Do you ever find yourself experiencing any of these physical reactions when in conversation with another person?
- Quick, shallow breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Wandering eye contact
- Clenching your jaw
- Grinding your teeth
- Taking a step back
All of these actions—which we often don’t even notice we’re doing—are sure signs that you’re not being present in that conversation. You’re not bringing your “full self” into the relationship, and this tends to lead to the stories you tell yourself about that person having an incredible number of blanks that you’ll fill in with information you think might be correct (or just what you want it to be.)
When we’re not fully present with others, we’re subtly saying we don’t value the other person as much as we value ourselves and our own interpretation of events.
So what can you do when you notice you’re not fully present?
Today’s tip for better presence in your relationships is so simple that it will likely go unnoticed by the person with whom you’re trying to be more present.
Yes, it’s as easy as it sounds. If you’re standing, literally raise each foot (even if just a few inches), set them at a comfortable distance apart from each other, and place each one back on the ground. If you’re sitting, you can perform the same action even more subtly. Use this outward action to remind you of an inward impulse: you’re grounding yourself in that moment in order to focus your full attention on the person in front of you.
The other person may not notice your grounding, but I’m willing to bet they’ll notice your attention.