When you carry on a conversation with someone are you fully present? If you are with someone who is distracted constantly, don’t you get a little annoyed? Nowadays people check their phones; they look around; they don’t meet your eyes…and sometimes even when they are looking at you, they don’ seem to really be in the conversation. And if you’re on a date they may be checking out other people or even flirting with them while they are with you. Argghh! Or they may be off in their own world thinking about a grocery list, how difficult their day has been, planning world peace…who the heck knows what people are thinking about?? What do you do when this happens? Do you just get annoyed? Do you say something?
On the flip side, have you ever been with someone who is fully present with you? You know if you have. It’s like a gift. The person is engaged, keeps up with the conversation moving it along, leaning in…and if their phone rings or makes noise they either reach down and turn it off without looking or apologize and pull it out to silence it without actually checking it. You feel like the most important person in their world and your self-confidence may be at an all-time high. And aren’t you super happy to be in their presence and value them as a friend?
Now, take a look at how you interact with someone. Are you more the first example or the second? Imagine how your spouse, your children, your boss and all your friends would feel if you acted more fully present for them. Are you willing to try it?
It only takes practice to pay attention like that. Try a little at a time. Don’t answer your phone unless you know something important is coming up, and then warn the person you’re with that you’re waiting for a call or a text. Don’t let your mind wander far from the conversation in one direction or another. If you are simply curious about what the person is saying and try to ask questions to get more involved, it isn’t so very hard at all. Your friends and loved ones will feel SO good in your presence and value you all the more. In other words, the rewards…priceless!