Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ron's Top 5 Ways of Being Present With Gayle

I came into our relationship with at least two serious problems when it comes to being present with anyone. First, my mother was always present. By the time my siblings were all gone and I was old enough to have much to say - my mom was usually saying it all, over and over. So, I developed the skill of "listening" without hearing. You know how that goes. Yes and no or uh huh every now and then, listening for my name, etc. In other words, I was not really present.

Second, while reading books on the subject of ADHD to help diagnose a client, both Gayle and I realized the books were describing me and many of my behaviors. I finally understood some of the difficulties I have always had being truly present for anyone.

So what are my top 5 ways to be truly present for Gayle? They are:

5. Look at her when she talks to me (except when driving, of course.) Making eye contact ensures my presence and minimizes distractions.

4. Spend the first 30 minutes of the day drinking coffee and planning the day with her.

3. Don't start asking questions or trying to make plans with her just as she finishes with her last client of the day.

2. Get away from the phones, tvs, and computers and have quiet time together.

And my number 1 way to be truly present for Gayle:

1. Don't interrupt when she's talking.

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