With the holiday season upon us, the most important gift we can give to our family, friends and loved ones is the chance to connect on a deep and meaningful level. This means turning off our devices and giving others our full attention, empathy, love and support. Meaningful communication is often a casualty in this age of technology. When we check our phones every few minutes, we do not have our full, undivided attention on the other person and that connection is missed. The Mayo Clinic offers some guidelines to follow in order to establish heartfelt connections:
Actually set aside time to be together; schedule it in a calendar if you need too.
Silence your cell phone and other devices when you are with the other person. Those little chirps and bells are annoying distractions that interrupt a meaningful conversation.
Make eye contact. This seems very basic and easy to do, but is difficult for many people. Eye contact is an important component of meaningful communication however, as the “eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Touch the other person. We often underestimate the powers of touch, but touch comes in handy when the words are hard to find.
Listen. Allow silences between words and try not to be uncomfortable with this. Sometimes listening is more important than speaking.