In my office sometimes I spend a whole hour just listening. I nod my head. I make eye contact. Sometimes I cry with my clients.
Those quiet sessions are often the most powerful. There's just not enough good listening happening in the world. I fear dogs and pillows bear more than their fair share of that burden.
But people need more than listening to feel fully loved. There are two things I can't give in my office that we all desperately need: affection and gifts. As a kid I felt gifts were petty, just the throwing around of meaningless money. But as I age I see how a perfectly picked out small gift shows that you really get someone and is much more powerful than I realized—it makes a person feel known.
Unsplash photo cred: Karsten Winegart