In our fast paced world we often are multitasking, or hustling to finish one “task” so we can run off to do the next one. We’re not really present in what we are doing and giving our full attention to whom or what is at hand.
This tendency can have a major impact on our interactions with others and unwittingly, with friends and family. Years ago I learned from making rounds on my hospitalized patients that how I acted when visiting them was much more important than the amount of time I actually spent.
For example, if I remained standing while I visited or ever put my hand on the door knob or turned my body so it angled between the person and the door, no matter how much time I spent, the patients always had one more question to keep me longer or felt I didn’t give them enough time. They didn’t feel I was present with them.
On the other hand, whenever I sat down facing them full front, listened carefully to what they had to say and answered their most important concerns clearly and efficiently, they were totally content with our visit, even if it was half as long as the one described above.
The same is true with our friends and family. If you are going to interact, be present. Being present is the best way to ensure a relationship can have a future.