Share an experience, not stuff

Fictitious conversation between me and a client:
Me: "Tell me about this piece of jewelry."
Client: "I got it as a gift from my friend so I guess I should keep it." (or son, daughter, spouse, mom, etc.)
Me: "Do you love it?"
Client: "No, I don't - I don't even like or wear jewelry, but my friend gives me jewelry every year for my birthday."
Me: "Hmmm, does your friend (or son, daughter, spouse, mom) know you don't like or wear jewelry?"
Client: "No, I haven't told her."
Me: "But if you don't enjoy it, what if you let your friend (or son, daughter, spouse, mom) know you'd rather spend time with them instead of receiving a gift? Would you feel comfortable talking with them about that?"
Client: "Yes, that's a good idea."

Asking for what you want can be challenging. Obviously, you don't want to offend or hurt your friend or family member's feelings. But at the same time, if you are open and honest with them and share your thoughts in a caring, compassionate manner, more than likely they'll appreciate your candor and respect your wishes.

On the flip side, rather than buying another gift for a birthday or holiday, consider giving the gift of an experience. Take your dad to a baseball game, attend an art exhibition with a friend, purchase an annual museum membership for your daughter and her family. If you really think about it, do you (or your friend, son, daughter, spouse, mom, etc.) need any more stuff?

Enter your email address: