As I sit here with my London Fog tea today, I was reflecting further on last week’s post about how I deal with stress and distractions. I want to take it a step further today. There is one particular area of our lives that can be deeply changed by reducing distractions – our relationships. Whether working relationships or personal ones, spending time with others without distractions and interruptions provides for quality time; and such will make a dramatic difference in the success of those relationships.
Here are some ways to build stronger relationships.
Let’s start with having more fun. Let’s face it. It’s a lot more fun to be with people when you’re not answering your phone or looking at screens. Knowing that the few times you get together will be exclusive and without distractions makes your time together more fun and enjoyable. Focusing on the person you are with shows that they are important to you, allowing the creation of a stronger bond.
Another benefit is that communication is improved. Taking time to talk without disruption from TV, phone, other screens allows for real conversation. Each speaking and sharing their thoughts. Opening up, knowing the other person is truly listening. The more you know who someone is, the more you may discover things you both like together that will give you even more things you can do without distractions. When you have more shared interests, the relationship satisfaction improves.
Taking those shared interests, the discussions you have, and the activities you participate in together lead to many positive memories. I love to take my camera with me. Unfortunately I find that I can spend more times taking a picture of the memory than actually being a part of the memory created. You can’t make memories if your focus is not on the event or the person.
Spending undistracted time together and sharing a passion – whether a working relationship or personal – helps to create a sense of connections, of commitment. Don’t you feel more positive toward an outcome when the others involved make the time together as important as you do? I know I respond much better to any situation when I know the others involved are as dedicated as I am.
Overall, distraction causes stress and stress causes other problems. Many distractions can be controlled, in particular, TVs, phones, and screen time. I remember one day my husband and I were in a local restaurant. There were TVs everywhere. There was no place you could sit without having at least 3 TV screens in your direct line of sight. He commented to me, “if you truly want to talk, this is not the place to be”. Reducing distractions, increases the strength of relationships
Therefore, I believe, if you want to improve any relationship you have, it is important you choose to focus on it and take charge of the distractions and interruptions you have control over. If it’s at work, find a place to talk without electronics. If it’s a work meeting, ask everyone to turn off distractions and tell the front desk to avoid interruptions for non-emergencies. If it’s your family and friends, make a concerted effort to spend this time together without an agenda and distractions, you’ll be so happy you did.