub her back, make her soup and take care of her. She wants to be alone. He likened it to throwing a ball to someone that won't even put their arms out to catch it. Taking that analogy a bit farther, I said, "Yes, you are throwing the ball to someone who already told you they didn't want to play catch in the first place. And all you are doing is hitting them in the head with the ball!"

I believe a lot of the gifts we decide to give are given with the Golden Rule in mind: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This sounds good but in reality, we are often treating others in ways that would work for us but that don't really work for the other person.

When it comes to genuine gift giving, let's give the gift of giving people what they actually want. Dr. Tony Alesandra came up with the Platinum Rule, Do onto others as they would have you do unto them.

Give that a try and you won't have to think so hard about what gifts to give. Just ask and listen to what the people in your life tell you they want. As long as it isn't self-destructive, that is always the right gift to give.

Kim Olver, is the founder InsideOut Empowerment. a revolutionary process designed to free your mind, open your heart and transform your life. She is the award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life, an expert author for YourTango.com and has also contributed to various magazines.

Kim Olver, is the founder InsideOut Empowerment. a revolutionary process designed to free your mind, open your heart and transform your life. She is the award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life, an expert author for http://YourTango.com and has also contributed to various magazines.






Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com

Kim Olver, is the founder InsideOut Empowerment. a revolutionary process designed to free your mind, open your heart and transform your life. She is the award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life, an expert author for YourTango.com and has also contributed to various magazines.


Posted on 2013-03-17, By: *

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