So you just unwrapped your holiday gift from your boss and it's just a little bit strange, huh? Before jumping to conclusions, take a step back from the situation, Sutton says. "One of the things I've learned as an investigator and researcher is never jump to conclusions, and ask a lot of questions before you make up your mind about the meaning of something."
"Let's presume the boss is male and gives you something personal, such as intimate apparel. That is definitely not a politically correct thing to do, and the boss could very likely get a sexual harassment complaint filed against him, unless your boss happens to be your husband. The message in a gift of intimate apparel, whether it's from a male or female, is: I want sex. So whether your boss is male, female or your husband, the message is sex, sex and more sex. One caveat -- if your boss is your mother, the message in getting underwear is 'Always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident.'"
"Most bosses will give the same gift to everyone: Extra cash, a gift certificate to a favorite hangout, a fruit basket or fruitcake. If your boss singles you out for something not equal to what everyone else got, that's when he or she is sending you a message. If your gift is more expensive, it could simply mean you do better work than most; if considerably less, you might want to start looking for another job."
If your significant other didn't invite you to a New Year's Eve party until the last minute, it obviously means you're his/her last resort, right? Not necessarily, Sutton says.
"Some people are just oblivious to time. They get busy with stuff and before they know it, time has slipped away from them, or, every time they wanted to ask you, the conversation got away from them and ended before they got around to asking you. I know I can be that way -- especially around the holidays with all the shopping, cards and decking the halls with boughs of holly. Don't overanalyze everything, and if you don't have plans for New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, then go for it and forget the meaning behind a late invitation."
So your hubby bought you a gift that made you want to laugh or cry... or both. If your guy bought you something totally out of your range of interests, there has got to be some kind of hidden message there, right? Not necessarily.
"The holiday season brings great expectations for gifts that take your breath away and magical parties. The secret to keeping your sanity and not feeling let down is to don't over-analyze everyone or everything or what you got (or didn't get) as a gift. Men are not good shoppers and by nature can be clueless when it comes to giving gifts. A good example is my husband gave me a CB radio as a gift, on the premise I had made the innocuous statement that they were interesting. His face beamed when he gave it to me, thinking I would be overjoyed. I knew it had been a gift from the heart, so I didn't show my disappointment, although after New Year's I gently asked him if it could be exchanged. The secret to having fond memories of the holidays is to not take things too seriously."
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