Saturday, December 11, 2010

What are the gifts you'd like to give to your loved ones throughout the year?

What are the gifts you'd like to give to your loved ones throughout the year?

The holidays can be a great reminder of the gifts we should be giving each other during the rest of the year, and if it takes this particular season to help us remember what we need to be doing more often, so be it. Remember that healthy relationships are a work of constant dedication and love!

Here are some of the gifts that we can offer to our loved ones.

The gift of Listening: show that you listen by being silent when the other person tells you something, look them in the eyes, tell them in your own words what you understood, and then check: Do I understand exactly what you are trying to tell me? If the answer is no, do it again!

The gift of Appreciation: Identify your partner's good qualities. Can you stop your critiques of him and look at his good side? Which of his traits do you admire most? Write them down on a piece of paper and every couple of days, glance at the list. Now, say something like: "I like the way you are consistent taking the trash out....I love the thought that goes behind this task getting done!"

The gift of Empathy: Empathy is the ability to walk in someone else's shoes. Trying to understand where your partner is coming from and what he or she was grappling with at the time can ease irritation and encourage compassion. Wait for a better moment to ask harsh questions, give some time for the other to respond, and do not jump to conclusions.

The gift of Humor: Have an amusing vision of yourself and send the message that you don't see yourself as too perfect or important. Being able to make fun of your mistakes sends the message "hey, we are all learning here, and there is permission to screw up and start anew".

The Gift of Touch. Touch the people around you, your kids, your spouse... Just provide them with regular touch throughout the day. Find opportunities to hold hands, pat a shoulder or touch the small of the back. Give a warm hug every time you think it is fitting. People don't often recognize how much a good hug can help to make their day.

The gift of looking at any situation from "the other side": Remember the alternative story of Red Riding Hood complaining about how: "a good wolf is hard to find?" There are always ways of changing the story, and telling it from the point of view of the other person, not just that of the suffering victim... Step back, look at yourself and the tale of victimization you are telling yourself, and ask: "If I were to change the telling of this story, what would it look like?" 

The gift of Gratitude: look around and recognize all the gifts that you already have, and how much others around you are part of such a gift. Be thankful for the things your spouse and your children accept in you.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and reminding you that we offer solutions for unhealthy situations. If you wish to improve your emotional connection with others, and be happier, please visit

Many Thanks!

Neil Warner,
Creative Conflict Resolutions


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