Many times while in a conversation with someone, be it friends, coworkers or spouse, there are other things on our mind throughout the conversation.
Don’t believe me?
How many times have you met someone new and almost instantly forgot their name?
Or how many times are you marginally engaged in a conversation only to discover that you missed quite a bit of the conversation because you were elsewhere mentally?
Or even this, how many times have you attempted to complete your spouse’s sentence or thought before they finish?
This is not being present.
This is being lost more in your own thoughts than being present in the situation.
Being 100% present is about ALL OF YOU being engaged with whoever you’re with – AND BEING IN THE MOMENT.
It is not a 100% focus on your spouse (or other person you’re with at the time), that will usually drive them away or creep them out.
Instead, it’s learning how to calm and soothe yourself so you can fully listen to others.
You can think and respond.
You can connect on a deeper level.
You can even practice being 100% present without either party saying a word.
Many times we reach out to our spouse (or others, or Facebook, Twitter, texts) as an attempt to calm our own anxieties or insecurities. We want them to positively engage us in some way because that will make US feel better about ourselves and/or our relationship.
At it’s core, this is an emotionally propping up. And over time, a person that has to be emotionally propped up becomes very unattractive.
Being present is learning how to listen, think, emote, respond, act, and/or choose appropriately in any situation.
Practice becoming more aware of your own level of presence as you go throughout your day.
When you talk to someone on the phone, don’t do something else while talking.
When you engage with someone in person, practice being still and listening.
You don’t have to engage and respond right away, after all you’re not in a tennis match with them – you’re in a conversation. Silence and pauses are okay.
Give up on the idea of multi-tasking – you wind up doing more things poorly rather than one thing well. Embrace the idea of sequential-tasking. What ever it is you’re doing or involved in, commit completely to it. Then disconnect and move to the next thing and fully connect there.
This will begin to pave the way for you to act more from your core and your values (i.e. the best in you), rather than your anxiety, in every situation.