Flowers? Chocolates? Something home-made?
The world divides into those who’d never dream of arriving at a social engagement without a small gift for their host, and those for whom it would never really cross their mind.
Partly a cultural thing, partly an upbringing one, there’s no doubt that it can be a nice gesture, even if the host of a dinner party does end up with four unwanted boxes of soft-centres.
Rather than turning this into an etiquette discussion however, for me it raises the more interesting point of nurturing relationships.
It makes enormous mutual sense to show the people around us that we care. Chimpanzees do it by grooming each other.
Hopefully you’ve no need to pick fleas off your nearest and dearest, but there’s a lot to be said for taking every opportunity to invest in building your relationship, whether it’s a romantic, family, professional or simply social one.
Although it’s nice to ‘bring them flowers’, you don’t necessarily have to. A few well-chosen words can do the trick. Making an effort to listen to them, properly, can go a long way too. Some, with good reason, call these actions ‘strokes’.
Take care of the people around you and – who knows? – they may just take care of you too.