The closer they are to you though, the more of "you"
they need, in order to feel that sense of commitment.
It's very simple in its principles, not always as easy
as it looks, yet farther reaching than you can ever
To make yourself "present" to someone, you
have to bring yourself into the present moment fully,
and remove all distractions so you can focus on being
with that other person. Here are some hints to help
you get there:
Maintain eye contact
When someone is talking to you, they can see where your
focus is in your eyes. Looking away means your mind
is there too. Looking them in the eye connects you.**
Don't pay any attention to that voice that's competing
inside your head. Be silent, and really take in what
they other person is saying.
Acknowledge what they said
"Uh huh... Yeah
Uh huh," is not acknowledgement.
Make sure you let them know that you don't just hear
what they say, you understand it too. Even paraphrase
it in your own words and say it back, or ask them a
question that furthers the conversation along.
Add to their conversation not your own
Your experience can be invaluable to them, but not if
it's going off in some self-centered tangent. Make sure
what you have to say is relevant, or else (again) they'll
realize you weren't really paying attention.
Don't judge their viewpoint
This can be a tough one, because in order for you to
understand them, you have to filter it through your
own set of beliefs. You just have to keep your values
to yourself, and not prejudge what you're hearing.
Forget your past
The mind is a funny thing most of the time. They'll
say one thing and you'll be catapulted back to High
School or Summer Camp and completely leave the present
behind. If you get into those moments, get back to the
Present. You'll get there by looking at the person with
you and listening,
Don't anticipate your future
We also like to race ahead, way too often. Even if our
intention is to hurry up and get to the answer, racing
too far ahead will leave the solution behind. Besides,
the person you're with might veer off at any moment,
leaving you once again, not paying attention.
Give them your time
Don't rush things. Time is your life. The other person
knows you value your time, so when you give of your
time, you give of yourself. They get your present when
you give a whole bunch of your present moments.
** Be aware that eye contact varies
in different cultures
and the connection that
comes from it might be construed as disrespect. Stay
within the boundaries of comfort here, or else you'll
miss all other points.