Give a Gift that Everyone Wants
Have you ever had an argument with someone you care about and quickly began looking for the perfect gift to make everything better? Or, have you ever received a gift from someone trying to make up with you? If so, then you probably know that gifts don’t necessarily make you forgive and forget more quickly. But, what if you could find the perfect gift–one that could start improve the intimacy in your relationship more quickly? There is such a gift, and it has the power to start to repair your relationship right away.
It’s really true; there is one gift that can begin to make your relationship better right away. This gift will give you the power to understand the other person in a more deeply intimate way. This gift is the gift of your “presence.” Not “presents,” as in Christmas gifts, but “presence,” as in giving your attention and personal connection to someone. When you give someone your presence, you are giving them your willingness to be there, to listen, to interact in a more satisfying way, and to try and truly understand what’s going on with them. Isn’t this the kind of gift you would love to get?
“The first duty of love is to listen.” ~ Paul Tillich
How to Give the Gift of Presence
Giving the gift of presence starts with actually removing yourself from a situation. Only focusing your attention on being present for the other person–100%–without input about your own needs and wants in that moment. And above all else, don’t take anything the other person says personally. You can do this by remember that every action by every person is driven by their attempts to meet their own needs or experience something they value, and really doesn’t have anything to do with you at all.
While you’re being present, your job is to only discover what’s deeply important to your relationship partner– underneath their words and actions. You might ask if they could experience anything they want in this situation what it would be. If they are not ready or willing to explore themselves at this level, you will probably end up hearing things like, “I want you to stop acting like a “know-it-all” and I just hate that.” Now, while this is probably not what you hoped to hear, you have the opportunity to remember this is not about you and don’t take it personally. Even though it may sound like a personal attack, this is not actually about you at all.
Discovering the Hidden Meaning beneath the Words
Instead, consider it a gift to you—one that helps you discover hidden messages about what your partner’s values. Your partner would like you to stop being a “know-it-all,” which may reflect a deeper desire for them to be appreciated for what they know and what they do.
When you make an attempt to understand the other person’s values and desires, you are definitely giving them the gift of your presence. By focusing your attention on improving your marriage intimacy problems, it will immediately begin improving. Does your partner hope that they could contribute more to the relationship? Perhaps they would like to have more of this kind of connection. Remember that their words and actions reflect their deeper values.
What does it all mean?
“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is essential to all true conversation.” ~ Chinese Proverb
To truly understand someone else, you have to be able to “put yourself in their shoes,” at least for a little while. This is a common cliché, one that we are reminded of frequently. Try “walking in your partner’s shoes” for a while, and give them the gift of your presence.
This doesn’t mean teaching them lessons, proving a point, or telling them what to do. Walking in their shoes means focusing all your attention on identify what hidden values has them say or act the way they do. When you understand the values that drive their actions, you will be one step closer to the healthy, happy relationship that you’ve been wishing for.
And best of all, giving the gift of presence doesn’t cost you anything. So why not start giving it away today–you might be surprised to discover how much your marriage intimacy improves and how much you get in return.
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