How You Can Improve Your Relationships With Meditation…

How You Can Improve Your Relationships With Meditation

Meditation Makes all the Difference

“He made me so angry I wanted to scream! Then, he stomped up the stairs and was yelling about…”

The person I’m speaking with continues talking, but instead of staying engaged in what she’s saying, I fire up an internal conversation.

He can’t MAKE you angry—he did something, and you’re responding with anger. That’s on you, not him. And why does it seem like you complain about him 99% of the time you talk about him? I don’t understand why you’re still seeing him.

“…so I slammed the door as I left and then drove home.”

Ah-ha! Here’s my chance to say what I’ve been planning to say!

Sound familiar?

SEE ALSO: 10 Meditation Tips For Those Who Still Think It’s Woo-Woo

 


Staying Present in Conversation

This used to be me almost all the time. I’d mastered the technique of looking like I was paying attention on the outside while having a secret conversation on the inside. Sometimes, I’d hear what the other person was saying.

Sometimes, I’d hear what I was thinking; I’d go back and forth between the two.

Sure, I’d heard about “staying present” when talking to somebody, but didn’t that just mean don’t run away while someone is talking to you? What’s the harm in planning my next sentences while they’re finishing up?

The harm falls onto the depth of your connection, both with yourself and with the other person.

I started meditating hoping to quiet (or at least soften) the voice in my head that talked a mile a minute. While it would yammer on and on without a care—or ALL of the cares—in the world. I had a difficult time focusing on seemingly anything.

At the heart of meditation is learning to become aware through training your attention. Despite not getting into a steady “meditate for this many minutes, this many days a week” type of routine, I’ve still experienced many positive benefits of doing it, even if haphazardly.


Connection through Meditation

One of the biggest benefits I’ve experienced from meditation has been in relating to others. When I meditate, I focus on my breath, and if I stray from that focus, I gently bring my attention back to my breath. No big deal, right?

Wrong! It is a big deal! Because now, when I converse with others, if I start to have a secret internal conversation while they’re still speaking, I choose to bring myself back to what they’re saying.

I no longer feel pressured to respond as SOON as they finish speaking. I create space and allow for contemplation before responding to them. I don’t shoot from the hip as much, and my connections have deepened as a result.

I believe one of the most valuable elements of a strong relationship is listening—not just hearing, but deeply listening. Listening for what’s not being said. Checking assumptions. Getting on the same page as the other person. Being curious. Seeking to understand.

And that is what I focus on when I’m interacting with others. Although I haven’t mastered it, I’m definitely getting better with each interaction! So HOORAY for that! And thank you, meditation, for this unexpected and gratefully received benefit of learning to focus my attention!


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