Having spent the last year of my life on entrepreneurial pursuits, I’ve learned some hard lessons about keeping a woman happy. At the height of my working tirades I’d get a call from my girlfriend at the time and I’d keep clicky clacking away on the computer. I’d talk and I’d try to stay in the conversation. I figured she wanted some of my attention and time and in my mind, I thought I was giving it to her. This didn’t work.
I started to ask myself, why? Attention without presence is disrespectful. It sent the message that the other person isn’t as important as whatever I was doing. It made them feel less valuable in my life.
Sometimes I can’t be present. My mind goes a hundred miles an hour and it takes time to calm down. During these situations I inform the woman (or man, this is a general social skill) that I just finished or am in the middle of doing something. It’s consuming me and I set a specific time when I expect I’ll be ready to give them my full presence. People are respectful of this.
Otherwise I step away from what I’m doing and go to another room and have the conversation. The quality of the conversation goes up greatly from there. And with quality it’s easy to end it in a timely manner and get back to what I’m doing. Everyone wins.
So next time, give your presence not your attention. It’s the respectful thing to do.