I have written about this before, but (believe it or not) I have more to say about it. How do we accomplish “being present”? I will first clarify that I do not mean, “I will grace you with my presence.” That implies that another person is privileged that you showed up.
What I’m referring to is being present for the other person. In other words, they are the reason you are where you are. It is more a matter of being “with them” than allowing them to see you. If my goal is to be present, I have still missed the point. On the other hand, if my goal is for them to know I am present on their terms, I am closer to the mindset I seek.
“What difference does it make,” you ask. It makes a world of difference, to the other person. They know deep down whether you are there for you (and any others watching) or for them. They may accept whatever they can get, and will likely not say anything, but they will know. What’s more, you will too. There is little satisfaction in showing up to be seen being seen, but great satisfaction in knowing you were “with” another person, and you are both better for the encounter.