Do you know the present everyone wants this gift-giving season? There is something that each of us wants. You will not have to push through crowds of shoppers to find it. It is never out of stock. It is affordable. Wrapping it is not an issue.
Fortune magazine reports that about 30% of us do not like what we see when we open our present. That is disappointing. Of course, we all want to give gifts that others are happy to receive. But what is the most popular choice? A recent poll found 41% of surveyed Americans wanted quality time with friends and family.
Geoffrey Galak, researcher of consumer behavior at Carnegie Mellon University, says “We live in a world of abundance, where most of us just have too many things. People are starting to realize that items really aren’t that important anymore.”
So. What is it that we want? Most of us long to receive these simple sentences. “I see you. I hear you. I am grateful you are in my life.” We long to know we mean something to others. Expressions of connection and appreciation are what we want most.
Heartfelt words are often hard to offer. Why? We must reach inside ourselves to places of vulnerability to uncover them. So, how do we offer these gifts to others? You may find it easier to write your thoughts rather than speaking them.
Here are some suggestions:
First, reflect on what is it about them that makes a difference in your life? Jot down words that come to mind. Take your time. Remember it is not the quantity of words that counts. Heartfelt honesty is our guide. We are expressing gratitude for who they are.
• Let them know why you are writing. For example, “During this gift-giving season I have been reflecting on how much you mean to me. Here is some of the reasons of why I appreciate you…” Make it specific. Tell them how their actions touch you.
• Keep it simple. Two or three sentences can be very meaningful. For example, “You listen to me without judging me. You make sure we have quality time together. You are fun to be with. You help me when I am stuck and celebrate my successes.”
• Highlight their talents and strengths you admire. For example, “You are kind, caring and creative. You are wise and happily support others’ growth with your wisdom.”
Sadly, if we do not tell them now, they may never know. Tragically, many of us save our kindest observations to deliver at funerals. It is somehow safer to say how much we care once they are gone.
Make time to tell others what they mean to you. Imagine how that might touch both them and you. Giving of ourselves is valuable and long lasting. It is always the right size. it never goes out of style or breaks down.
Underneath all the holiday wrappings and bows, our soul longs for something more. We desire a real connection with others and ourselves. We want to know that we are seen, heard, and valued. The best gifts are those that help build genuine connections through words of appreciation.
Do you dare tell others what they mean to you?