I learned an incredibly valuable lesson from one of my best friends a few years ago. She is extremely wise and is the best listener that I have ever been around. The lesson I learned was this…
Put away your phone when your with people.
Simple. Easy.Right? Wrong!
We’ve become addicted to our phones. I was the chief among them and still am to some point. I was late to the iPhone club, but I made up for lost time. It never left my hand and I was always fidgeting with it. Even when I was with people. Worst yet, even when I was with my family. I don’t know how many times while playing catch I told my boys to hold on so I could respond to a text. I’m still ashamed.
The day I stopped taking it into restaurants with me when I met with people and when I put it down when I was playing catch…was the day that I made people the PRIORITY in my life.
Can something that is sooooo good be soooo bad?
The answer is YES! I don’t have an iPhone any longer. It was an extremely sad day but I sold it to save money. There are days I miss it. Trust me! I miss the camera and posting photos. I miss having my calendar. I miss having something to do while I wait.
But, I don’t miss making people feel second-rate. That’s what we do sometimes when we’re engaging with someone, we’re meeting with someone and they won’t get off their phone. Or we’re talking on the phone with them and they’re doing a million other things while they talk with you.
We’ve become a society of doing 7 things at once. No longer can we just talk to someone on the phone; we have to be texting with other people or checking Facebook.
Why is this?
I know why. Because it’s easy. Because it’s fun.
And…maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s no big deal.
But, here’s a thought:
What if we gave our undivided attention to the people we’re talking with or meeting with? Would that make them feel good? Do they mind when we take a phone call in the middle of a lunch meeting? I doubt it. But, is it necessary?
My life has definitely changed since I traded in my iPhone and downgraded to the cheapest phone known to man. Now, my productivity has decreased. I know longer can send emails or check emails. I can no longer just plug-in calendar appointments. But, I also no longer feel like I have to reach for my phone if it buzzes and I definitely give people my full attention.
When I’m meeting with someone or talking to them on the phone, they have my undivided attention.
This all matters because relationships are of the utmost importance. Especially our close friendships and relationships. People whom we’ve built a history with and have spent great time with. Make them feel like they are your priority. If you do, they will be there for you!
All this matters because we were created to be in relationships. Relationships, connections and friendships are hard-wired into our DNA. The reality is…we all need people. We need close friends. We need family. We need friends to lean on.
Let’s give our relationships our undivided attention
1. Leave your phone. I know this sounds crazy to some, but would it actually kill us if we left our phone in the car when we met with someone over breakfast or lunch or coffee. Our phone may be helpful if it’s a business meeting, so bring it. But, if you’re with a friend or with someone who needs your undivided attention…
2. Just talk. It’s amazing how quick people can figure out if you’re doing something else while on the phone with them. I am the chief sinner at this! Too often I sit in front of my computer and start reading emails. That’s just wrong. I am trying hard to just concentrate on giving the person I’m talking to my undivided attention.
3. Don’t forget to talk to face to face. I worry that by the time my kids have kids, they won’t any need to still meet with people face to face. That can’t be. We must make it a priority to sit with people and listen to them and hear their story.
Yes, sometimes things that can be sooo good, can be sooo bad. We just need to be careful to use them to add to our relationships, not to subtract.