Giving Your Complete Attention

We love to give tours of our Bed & Breakfast, the Phantom History House.  It’s a chance to always see the house through “new eyes” as guests react to the design and details of the house.

Many times, the tour is just me and one or two other people.  These more intimate tours are the most fun, as we can take more time and give more detail about each room.

As we take these tours I always try to give the person I’m with my full attention.  I look them in the eye and listen closely to what they are saying.  When I’m having a podcast conversation, I listen carefully so that I know what question to ask next, or what comment to make.  On a tour, it’s more about sensing the things that this person is most interested in and which details they are reacting to.

The interesting point here is that many people seem taken aback, if not shocked, to receive someone’s full attention.  They will often seem amazed, and often very appreciative, that we are giving them our time and really paying attention to them.

This seems to happen the most often with older women.  My personal experience is that they seem the most surprised to have someone really “see” them and pay attention.  I think this is a phenomenon in our culture where older women are discounted or unnoticed.  Anyone who has seen the very first episode of the hilarious “Grace and Frankie” will remember that they strongly make the point that older women are “invisible” in today’s society!

So our tours take on greater significance when we can give these women our time and attention.  I make a point to really pay attention and look at them directly when appropriate.  (We also take care to give them space and not make them feel uncomfortable, but they often relax once they feel safe and “seen” during the tour.)

I also take great pleasure and appreciate it very much when I feel seen by someone.  Just this morning as a couple was leaving the B&B, one of them looked me directly in the eye and said “Thank you so much, we really had a great time.”  This moment of stopping and giving this compliment meant a lot to me, and it was the act of giving me his complete attention at that moment which really gave it meaning.

I encourage you to find opportunities to really give others your attention.  Don’t grab your phone, don’t be distracted by tasks that are waiting to be done.  Give the gift of your real attention and time, the greatest gifts you have to offer.  You’ll feel that connection and the gratitude of the person you are talking with, and you will be richer for it.

Tim Hinton

March 17, 2024

Photo taken in the Phantom History House PORTRAIT Room

See all blog posts

Related Posts

Leave A Comment