Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to Give Selfless Gifts

A good principle to follow when selecting a gift for anyone, any occasion: Make it about the recipient.

With that in mind, I will suggest a nearly foolproof strategy for ensuring gift satisfaction, especially when it comes to giving a gift to your significant other.

Think of something he or she loves to and you can't stand. Then set aside your distaste and do whatever it is anyway. Go to that restaurant he likes and you hate. Go to the ballet or the dirt track race or the exhibit on antique doorknobs, whatever it is you would never otherwise agree to.

If you really can't bring yourself to do that, give your recipient permission to go with someone else at your expense. We sometimes forget that even in the best of relationships, no one person can be everything to the other. Part of honoring the uniqueness of friends, family and partners is appreciating the aspects of the person that are outside the domain of the relationship, even the things you may never understand.

A selfless gift gives your recipient space and freedom and can make her feel accepted for who she is.

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