Day 17: MAKE A MINDFUL PHONE CALL
Always smile before you answer the phone; the caller will hear it in your voice.
I read this somewhere and have been unconsciously practising it ever since. I do believe that the smiling makes a difference. Try it next time, if you don't believe me.
Of course, smiling came more easily when I didn't know who was at the other end of the line.
In these days of caller id, I must admit that I find it difficult to smile, particularly when I see the number of someone I don't want to speak to. Or someone trying to sell me something.
Or worse, someone who always manages to leave me a little more annoyed than I was before.
Having a mindful conversation becomes a particularly challenging exercise on the telephone. Not being able to see the person we are speaking to, not being able to take cues from their facial expressions and non-verbal gestures hampers us from participating fully in the conversation.
And so this is an activity that we particularly need to bring mindfulness into.
Whether it is an official call, whether we are talking to a friend, or having a necessary call with a stranger or maybe the doctor, we need to stay mindful.
We need to attempt to be pleasant, and not take their time for granted.
We need to respond with kindness and empathy, as we expect to be treated.
And we need to listen. It's one of the hardest things to do well.