Be THAT person
With school having ended recently, my days have slowed down. I have much more time to myself, and plenty of time to think. The other day, while in conversation with someone, I felt uncomfortably comfortable. Chatting away with someone I barely know is not usually within my comfort zone. Yet, this time it was. In fact, my own comfort made me slightly uncomfortable. It got me wondering: why was this time so different? And why was it such a novel feeling?
I am quite a sensitive person. And yes, that can be an amazing thing. But sometimes, it makes me get in my own way. I become overly aware of the people around me to the point where I find myself tiptoeing through a conversation so as not to offend the other person or make any false assumptions. Anything and everything will go through my mind while I'm talking to someone I don't know very well. And it can be extremely annoying, to say the least. After some reflection, I realized this: I worry that the other person doesn't really want to talk to me. That they have better things to do. And that I'm just going to annoy them by taking up their time. Harsh, I know. But sometimes, I can just feel it. I can just sense that I may be taking up someone's time or that the other person doesn't really want to talk to me. Then other times, I know it's my mind getting carried away.
So here is what I realized about the conversation I had the other day: she talked to me as if I was the only person in the world. Yes, that might sound cheesy. But to me - it meant the world. For someone so stuck in their head (like me), being heard is the ultimate gift. I didn't have my usual jumbled up thoughts. I wasn't overthinking what I wanted to say. I just was me. She gave me room to be myself. She didn't rush me. She didn't look around while I was talking. Or take out her phone and text someone in the middle of my sentence. Nor did she forget what we were talking about when we did get interrupted. And although she walked away from our conversation not knowing what a gift she had given me, I left the conversation feeling calm and content. In fact, I myself was a better listener because I could turn off all the noise in my head and just be present with the person in front of me.
So this is what I want to say: Be THAT person. The next time you talk to someone, please don't forget to listen. Make eye contact. Be interested. Put yourself into their story for a moment. Ask questions. Don't get distracted by another person. Don't keep looking around. Don't just go through the motions. Don't only talk about yourself. Put down your phone for a moment. Even if you really are just killing time or you wish you were doing something else. Even if you are surrounded by tons of distractions. Put intention into what is in front of you. Make that person feel like they are important. Like they matter. Like they are interesting and that you want to be there with them. It's not asking much really. It's a simple task - just listen. What do you have to lose? Nothing. And who knows - you might just make someone's day. I know it made mine.