Ok, so maybe you hate holidays. Maybe the idea of being forced into buying someone something on a day prescribed to you by the ‘corporate overlords’ has you twisting in your seat. But maybe your girl or guy just speaks love language number three (Receiving Gifts, it’s a thing, swear) and you can grumble about how contrived it all is or you can just make your damn partner happy a few days a year.
The choice is yours.
But if you do decide it’s time to master the gift of giving a great gift, read on my friends.
I pride myself on being a pretty decent gift giver to the people I love because my shy introverted self would far rather listen to anyone ramble on and on forever than have to spill much about myself, ever. And as Oprah once said the key to giving a good gift is to be a good listener and that brings us to my first tip:
Listen: Scientific American tells us that people spend 60% of all conversations talking about themselves so basically, if you want to know what to buy someone for a gift, shut up. If you want to know what someone wants, needs, is missing or would die to be gifted, talk to them and more importantly, listen. Though I may be simplifying this because, as I said, I spend most of my days with my lips sealed, if you aren’t getting what you need from the person you want to buy for just not talking, prod them a bit. Ask leading questions like ‘what are you dying to read? Anything you’ve been dying to do lately? Or, I saw blah blah blah on Instagram wearing this thing that would look bomb on you, would you ever rock that?’
But please, just please, don’t just walk up to the person with dismay spread across your face whining the words: “You’re so hard to buy for! Just tell me what you waaaaaant.”
Observe: When you spend time with people you can fall into a special kind of comfort where you think you are one and start to ignore the minor peculiarities that at one time you lived for. Stop that. If you want to truly surprise someone with something that makes their heart sing, sit back and watch. What do they use that they covet and are maybe running out of? What do they post about on their various Social Media channels that makes them just swoon. What do they read, watch or listen to religiously? Something in there makes them happy and though it might not be particularly exciting for you, the beauty about a gift is that it’s not for you, therefore you can keep your judgement to yourself.
Connect: If you’ve listened, you’ve observed and you’re still coming up short it’s time to call in for backup. Though your significant other’s friends might be as useless as you in this department, having a chat with them that goes beyond: what should I get her (him)? is a great start. Chat with your SO’s friends about what they’ve noticed lately, any changes in tastes or things that have come up in their group texts, DM’s and casual conversations (other than Noah Centineo). You’ll be surprised how a different perspective can open up a whole new world about your lover to you.
If all else fails Cup of Jo always has the best gift guides.
Good luck! And happy (almost) Valentine’s Day.