The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

Have you ever racked your brains at Christmas and wondered what gift to get for your better half/friend/colleague/Auntie Mabel? You've had a brainstorming session over a plate of mince pies, thinking up several 'brilliant' ideas which you've then swiftly rejected as stupid. Finally, as you polish off the penultimate pie (no-one can ever eat that last one), you exclaim hopelessly: "They're just a difficult person to buy for!" And settle on socks.

What if there was a gift that was suitable for absolutely anyone on the planet - yes, even Auntie Mabel - and something that could be given any time to anyone? And was free to boot?

What if you could give someone the gift of being understood? I don't mean just listening to someone, nor even agreeing with them or seeing their point of view, but truly understanding where they are coming from, what it's like in their world.

Stripping away all your own judgements, experiences and prejudices and just understanding another human being at a deep level. It's a great gift - can you remember a time when someone really 'got' you - and didn't it feel amazing?

It sounds difficult to do, but all it starts with is willingness, truly taking the time and being patient enough to listen and focus your whole being on the other person in the present.

Deep understanding involves looking beyond words at feeling, character and everything that makes the other person who they are.

If you're not sure about something, ask well-placed questions to clarify. But focus mostly on listening.

The person being understood gets all the added bonus gifts of feeling accepted, valued and validated.

It's powerful experience for the person giving it too, who gains great insight, new perspectives, ideas and realities. And it also solves the embarrassing problem of "Do I give them the receipt in case they want to take it back?." Especially if you got it from Argos.

"I believe the greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen by them, heard by them, to be understood and touched by them. The greatest gift I can give is to see, hear, understand and to touch another person." Virginia Satir

Jo Berry

joberry-638766

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

Hi Beth I am very happy to read your blog again this morning and agree with you the greatest gift we can give is deep understanding of another. Yet can be so hard when I am preoccupied with my internal noise, key I think is to be aware of the inner obstacles and still be present. It is as if I have to be present to myself in order to be present to another. I have to have the self awareness which needs to be there all the time. I remember 7 years ago I applied to do a course for listening to victims of terrorism and I wrote a whole lot about listening to myself whilst I was listening and I was told I wasn't ready for the course and needed therapy! Looking back on it I think I went too deep for the question they wanted answered. Oh well! Hope you get better soon, Love Jo

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Danielle de Valera

daniellede-valera-668759

Focus Your Whole Being on the Other Person

This is so true, Beth, when choosing presents. I remember being appalled last December when some self-righteous woman who'd just discovered the radical movement told me how she'd bought her brother (who's not remotely interested in forest regeneration) 2 acres of planted land or something for his Christmas present. I didn't bother to point out what she'd done. She wouldn't have got it.

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Beth Burgess

bethburgess2-672944

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

;-) Thanks Sam

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Sam Borrett

samborrett-372470

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

Beth, It is appreciated and YOU too. My friendly advice for what it's worth is to keep blogging and people will also recognise and appreciate you. Of course because one of your hats is as a Coach, there will be some who will test you. Sam Sam Borrett Performance Coach for Businesses and Companies, Lawyer, NP Business and Corporate Mentoring, Social Media M: ++61 (0)410 473 068 Mentoring4Change Life Constellations Wordpress SamBorrett Facebook Fan Page

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Beth Burgess

bethburgess2-672944

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

@ Sam - thanks very much. It's nice to know what I have to say is appreciated. @ Jeff - powerful story, thanks for sharing :)

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Jeff Mowatt

jeffmowatt-232748

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

There was a situation on Friday night when a man on an invalid scooter came through the pub door. I spoke to him, having recognised him as regular tourist a nodding acquaintance. My companion whispered 'don't draw attention to it'. He then realised he'd misinterpreted my intent, apologising for appearing patronising. The man on the scooter opened up readily about his Muscular Dystrophy, plans to move to the area and constraints on his movements. How might that evening have gone, I wondered if we'd spent a couple of hours trying not to notice the Elephant in the Room, lest we drew attention to him?. More importantly how might he have felt about making his home in our village?

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Sam Borrett

samborrett-372470

The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give

Nice post Beth, keep it up....you can be one of the real contributors here I feel. Sam Performance Coach for Businesses and Companies Personal and Corporate Mentor Social Media M: ++61 (0)410 473 068 Mentoring4Change Life Constellations Wordpress SamBorrett Facebook Fan Page

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