Tips for Being Present, Part 3: Being Present to Family and Friends

  • Confine computers to a special room so that you’re not tempted to “check your email” or “google something” when the most important people in your life wait for your attention.
  • Look the person in the eyes.
  • Verbalize if you’re thinking about something or processing something (or even obsessing over something) so that this important person in the room won’t expect you to be fully present to him or her.
  • Stow your cell phone.  It’s not realistic to do what many of us would love to do: throw it away.  Instead, put it on silent and put it away.
  • Be careful of texting: it’s a great shoddy way to be present to someone who is not even present with you anyway.  If you must text, go to another room to do it. 
  • Don’t multi-task.  I don’t care how skilled you are.  It’s a poor way to be present to another person.
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