The world is a busy, distracted place, and sometimes it’s hard to give people your full attention. Maybe it’s your cellphone notifications going off. Maybe it’s the people walking past you. More often than not, it’s your busy mind thinking about everything else but the conversation you’re actually having. It happens to all of us. But not giving people your full attention affects the quality of your relationship – and not in a good way.
We’re very good at multitasking. Meeting with friends, while texting people who aren’t there. E-mailing one person, while Facetiming with another.
On top of this, a quick thumbs up, or a “like” on social media is usually all the attention we have to give someone. In a way, we’ve lost the art of giving people our full attention.
And it might not seem like it matters all that much. But when you’re spending time we people in person, don’t underestimate the gift of giving someone your full attention.
Why it’s important to give people your full attention
Paying attention to people sends a powerful message: You are important to me.
Sure, you might not be able to relate to what they’re saying. And you might not want to listen. But if you’re not fully present with them, you’re basically sending the message that they don’t matter. And that hurts.
Plus, when you give someone your full attention, you also help them feel validated. Their perspective, their emotions, their accomplishments and their failures are all safe with you because you’re paying attention to them.
So, if you want your friends, family and partner to feel like they matter to you, give them your full attention. It’s one simple thing, but it makes a world of difference.