There is this theory that we create in our minds that: the more time a person spends with me, the more they love me. It’s a pretty common way of thinking as society makes us believe in this. We associate time with love. However, when you really think about it, how much of that time is actually quality time? We have become accustomed to the norm of scrolling through social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and or even taking calls whilst we are actually sitting with someone whom we were supposed to be spending time with. This causes constant distraction, and we may begin to have meaningless conversations with the person. Whilst there are positives with social media as it allows us to stay connected with friends and family that live away from us, however, we need to set a time for that. It should not consume our whole life as we may tend to neglect the other aspects of our life, including the family and friends that are currently with you. Also note that the kind of day you have also determines your mood. If you had a really terrible day you may take that frustration out on that person, this could impact the time and energy spent. We believe this to be fine as this is still considered “time” together.
What is most important to remember is, what is TIME without ENERGY? Giving our energy means being present in the meaningful conversation we are having. We are focused on the person we are investing our time with. Get rid of the distractions. Be present and have meaningful conversation. This can only be done by consciously telling the mind that nothing else matters and that you will be giving off your undivided attention. Remember that when you are giving someone your time/ energy, they are receiving all of you and not half of you. That person must be able to feel it through the words you speak, through your concern, empathy and kindness. I always say ten minutes of full energy and focus is better than 10 hours of unfocused inattentive time. So let us choose wisely. Otherwise, no matter how much TIME you give a person, it will never feel like it is enough as you never really were present.
So, the next time you are spending quality time with someone always remember:
1) Phone away
2) Pay attention, give your all, your undivided attention
3) Be mindful and present in the conversations you are having. Let it be meaningful
4) Appreciate the time and energy spent with each other
Once you do this you will start to notice how different the conversation will be. It is all about prioritisation. This will help in forming healthy relationships and with establishing deeper connections with those around you. As human beings, we thrive on having good connections as it is our fundamental human value, be it with friends or families. The best way to maintain these connection is by investing our real energy with those that matter to us. Remember not everyone deserves our full energy. We have the right to choose who we will give that energy and time to so that it is not wasted in the wrong places, with the wrong people.
This article of mine was originally published in the Al-Ummah Magazine April 2019 edition.