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The Perfect Gift for Women? It’s the One They Won’t Buy for Themselves

The Perfect Gift for Women? It’s the One They Won’t Buy for Themselves

Picking up gifts for the opposite gender can be difficult, simply because women and men look at things very differently. Imposing our own perspectives when we pick gifts for the opposite gender can get us into trouble, because that will lead you to the gifts you think they will like, not the ones they ACTUALLY like.

If you are looking for a perfect gift for the woman in your life, whether she is you significant others, your mum, sister or even aunt, it is important to understand what women are looking for in your gift!

Women value the love and care more than the gift itself

    Photo credit: Source

    As a woman myself, I can make a few general observations to steer you in the right direction for your next gift-giving occasion.

    In my experience, women tend to analyze the intentions behind your gifts. The thought and care that you put into the gift is more important than how badly we need the gift in most cases. We like surprises, and we love to know that you care. For women, a little bit of effort and thoughtfulness speaks volumes.

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    Always remember women keep close eyes on your intention

    Whether she is your significant other, your mom, or your sister, the same general gift-giving principles apply. It isn’t hard to appreciate women if your gift shows that you care about us and you focus on what we like.

    Women enjoy practical gifts, but they are even more fond of receiving unique gifts that they might not buy for themselves.[1] Women tend to take care of getting the necessities on their own, but rarely treating themselves to something special.

    To put it in perspective, it’s the difference between buying your wife the extravagant handbag she fell in love with instead of getting her a bottle of anti-aging cream. You may not think the purse is practical, but if she’ll use it, then it is practical in her mind. Maybe that anti-aging cream does address a concern that she has about wrinkles, but if you get it for her, you might be sending her the message that you think she looks old. Yikes!

    5 mental notes on choosing the perfect gifts for women in your life

      Photo credit: Source

      Showing appreciation for the women in your life doesn’t have to be complicated, but as you saw in the last example, it can definitely go awry. To keep yourself out of the dog house and score some points, consider the following:

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      1. Try to send a gift on a random day

      Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are times when gift giving is expected. If you really want to impress her, give her something on an average day just because you are thinking of her.

      You don’t have to break the bank to do this. She’ll probably love it if you surprise her with her favorite chocolate, pick up some flowers, or cook a nice dinner. It’s not so much the monetary value of the gift but the way that you show your appreciation that matters.

      2. When you get a gift for a holiday or birthday, show your thoughtfulness

      We like to know that you have been paying attention to things that we like. You can either choose something practical and desirable that we’ve been talking about for a while, or you can pick something that we may not have realized that we needed.[2]

      Usually, when women like something, they talk about it all the time. Spend enough time listening, and the ladies in your life will likely mention things that they like or are considering buying. If you’re lucky, she may go into lots of details about the things that she wants. If she stares longingly at that black handbag every time you walk by it in the department store, it would probably be a great gift.

      3. You don’t have to be telepathic to figure out what to buy

      Figuring out what a woman needs, but doesn’t realize she needs can sound a lot like mind-reading, but it isn’t. You’re just applying your problem-solving skills to look at her experiences in a new way.

      For example, maybe you realize that your girlfriend experiences terrible period pain. You see her popping pills and trying to sleep away the discomfort on the couch every month. If you wanted to surprise her, you might get her a cute hot water bottle or a heating pad, some chocolate, and a nice card saying that you noticed she’s been feeling under the weather. You not only showed her that you care, but you get bonus points for not being afraid to discuss your lady’s natural bodily functions.

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      One time my mother, who has been a waitress for many years, complained about how much her feet hurt. When I looked at her shoes, I saw the problem right away. They were so worn that they weren’t supporting her feet properly anymore. Buying her a new pair of shoes was the best gift I could have given to her at that time. She was so worried about everyone else in our family that she hadn’t noticed her own need for new shoes.

      4. Be mindful of the meaning your gift could carry

      When you choose a gift related to weight or body image, exercise caution. We ladies face a lot of pressure to meet unrealistic beauty standards.[3]

      Unless your wife says to you explicitly, “I want a Weight Watchers membership for my birthday,” or “I really need a gym or yoga studio membership,” please don’t get that for her. You could accidentally send her the message that you think there is something wrong with her appearance.[4]

      Buying her a kitchen appliance is also a no-no. There are exceptions to this, of course. All my mom wanted for her birthday one year was a fancy mixer to take her baking hobby to the next level, and that is what my father purchased for her. She was overjoyed that he had gotten it for her. In the absence of a specific request, though, gifting a kitchen appliance can send the message that you think she belongs in the kitchen. I know that probably isn’t your intention, but that could be what you end up saying.

      5. Make it exclusively for her

      When you chose a gift, pick something that is just for her. Buying tickets for both of you to go to a baseball game when she isn’t interested in baseball might be more of a present for you than her. Yes, it is a date, but is there another type of experience that might align with her interests better?

      You’ll get bonus points with her for stepping out of your comfort zone and picking an activity that she likes.

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      Now go out there, and show her how thoughtful you are

        Photo credit: Source

        Buying gifts for women doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Women may seem complicated, but a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. The perfect gift doesn’t have to put you in debt, nor does it have to be the most practical.

        The best gifts come from the heart and are an expression of the bond that you have with the recipient. Get her something you know she’ll love, or choose something unique that she didn’t realize she wanted or needed. Chances are, she’ll love that you took time to show her how much you care about her.

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        Anna Chui

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

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

        Example 1

        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

        Example 2

        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

        Example 3

        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

        Example 4

        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

        • Understand your own communication style
        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
        • Communicate with precision and care
        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

        1. Understand Your Communication Style

        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

        3. Exercise Precision and Care

        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

        The Bottom Line

        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

        More Articles About Effective Communication

        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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