I was with some friends the other day and they told me a story I thought I would share. Just to be loving, they’ve been sending each of their grown kids who live out of town a card and small gift card every six weeks for the past year or two. One son has never replied or mentioned the cards in conversation.
My friend is pondering what to do about it. On the one hand, it’s an act of love with no strings attached. But on the other hand, a simple acknowledgement would make him feel that both the act of sending a card plus the small gift inside are appreciated.
We discussed their options of what to do which are:
Keep sending the card and gift and never discuss their feelings with their son
Send the card but not the gift and never discuss their feelings with their son
Stop sending the either the card or gift card to their son and never discuss their feelings with their son
Say something like this to their son. “Son, we noticed you choose not to reply to our cards which leaves us wondering if you like receiving them or if you’d prefer we stop sending them. We’re happy to continue sending them but if we do, it would make us feel really good if you knew you appreciated it. Would that be alright or would you prefer we stop sending them?
I like last option because it give their son the choice of whether he wants to continue receiving the cards or not, while also letting their son know how they feel when no acknowledgement comes back.
With busy lives, we all sometimes need to be made aware of how our actions are making others feel. Be it in business or our personal lives.
Also by saying they’d notice he had “chosen” not to reply, they’re holding the mirror up and letting him know that he’s responsible for his choice to be silent.
What would you do in this circumstance? Do you have other options I may have missed?
My friends are going with the last option and will soon have the conversation with their son. I’ll tell you how that story ends in an upcoming blog.
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This is Robert Band, your business finance expert, helping business owners transform their company’s finances.
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