Do you know what is under the designer clothing of a successful woman? Or what’s within a males executive’s flashy sports car? It’s the same thing that’s beneath the grime and grit of a street person: the need to be seen for real.
We all need to be noticed, it’s universal. The best noticing is the kind where Attention is given to what is most authentic about us. It’s incredibly satisfying to be truly listened to, fully received in our feelings and experience, and deeply seen for who we are. Giving Attention is good for the well-being of both the giver and the receiver.
Give your Attention lavishly.
Losing jobs, losing health (or at least losing youth), losing parents, and losing retirement funds doesn’t have to add up to a loss of self-acceptance. Feelings of deficiency in ourselves and attitudes of judgment and rejection in our relationship are warnings that Acceptance is being withheld.
Acceptance means seeing things as they actually are. There is no need for comparison or negative evaluations, no demand for perfection, and no shaming.
The gift of Acceptance affirms that you are worthy, your partner has your support, and that your friends are well received.
There is always something to love about “what is.” Find it and give ample Acceptance!
For women, Affection is a primary need. We need to feel close, sometimes physically but mostly emotionally. In giving Affection, we demonstrate our caring and our attachment.
Do you know the ways your partner, children, parents, or friends most want to experience your Affection? It may be in phone calls, hugs, words, cards, touch, or a gaze. Find out and give it all you’ve got.
Giving Affection is good for the body, heart and soul!
The greatest gift of midlife is realizing that you are free to be who you most want to be. Though you may have felt unsafe to be yourself ain earlier times, midlife is the great “Permission Giver.” We recognize that we no longer need give over control of our thoughts, feelings, or wellbeing. This maturation Allows us to be unique.
We can also give the gift of Allowing to others, letting them know they are safe to be themselves, regardless of stage of life or age. It is liberating to be with someone who Allows you to “put all your cards on the table.” Be that person.
Allow yourself to be all of who you are and embrace those you love with enough Allowing to hold all of who they are.
Take your gift-giving a step farther. Go beyond Acceptance to Appreciation and bring the richness of admiration, respect, and validation into your relationships. When you give Appreciation your gift generates confidence in the recipient, greater closeness in the relationship, and more generosity in you. What a bonanza!
It’s a good idea to check your ratio of complaints-to-Appreciation. Lasting relationships have a five to one ratio of Appreciation-to-complaints.
Giving and receiving Appreciation is an environmentally friendly gift. It creates a positive atmosphere!
Let’s all try to give “A” List Gifts this year. And, don’t be shy about asking directly and specifically for “A” List Gifts for yourself. These gifts are as good for the giver as the getter!.
Happy Gift Giving!
A helpful, practical book that expands this theme is How to Be An Adult In Relationships by David Richo.