Monday, February 8, 2016

Mindful Monday- Being Present In Conversations

Be present, give eye contact, and give your full attention to the person with whom you are talking.

    This month I am trying to do more single-tasking. My daughter has observed that I do not fully give her attention when she wanders through to talk. My husband agrees. It is a criticism I find hard to hear. I like to continue reading, or working on my computer when someone interrupts me to talk. I have been doing more than one thing for a long time.  I am good at it but, I delude myself.

Here is my plan. I will pay better attention. If I am interrupted unfairly I will ask for a later conversation. It sounds so simple. To move from one focus to talking with someone,  I will shut my eyes briefly and inhale,  then open them and really look at the person with whom I am talking.

The truth is, your brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. It literally cannot achieve this, except in very rare circumstances. Instead, it toggles back and forth from one task to the next. For example, when you are driving while talking on the phone, your brain can either use its resources to drive or to talk on the phone, but never both. Scans show that when you talk on the phone, there is limited activation of your visual brain – suggesting you are driving without really watching. This explains how we can sometimes end up places without knowing exactly how we got there.
Sandra Bond Chapman-Forbes Magazine "Why Single-Tasking Makes You Smarter"

 More mindfulness Monday posts here.


  1. My problem is that instead of really listening I'm already thinking about what I want to say.

  2. I have that problem, too, Shari.

  3. Being present with the person we're talking to is so important. I can always tell when someone isn't really listening and it makes me switch off, but I know there are times when I'm guilty of trying to multi-task too and don't fully focus on others.

  4. I like this Gabriele. I have experienced frustration with not feeling my husband's full attention when I'm talking, and have also observed myself doing the same to him and others at times.

  5. Bethany, according to brain studies, the "monkey brain" can be strengthened with mindfulness. I'm working on that.


What do you think?