Advertising
Advertising

Never Give Unwanted Gifts Again: 5 Rules to Make a Good Gift for Men

Never Give Unwanted Gifts Again: 5 Rules to Make a Good Gift for Men

Buying gifts for the opposite sex is tricky business. Ladies, does it ever seem like we go above and beyond and still miss the mark? Choosing the best gifts for the men in your life may seem daunting, but it’s possible to overcome the struggle and find the perfect present. Could it be that men and women view gifts differently?

Sometimes it seems like men and women are speaking different languages in terms of what they want. Most loved ones–husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and brothers– will appreciate your effort no matter what, but most of us really want to surprise and impress the recipients of our efforts. We spend time listening for clues about what he might want. We guess and second guess until frustration and time get the better of us.

One of the most common pitfalls for us as women is that we try to figure out what the men in our lives want based on what we value in a gift. There will arguably be some overlap between what men and women want in gifts, but there are also a lot of cultural and social norms tied to gender that affect the way gifts are given and received.

Why men don’t need surprises like women

When we think about giving gifts to men, we think about the presents from our perspective. Women are moved by a man’s intentions and efforts regardless of the gift. Men seem more interested in presents that demonstrate your understanding of their needs. They like practical gifts that contribute to their personal and professional life.

When you start to panic about getting the perfect gift, think about much of the gift-giving process is for him and how much of it is for you. It may make you happy to spend hours on a project, but if he isn’t interested, then the gift probably satisfies a need that you have, not his.

Advertising

Instead of wasting time planning an elaborate surprise or spending months knitting him the ultimate sweater, think about what he really needs. Sure, he’ll appreciate your kindness, but he might not appreciate it the same way that you would appreciate it if he crocheted a scarf for you.

5 mental notes to choose the perfect gift for men

We tend to over complicate our gift-buying, but it is possible to come up with an ideal gift without going off the rails.

1. Understand his needs first. Are there items that will help him enjoy his hobbies or perform better at work? Does he want to try to take his hobby in a new direction, and is there something that facilitates that shift?

2. Don’t overthink it. Guys are pretty straightforward when it comes to what they want and need. They are probably not going to analyze your gifts in the same way that you deconstruct the meanings behind the things he gives to you. You don’t have to spend months making a collage of your life together (unless he has expressed that he really wants that). Sometimes less is more.

3. Observe what they like to buy for themselves.[1] If your guy buys video games on a regular basis, then get him something related to gaming. When a man makes a financial investment in his hobbies, you can guarantee that he’ll appreciate a present related to them.

Advertising

    Photo credit: Source

    4. Notice how they spend their time. Your guy may not be the type who likes to spend lots of money on a regular basis, but he has to spend his time somewhere. Whether he’s career oriented, sporty, or into cars, he’ll probably wear his heart on his sleeve about his interests.[2]

    5. Figure out what they need. You know what piques his interest, and there are probably things that he needs to take those interests to the next level. If he likes something that you don’t know much about, you can do some basic research to learn more. You don’t have to get him something that is way beyond your level of understanding. You can make a safer buying choice and still cater to his needs.

    For example, my boyfriend loves photography. I knew that he would appreciate some camera gear because he spends his spare cash and limited free time on taking photos. I thought about getting him a new lens, but they vary so much in price and functionality that I didn’t feel comfortable choosing one.

    Advertising

    Instead of buying him a new lens, I did a bit of research and found a nice tripod that would work with his camera. He absolutely loved it. It enabled him to practice new photography techniques and make use of the other gear that he already had. It didn’t take tons of money or an inordinate amount of time and photography experience to get him a gift that he truly enjoyed.

    Still at a loss? No worries! We have gift suggestions that cover most of the guys out there for you

    Breaking out of a cycle of overthinking gifts can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

    For career oriented guys:

    • Consider the nature of the work that they do. A doctor, a sales manager, and a fitness trainer are going to have different wants and needs.
    • Think about what will help him achieve his career goals or become more efficient. Does he complain about a specific tool that he uses, and can you find a nice replacement? Is there something you could get him to help him do his job more easily or quickly?

    Imagine that your dad is an outstanding carpenter. For years he handpicks the wood that he uses for his work, and cuts and trims them down himself.  Maybe you notice that one of his handsaws looks old and worn and he complains that it doesn’t work as well as it used to.  Before you make a decision to get a new one for him, figure out if he is looking to replace it first.  If he is, he probably has a preference for a particular brand which he finds is the most reliable.  In fact, it’s very likely he prefers exactly the same brand and model that he’s replacing!  Remember, men don’t think like women.

      Photo credit: Source

      Advertising

      For guys who have a particular hobby:

      Think about what will help him enjoy his hobby even more than he already does. We’ll consider sports-oriented gifts here since many men enjoy athletics.

      • What is going to help him achieve his fitness goals? The body builder, the distance runner, the yogi, and the reformed couch potato are going to have different needs. Are there things you can buy that will help him eat well and get the proper amount of exercise? Think about things he might want to use at the gym.
      • A new towel, a protein shake bottle, a water bottle, weights, a fitness tracker, or information about a new workout routine are good options. Even if he has some of these things already, does it hurt to have a spare towel or Blender Bottle?

      For guys who have a specific interest in cars, sneakers, or tech:

      This category can be tricky because the guy might know a lot more about these items than you. It can also be tough if you aren’t certain of his brand-preferences or what types of things he has in his inventory. You don’t have to be a tech geek, a sneaker expert, or a car enthusiast to get him a great gift.

      • Think about what he could use to take care of the things that he loves. If he loves cars, a nice car-cleaning kit could be a good option.
      • With a little bit of research, you can find some basic items with good reviews. Simple is often times better if you feel uncertain about the items in which he’s interested.

      A man with a passion for sneakers may tell you that he has his heart set on shoes of a specific brand, color, style, and size. If you have enough information, by all means, get him the shoes. If you’re really not sure, go with a safe bet like a Jason Markk Sneaker Cleaning Kit. The product comes highly recommended by sneaker heads everywhere, and he’s always going to be able to use products to keep his shoes clean.

      Gift-giving doesn’t have to be so nerve-racking for you

      Save yourself time and money by targeting your purchases to reflect things that he really wants or needs. Trust me, he’ll appreciate small random gestures, but he’ll love getting practical gifts even more. Think about how gifts can benefit the men in your life in the long-run. Do these items support interests or fulfil a need? Is this something he would buy for himself anyway if he could? If you can say “yes” to both of these questions, you are on the right track.

      There’s no need to over complicate the process with your own ideas about what you would like to receive. You can get the men in your life thoughtful gifts without getting bogged down. When it comes to getting gifts for men, keep it simple.

        Photo credit: Source

        Reference

        More by this author

        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

        Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering 20 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 23 Books About Racism to Inspire You to Embrace Race and Do Good 50 Life Purpose Quotes to Give Meaning to Your Life

        Trending in Social Animal

        1 How to Use the Law of Reciprocity for Effective Persuasion 2 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People? 3 How to Surround Yourself With Positive People 4 How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World 5 The Lifehack Show: Improving Social Skills with Dr. Daniel Wendler

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on September 30, 2020

        How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

        How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

        We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

        In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

        The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

        The Importance of Living in the Moment

        “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

        While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

        Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

        Better Health

        By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

        Improve Your Relationships

        Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

        Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

        How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

        By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

        Greater Self-Control

        You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

        Why Do We Worry?

        Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

        When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

        Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

        Advertising

        Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

        3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

        Step 1: Overcome Worrying

        In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

        Calm Your Mind

        When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

        The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

        In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

        Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

        Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

        People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

        If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

        Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

        In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

        Racing Mind

        Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

        You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

        If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

        Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

        None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

        So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

        By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

        Advertising

        In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

        Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

        A Wandering Mind

        From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

        Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

        Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

        Outside Influences

        Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

        Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

        Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

        So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

        Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

        Understand Mindfulness

        The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

        When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

        You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

        This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

        To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

        If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

        Advertising

        You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

        Mindfulness Meditation

        Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

        Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

        You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

        This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

        If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

        Mindful Breathing

        While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

        You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

        Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

        Mindful Walking

        Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

        Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

        Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

        You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

        In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

        You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

        Advertising

        Mindful Eating

        Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

        The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

        Live in the present with mindful eating.

          Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

          So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

          • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
          • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
          • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

          You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

          Mindful Activities

          Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

          Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

          You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

          Final Thoughts

          Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

          Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

          Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

          The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

          More About Living in the Present

          Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next