Have you ever been having a conversation with someone and you can feel that they are looking above you, beside you, around you, all whilst pretending to be engaged in what you are saying? Have you maybe even been that person who is pretending to partake in a conversation, but half listening to another one at the same time because it might be more interesting than the one you are currently in? Perhaps you have been in (or are in) a job that you are only “half in” because you are always looking at other opportunities? Maybe you’ve been in a meeting thinking about what you could be missing out on that is happening at the same time, and therefore aren’t truly invested in that current moment?
Why do we do this? Not be fully present in one moment. Not be completely engaged and respectful when in dialogue with someone, or when in a job, a meeting, a holiday, whatever it might be? Why, so often are we looking for the next thing, or why do we so often feel the need to move SO fast that we don’t stop to enjoy and appreciate what we are currently doing. Is it FOMO? The fear of missing out on something, but then never really enjoying any ONE thing because we are trying to be a part of EVERY thing?
Going back to the conversation piece specifically – I’ll put my hand up and say I have totally done this before. It’s not intentional, and it is often not even that we are not interested in the conversation we are currently in, (our primary conversation, not the secondary one we are eavesdropping on!), it’s that we have that much going on that we almost instinctively have the two conversations at once.
I became really aware of this recently for two reasons. The first was when I walked away from a conversation realising what I had just done and feeling like a jerk for doing it. The second, was when it was so obviously done to me. And it made me feel like sh*t. Have you been there before? You are talking to someone and you see their eyes dart one way, then another, above your head, they might even slightly glaze over and they are totally looking around for what feels like a better offer.
Sometimes we get so fixated on the next opportunity, or what we think we might be missing out on (again, hello FOMO!), that we miss out on what we are a part of in this very moment – we forget to enjoy this second. We feel that we need to multitask in every aspect of our lives, and all the time, that sometimes we just forget the basics of human relationships – respect and connection.
Do you ever look at your phone whilst in conversation with someone? (I put my hand up again here too – shame, I know!) – this is another area where the perceived requirement to be “on” all the time has led to us not even being able to fully engage in a conversation with one person at one time. A text comes through – we read it. An email pops up – we look at it. The phone rings – we shift around in our seat itching to answer it. Have you been there?
Wikipedia describes FOMO as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. And this could be absent from anything – a conversation, a party, a meeting etc. We have started moving so fast and put so much pressure on ourselves to be all things at all times, that we now have legitimate definitions (such as the above) for the pressure we put on ourselves when we can’t be a part of everything.
Really this fortnight’s blog is a rant post, but if I can make even one of my amazing readers more aware of the impact both to another person, and yourself of not being fully present in all moments, or the pressure you put on yourself to try and be a part of everything, then it will have been worth the 750 words above…..
If you want more info on how to try and switch off from social media and resist the FOMO temptation, check out my previous blog post all about the self-care craze and get on board!! Click here!!!
I am also always keen to hear from people who are looking to progress with their goals and work on themselves to get out of their own ways – if this is you, and you’d like some support (call me a boot camp coach for your mind!), then I would be happy to have an obligation free chat and let’s see if there is something there.
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!