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4 Out-Of-The-Box Birthday Ideas For Your Older Boyfriend

4 Out-Of-The-Box Birthday Ideas For Your Older Boyfriend

If you’re a millennial with an older boyfriend, there’s a good chance you struggle to pick out gifts for your partner. Men can be difficult to shop for, and an older boyfriend is likely far more financially secure than you are. Anything he wants, he probably has.

So what do you do when his birthday or a holiday rolls around? It’s tempting to fall back on old cliches like cologne and neckties, but you know in your heart that he doesn’t want that. Nobody wants that.

When you’re thinking about gifts for older men, throw out materialism. He doesn’t want a thing. Don’t get him a thing. Get him something that produces a specific emotion, get him something with a purpose. Useful gifts, or ‘experiential’ gifts, are the name of the game.

A shave

Chances are your man shaves daily or near-daily. A shave doesn’t seem like the most fun gift to give. But the gift of a shave doesn’t mean purchasing him a shaving kit or performing it on him yourself—it means making a reservation with a local barber for a spa-like shaving session. There is a reason that personal grooming is one of the most popular gifts for the over 40s.

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This gift will be received well by most older men. It’s something they likely rarely, if ever, splurge on for themselves, and offers many of the benefits of a spa visit without the feminine associations. His masculinity can remain intact while he relaxes.

Barbers use straight razors, which make for a smooth, clean, long-lasting shave, and your boyfriend will appreciate the gesture and the chance to indulge.

Wet bar equipment

Okay, chances are, if your boyfriend is a grown man, he has a wet bar at home already. Don’t go out and buy him stuff he already has, by any means. However, almost no one has a fully equipped wet bar.

Take a look at his collection, and see what’s missing. Does he have a muddler? A shaker set? Maybe he needs a cabinet to organize it in, or a decent set of cocktail glasses. Whiskey stones can help keep a good whiskey cool without diluting it, and also make an excellent addition to any wet bar.

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Something that spruces up his wet bar and adds value and function to it would be an excellent gift. It helps him entertain, has long-lasting benefits and allows him to splurge, again, on something he likely is neglecting.

Alcohol

This is an easy one, but it’s true. A good-quality wine, liqueur or spirit will make an excellent gift for older men, particularly if you put in the effort to figure out what kind of alcohol he’d like.

It’s important to do research before picking up a gift in this category, both on your boyfriend and on alcohol in general. If he’s a wine drinker, a good bottle of wine will be far more helpful than a bottle of vodka, but if he prefers cocktails then something stronger is better.

Put effort into finding the perfect alcohol for him. Consider incorporating some sentimentality—my mother secretly purchased wine from a vineyard my parents had visited some years back for a Father’s Day gift one year. It was thoughtful, delicious and something he never would have purchased on his own.

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Put thought into this gift. He can buy alcohol on his own—it’s the meaning that makes this gift special.

Power tools

Not all men like power tools. But if your boyfriend’s a handyman, he absolutely does. Get him something missing from his collection, something he might have fun using. Some men are still thrilled by the sheer force of a chainsaw and consider that an absolute blast.

Get him a nail gun, which can open up a whole new world of projects. Or a circular saw, or a complete tool box if the one he has is getting worn down. This is objectively the least exciting gift to get someone, but you’d be surprised how much joy a man can feel with a saw in his hands.

If you’re shopping for your boyfriend and absolutely stumped, try to think about gifts in terms of two categories: practical, and emotional. If there’s no emotional component or practical component to the gift, it’s probably a waste of time.

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It’s hard to shop for men, especially men who seem to have everything. But a bit of thought and effort will lead you to the perfect gift for your partner, no matter what the occasion.

Featured photo credit: Vladimir Pustovit via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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