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9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

If you want to show your partner how much you care, the best way to do that is to make a gift that will mean a lot them. Put some effort into it, for Christ’s sake. Show them that they are special. Even if you have a gift in mind that you already bought, there are ways to present it in a creative manner.

1. Create your own love story book or comic with pictures and drawings

This is the most creative gift you can give your partner, and you’ll both end up shedding tears of joy. In order to make this gift, you need a nice blank notebook or just papers that you can bind together with nice hard covers, as well as pictures of you and a few different pens.

The point of this gift is to tell your life story, and include some humorous situations, as well as romantic ones. You can write a story, and add pictures, or just write some of your quotes related to the picture. It may be hard to picture the love story book at first, but you’ll get a hang of it when you start making it.

If your partner is a comic book fan, and you know how to draw, you can make a comic book of your love story. It can also be just the first chapter, and if your partner is addicted to a particular comic book, you can make it in that style.

Start with the beginning of your relationship, and continue to the very moment you gave them the book. You can just name it “The First Chapter”, so it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in a relationship. You can even use the last page to propose, if you are at that stage of the relationship. If not, the First Chapter of your love story will be enough to take your partner’s breath away.

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As this gift is made by you, except for being romantic, it will probably be the best gift your partner has ever gotten.

2. Rainbow roses go with every gift

If you know what your partner will love, but you want to make your gift more creative and personal, you can make rainbow roses. You’ll need water soluble colors, a scalpel or sharp blade and white roses.

Take different colors, and make sure they make a high contrast in order to achieve the desired effect. When coloring the first rose, take just one color to practice, and for the second try with four different colors. Split the stem of the rose and then make another cut almost 6 inches, so you have four equal segments.

Put the colors in different cups, and take four parts and put them in each cup. To make the magic happen, you’ll need to leave them for 24 hours.

3. Handmade brass or copper necklace

You cannot make this gift by yourself, unless you know how to make jewelry. However, there are many brass and copper jewelry makers, who can make you a custom and highly original necklace. You can easily find people who make them on Facebook, and Etsy.

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Make sure the page isn’t a scam, and consult with some female friends. When you contact the maker, tell them about the style of your partner, what kind of jewelry they wear, and if there is something special they like such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or just some others such as dragonfly, rose, butterfly, etc. They can make almost anything from copper and brass, and even put some crystal or other stones.

When making it, they can engrave it to make the gift more personal. This isn’t an expensive gift, but is creative, original and shows how much effort you put into making something special for your special person.

4. Bracelet with pendants describing your love story

If you saw the film “If Only” you know how this bracelet should look like. Basically, you should buy chain link bracelet, on which you can put different pendants. These pendants should represent important moments in your relationship, and tell your love story from the beginning.

This gift is completely original, as it describes your story, so you’ll need to go through a lot of pendants to find perfect ones. If you just put on nice pendants, then it isn’t creative or unique. Put a pendant that describes your first date, and others for some life events. For example, if you met in a bar, then use a pendant representing a beer glass; or if you went to Paris together, then put the Eiffel tower.

5. DIY pillow case

If your partner and you spend a lot of time watching films and TV shows, then one DIY quote pillow is the perfect gift for your partner. You can write whatever you want, and even put a picture on it. In order to make it unique, quote your partner or use a movie quote, but make sure that it’s something you both laughed about for days.

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To make this, you’ll need a pillow, a pillow case, letter stencils, fabric marker, ruler, pencil, scissors, and tape. Measure length of words, then tape the stencils to the pillow case. Measure the rows, as well as the height, so they are evenly spaced. Then use marker, stuff the pillow and your gift is ready.

6. Personalized snow globe

Snow globes are perfect gifts, and are mostly popular during winter as Christmas gifts. However, you can make a snow globe for your partner and instead of a Christmas tree and a deer put something that has a lot of meaning for both of you. For this DIY snow globe you need a small baby food jar, tiny object of whatever you want, Styrofoam, glitter, fake snow, fake snow or confetti, a ribbon and craft glue.

Start with painting the jar lid any color you want. Then, cut a piece of Styrofoam so it can fit the lid, and glue it in the center of the lid. Put it on the surface of the Styrofoam craft glue, and put little item or items. Put in the jar fake snow, confetti, and glitter, and when the items are glued to the jar lids, just close the jar carefully. Put the ribbon and your gift is done.

7. Survival kit in a basket

Working from 9 to 5 is stressful, and weekends are something we look forward to starting with Monday. Surprise your partner with a work survival kit in a basket. Buy a nice basket or just a box, made of wood, and put their favorite chocolates, drinks, some spa soaps, scented candles and some massage vouchers  inside.

For this one, you need to think what your partner loves, and put everything inside. For example, your partner might be saying they need to buy comfy slippers or sleep masks. So, make sure it is in the basket or a box.

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This doesn’t need to be a classic basket with skincare products and the like. If your partner loves video games, you can buy some and put them in with some beer and chips, or anything other they like. If you can afford and if it is a special occasion, surprise your partner by putting some flight tickets in the basket or some road trip plan. If you opt for this one, then plan the whole trip, don’t just suggest it.

8. Mug with meme

Mugs and cups are always a good choice, since your partner will always think about you whenever they drink coffee. Buy a white mug, and by using acrylic paint you can draw whatever you want, if you are skillful. However, mug with meme is also great gift for your partner. You can buy 6 mugs to tell your love story from the beginning, or just put on them memes of your partner and you.

This is also perfect if your partner said something very funny, and the next day you want to surprise them. You can make your own meme or a picture in Photoshop, and they’ll print it on the mug.

On the other hand, if you aren’t good at it, you can find people online who draw and make pictures for mugs, and then print them.

9. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is always a great and creative way to give someone any gift. Puppies and kittens are always a great gift for people who love animals and would like to have one. Before you decide to give your partner a puppy or a kitten, make sure they can take care of them. Many people love animals, but don’t have a pet, because they don’t have enough time to take care of them. Also, think whether you’ll adopt one or not, and if your partner and you have children, then think about good family dog breeds. It’s always better to adopt a cat or a dog, but there is nothing wrong with giving a dog or a cat that your partner always wanted to have.

Puppies and kittens have always been one of the best gifts ever, and a scavenger hunt is the best way to give this gift. Plan the whole hunt, and make it interesting. You’ll need some time to plan all the clues, but it will be worth it.

Make a special gift for your partner or find the most creative way to give a gift in order to show them how much you care.

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Katarina Milovanovic

Creative Writer

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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