I don’t know about you, but these days it seems like EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is vying for my attention. I cannot be the only person that feels pulled in a trillion different directions on any given day, right?
How MANY of us out there have been in a meeting of some sort and even though there is someone talking and delivering important information, we are completely preoccupied with the fact that traffic is starting to pile up, or we are considering what needs to be made for dinner tonight, or the fact that we need to buy that birthday present by Saturday for the 49th birthday party this year.
And during that same meeting you knowwww you’ve been covertly checking your phone for texts and messages and the bajillion other things that we do with those
soul sucking amazing devices.
The bottom line is that SO freaking often we are NOT present AT ALL to what the hell is going on around us. And I feel like we have, as a society, been conditioned to live in this state. What a bummmmmer.
So I figured something OUT, mamas. I discovered a phrase that helps ME to be more present and I think the BEST thing about this phrase is that it truly makes the people around us feel 100% more empowered and heard.
Lemme tell you a little story for how I figured this whole thing out.
I have 2 children. And we knowwwww that when kids tell a story, it goes batshit sideways like, really darn quick, right? As a mom, when my kids are telling me these stories of what happened on the playground, or the new trick they figured out, or whatever, I’m putting away the dishes, or I’m packing lunches, or like any of the 8,957,489 other tasks that I need to do.
So often my kids will become frustrated with their lack of articulation, or they will lose steam sharing their anecdote with me because they think I’m simply not listening. So I started to say something that changed everything: I’m listening.
So as soon as I hear Grant trailing off and not finishing his thought because he thinks no one is really paying attention, I hit him him with a “I’m listening” and BOOM he is back at it, telling me about how a friend chucked a block at his face during circle time. (true story)
Are you disappointed? Did you read all the way down to here and were expecting like, something much more profound or flowery? I KNOW it seems like the most basic af thing to say to someone but I swear to you, it can change a conversation and your interaction with a person in an epic way.
At first I was only using this phrase with my own children. But I noticed how well they responded to it, that I decided to try it out in other areas of my life.
Here are some places I’ve used this phrase and have seen positive results:
- At work: during small group meetings when someone is trying to convey an idea and you can tell they are struggling and everyone else has seemingly moved on
- With friends: when they want to share something personal, but they feel like it’s silly or not important (but it IS important!)
- With strangers: At parties or events when someone is sharing a story and again, other people have moved on, and you’re letting that person know you’re still there!
- With ANY kids: My Girl Scouts, my students, my own children, neighbors
When you use this phrase you are saying SO much more than those two little words. You are telling someone you are valuable, what you have to say matters, I respect you, I am present. Wow.
KNOW it seems like the most basic af thing to say to someone but I swear to you, it can change a conversation and your interaction with a person in an epic way.
Raise your hand if you could use more of that in your life! Man, I think that is ALL we really want in this life! Am I right? We are looking for our tribe and we know we have found them when they remind us that we are important and valued and that you are THERE.
And I’ve noticed to like, really up the ante with this phrase and to really show that person you are truly listening and present, turn your body towards the individual who is speaking and lean in slightly while you say it. It sounds creepy, but it totally isn’t. It is human psychology. We want people to listen to us!
Guess WHAT? When you actively listen to those around you, others do the same! And it’s like this nice little circle of just…positivity, respect, and community that happens!
So I want you to just do me a solid and try out this phrase this week and let me know how it goes. What did you notice about how people responded to you? How did it impact your time with that individual? How did it make you feel?
Keep on keeping on, mamas! If you have something to say… I’m all ears. You better believe I’m listening.