How to be a more present parent, partner or friend
By Amanda Scali
We all hope that we can be the type of parent, partner or friend that really listens when our loved ones are talking to us.
When you were expecting your first child, had just met your beloved or started a new friendship I bet you had some ideas of just how you wanted things to be, or how you didn’t want them to be.
And one of those ideas might have been to be present in your relationships, to live in the moment.
We can sometimes have ‘grand’ ideas at the start, and then one-day ‘life’ happens, and we have a partner of ten years or three children all chattering around the kitchen bench, and instead of being that present person, we are more engrossed in our phones, our work or our own problems.
You might stop and look at yourself in horror, wondering, how did I get here, and it might be time to put the phone down and pay more attention to those you love.
Here are our tips for being more present.
Put your phone away
Technology, especially social media, has an ability to suck us into its world and detach us from the people who we love around us.
Put the phone down at important times of the day when your children are telling you about their day at school, at breakfast or dinner time when your partner gets home from work, or when you are out with your friends.
You will develop a much more meaningful conversation if you are fully present when they are talking to you.
Remember what is important to you
Time - It will go like a flash!
And the truth is we are all only here for such a finite time, so it’s best to spend our time with those we love.
When you look back on how you spent these years, you will never regret spending more time with the people who matter.
Adjust your agenda
You may need to change your expectations on what productivity and success look like to you in order to maintain healthy and long-term relationships.
And this means making time for the people who matter the most. They shouldn't be the last thing you think about booking in. To be a good friend, you need to make the time.
So, book that one-on-one time in, write yourself notes to check in with your friends and schedule in time with your loved ones in your diary.
In order to maintain healthy relationships and be more present, you need to communicate with those you love.
Set time and space to be with your loved ones, to connect with them and listen to them when they need to talk, vent or need your guidance.
Also let your loved ones know when you are really snowed under at work or have deadlines to meet and when you might have them completed.
That way you are setting an expectation of when you might be finished, and they can have your full attention and love.