“Be the kind of person that makes everybody feel like a somebody”.
It feels nice, doesn’t it? To be the only person who’s being focused on for a solid moment; completely mindful with no phone in sight but instead just sheer excitement at the thought of the encounter staring at you right in the face. All the while beautiful energy is spiralling towards you and filling you up with warmth and loveliness. Sounds familiar? I certainly hope so.
Recently, as the parent of an old friend suddenly passed away and, having been in that position nearly a decade ago myself, I promised myself that I would be extra mindful and therefore, ensure they felt that I was there for them no matter what. Too often, we can simply go through the motions because we don’t know what to do, we feel awkward or have a million other things on our minds. Either way, all of this is obvious to the other person and any active interest will become an unwelcome guest to the relationship.
When you’re really unsure of how to act and what to say, follow your instinct, give all your attention and put your heart and soul into it.
They say we need three encounters of human contact each day and that such experienced warmth, energy and love will resonate and ward off a range of negative feelings and thoughts.
Not the mushy emotional hugging type? That’s cool. Neither am I to be honest.
There are plenty of ways to be fully present without having to pull out the inspirational quotes or bear hugs.
It’s all about what way you look at it.
Look people in the eye
80% of our communication is carried out through our body language. This applies to our motions, facial expressions and our eye contact. If you’re empathising, offering advice or just having a normal chat about the weather with someone then look the other person in the eye. It shows genuine interest, that you’re mindful of their feelings and that you haven’t already mentally moved onto the next item on your to-do list.
Choose your words wisely
Don’t know what to say? Speak from the heart. Be honest, open and from a positive place. This is one time to not fake it ’til you make it. People know if you’re being a phoney. Set your intentions and come from a place that honours your values and makes sense to them and you.
Oh and you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say anything at all.
Sometimes, people want to talk so SHUT UP. Yes, you want them to know how much you care and you’ll have your chance (see point two, above). Ensure, they can maintain their train of thought without being interrupted.
Don’t make it about you
Yes, maybe you’ve been there yourself or had a similar experience and you would love to try and relate by telling that particular story – try not to. It’s about them, their story and their moment.
Asking open questions can be particularly helpful when talking someone through a challenge or generally bad day while warming them up with some sweet anecdotes or jokes can move them on the track to feeling a little better. Above all, never underestimate the power of a listening ear.