The Largest Mistake You Can Make with Another is to Communicate Their Lack of Importance to You - Grasshopper
"I couldn't care less" is the message of relationship death and it is sent out more often than you can imagine.
It starts slowly in most cases and has insidious growth. We don't notice how we "diss" the importance of others until it's a full blown disease that needs emergency surgery or ends in death.
The currency of human interaction is attention. Everyone wants it; and too little of it is given or received.
There is a boat load of pseudo attention that gets passed off for the real thing but it has no connective juice. An example of this sort of attention is when you ask someone a question you are not invested in like: "How was school today?" "How was work today?" It's mainly small talk with anemic results.
I met up with a high school friend a year ago and she had a practice that she used with her family. She would say, "Tell me about the most interesting 10 minutes you had today." It's a much better question and provides answers that are easier to give attention to.
But it goes way past the question being asked. It has more to do with the presence you bring to an interaction. You give attention when you are present.
You can be present physically, but mentally absent and that's when the divide begins. If you are in your head when communicating with another, your attention is split. If a high wire walker has split attention, they will go splat. The same is true for you and me.
Anytime you are consciously formulating ideas in your head while interacting with another, you may as well be invisible because you are not there with them at that moment. Your invisibility is sensed at another level and the other person can feel your lack of connection no matter the wattage of your smile or the gaze of your eyes.
We are all familiar with the expression "taking things for granted" but we don't realize we do that every time we fail to give another our attention. Over time, this lack of attention builds, brick by brick, into the impasse we can't get passed.
Begin now to notice how absent you are in your communications. This simple act of noticing is attention itself. Take that attention with you to the boardroom and the bedroom and everywhere in between and notice the quality of the connections you make.
Repairing relationships begins with noticing the word "repair" has two syllables – re-pair. You are taking that which is split and pairing it together with the bonding adhesive known as attention.
Neglecting to give attention is the silent hurt which damages both the doer and the receiver.
The Buddha issued this appropriate counsel 2600 years ago:
"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."
All the best,
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