Listen

You need to be present with more than just yourself.

It's Not All About You

So far this week has all been about being present with yourself - paying attention while exercising, actually tasting and savoring your food, taking some time off from the activities or people who can suck up your time - but that doesn't mean it's only about you.

To truly build the kind of presence you want, you need to make others feel like you're paying full and complete attention to them when they're engaged with you.

They need to feel like what they're saying, doing, and expressing are important enough that you can focus 100% on them.

Watch Your Ego

At some point in your life, you've probably been on both the giving and receiving end of a conversation in which there was no real exchange of ideas.

One or both parties were more interested in making sure their own voices were heard than listening to what the other person had to say.

Or thinking of how to steer the conversation in a different direction.

Or wanting to fully check out altogether.

I'm in those all the time. My brain can make connections faster than people can finish their sentences and I have a terrible habit of doing it for them. It speeds the conversation along (effective and efficient) but it makes them feel like they're just a supplement to my own thought process.

Most of our lack of presence with others comes from our ego. And not just our, I'm-better-than-you-and-don't-need-to-listen-to-what-you-have-to-say ego, but also the one that really likes the other person and doesn't want to look like an idiot, or the one that just wants to feel confident, competent, and intelligent.

You're Not Alone

Thankfully most other people feel exactly the same as you do - they don't want to look like idiots, they can get a bit intimidated in social situations, and they're so worried about what everyone else thinks that they're more focused on them than on you.

And that's where you can make a real difference. As soon as you allow yourself to forget the other things that are going on in your life, forget the way you'll be perceived within an interaction with another person, and simply be present in the experience, that's when you're able to make them feel like you're the most important man in the world.

It's kind of a reverse logic, but as soon as you stop worrying about you, they'll respect you and want you to respect them even more.

Because the ability to forget yourself and focus on the other person comes from a seriously confident sense of self. You have no need to impress, to pay attention to distractions, or to worry about yourself - you have so much abundance that you can afford to completely give yourself to and focus on an interaction with another person.