Our family has been out to dinner before and observed people sitting at the same table for dinner and not communicating with each other. All heads are down as everyone texts someone else who isn’t there.
As a culture we seem to be having a love affair with our devises only offering the tops of our heads to the people we are actually with.
This phenomenon isn’t limited to texting and social media. Anytime we’re not engaged with the people we’re with for any reason, we’re not all there.
I believe it’s killing our relationships and our social skills.
Being all there is critical to healthy relationships at work and home.
4 Ways to Be All There:
1. Remove Distractions – Whatever it is that’s demanding your attention away from the person you’re with, eliminate it, at least temporarily. I’m not suggesting to throw away the phone, or drop your ipad off a tall building. I am suggesting that you don’t give it priority over someone who is physically present with you.
2. Eye contact – Physically look the other person in the eye. Eye contact creates connection. It’s the first step to meaningful communication.
3. Active listening – Paraphrase what the person you’re with is saying. You HAVE to listen to be able to do this. You get a full understanding of what another person is saying when you say it yourself. That’s why it’s suggested that to really know something, teach it to someone else. To really hear someone, say what it is they’re saying back to them to make sure you got it.
4. If you can’t be all there, make an announcement – I work from home. It’s good and it’s challenging at the same time. I like to work on my computer in the kitchen so I’m with the family. That doesn’t mean that I’m always “fully present.” So I make announcements, especially to my son. Because he has so many things to say all the time, I have to tell him when I’m not listening to him. I tell him that I am interested in what he’s saying and to please hold that thought until I can give him my full attention. That way he knows that what he’s saying is important to me and I want to be fully present when he’s speaking.
Have you ever been with someone who made you feel like you were the only person alive on this earth? How did they do this? My guess would be they were fully present with you as if nothing else existed. And how did that make you feel? People deserve that from us and we deserve it from them.
Wherever you are, be all there.
Confident people know how to be fully present with those they are with.
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