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

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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

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      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 the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

        The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

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        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

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