What Do You Want For Christmas?

Project 2012: Day 357

Remember the time when you first loved someone?

A boyfriend or girlfriend, perhaps your newborn, or maybe when you were little and you couldn’t conceive of a world without your parents.

That time when you spent hours with them. Watching their every move, listening to their every word, and taking an interest in what interested them.

You would never ask “What do you want for Christmas?”

Simply because you already knew.

If you want to let someone know that you like them, or that you love them, you take a genuine interest in what they’re interested in. Usually you do this because you like them. But showing them this interest shows them that you like them too.

And the corollary is also true. If you have to ask “What do you want for Christmas?” unwittingly or not, you send the message that you aren’t interested in them. And that sends the message that you don’t really like them.

So here’s the thing: How do you take an interest in something that holds absolutely no interest for you?

Easy.

Start by simple observation. How do they spend their time and money? What shops do they go to? Who do they hang out with? What do they talk about?

What do they read? Watch? Listen to? Consume?

Read that. Not because you’re interested in the subject matter, but because you’re interested in the person. Reading about their interest will give you the questions to ask that will help draw them out. It will allow you to know what they want, because you’ll see it with their eyes.

What do they write? Sing? Play? Draw? Create?

SMS, email, blog posts, Facebook updates, photos, videos, musical instruments. Anything public (not their private journal). Consume that too. If there is one thing that leads straight into the soul of someone, it’s what they create.

Time

This takes time. And effort.

But the truth of it is, that as you take a genuine interest in someone’s interests, you will fill up their emotional bank. Unconsciously.

You will let them know that you like them, love them. More clearly than if you shouted it from the highest mountain.

After all. Actions speak louder than words.

Next Time

So the next time you want to ask “What do you want for Christmas?”

Stop.

Spend some time to think about what they’re really interested in. Read the mags they read. Go to the web sites they go to. It won’t be long before you have your answer.

Imagine someone bought you exactly what you really wanted without asking you? How amazing would you feel?

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