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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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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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