Having trouble coming up with an amazing Valentine’s Day gift for you partner?
Getting nervous that you will end up buying her last minute roses or him a last minute tie?
Lucky for you, I have the perfect gift.
It’s free, will last a lifetime and you can keep going back to it year after year.
So what is this perfect Valentine’s Day gift you ask?
Passionate heartfelt communication
That’s right communication.
Now you may already be saying “what kind of gift is that?” and I “communicate all day”.
“Derek, you are full of it…”
Now I am completely full of it, just ask my fiancé and friends, but in this case I am spot on.
What I am talking about is true authentic, passionate heart felt communication. Not just “yes or no” or “sort of paying attention” types of communicating.
The greatest gift you can give to anyone is the gift of real, honest, appreciative and sincere communication.
- Where you are present and honest.
- Where you listen actively and openly.
- Where you ask questions based out of genuine curiosity.
- Where you pay attention to what isn’t said.
- Where you communicate to gain true understanding.
Why is this the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day?
Because more than anything we all crave to be heard, understood, listened to and cared about. Real sincere communication provides that.
And isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about? Expressing your love and care for someone?
How many times are you half in a conversation, with your mind wandering? How many times have you done this to your boss, your co-worker or even worse your partner?
Staying present is the cornerstone of world-class communication because you’re with the person in the moment. Your not thinking about what you just ate or what is on TV later. You are truly engaged.
I know you can do this, because you done it before, but too often you let your presence muscles get flabby. So start practicing being present.
Sounds simple right? But if you were to honestly take look at what you say vs. what you think, you would see two drastically different worlds.
Now I’m not saying you should say every thought which pops into your mind, but you need to be honest with your partner at all times no matter the difficult conversation which could result.
Let go of your fear of what may happen and stay in the moment. The results are usually positive and will surprise you.
The old phrase “honesty is the best policy” is true and real complete honesty builds powerful relationships which can endure the bumps and obstacles of life.
Many of my readers know I love to write about active listening.
Why? Because it is something I’ve struggled with and know what a gift it is to give others.
To truly listen to someone means listening beyond their words and into their feelings, thoughts and soul. When you listen on this level you gain a profound connection with the other person.
Being present is the first key step to active listening, the next is putting whatever running commentary you have in your head to the side and stay engaged with your partner.
It takes practice but it fosters amazing beautiful relationships.
Listen for what’s isn’t said
There is a lot more to communication than just words. We all know that, but I think sometimes it gets lost. So here is a reminder.
Listen for what isn’t said. Listen for missing words and listen to body language. Listen to the conversation holistically and get in tune with the other person.
This again comes back to being present. If you are in the moment with your partner, you will more easily pick up on these unsaid cues and gain a deeper insight into their emotions and heart.
Get curious, I mean really curious.
Even if you’ve known your partner for 20 years, ask questions which facilitate a more meaningful dialogue.
Ask questions with some oomph and meaning. Ask questions to obtain understanding. Ask questions to clarify. Ask questions to show that you are genuinely interested.
Instead of asking, how was your day? Ask, how are you feeling about your day?
The subtle difference is asking a question which probes into their state of emotional being.
It will feel awkward at first, but with practice you will begin to notice a subtle shift in your conversations, which will result in a more meaningful relationship.
You really want to wow your significant other?
Listen and ask questions to gain understanding.
This is very different from listening and clarifying just enough so you can get your point across. This means holding back all of your own little beliefs and commentary to truly understand their point of view.
Acquire a deep understanding of their thoughts, emotions and feelings. Listen and ask questions with complete and utter empathy.
This is the hallmark of a great listener.
Relationships are the key
Your world is based on relationships. You do not live in a vacuum.
The tried and true method to building relationships is through communicating with love, heart and sincerity.
That’s why this is the best gift to give on Valentine’s Day, because it is the one that truly counts.
While it may not be flashy, it will bring about powerful, lasting rewards for you and your partner, and it’s completely free.
So for Valentines Day 2013, give the gift of communicating.
And…Oh yeah…buy a card that’s always a nice touch.
Image courtesy: Nils Geylen