A sentence from a book: When you love someone the most precious gift you can give is your true presence

Short story: Do you want a tip?

Today I was sharing with a friend some difficulty I had in a relationship with someone close to me.

After a couple of sentences my friend said:

“Do you want a tip?”

I was a bit confused, because I was still focused on my own feelings and now she asked me if I wanted a tip. She seemed really excited and almost bursting to tell me.

On the one hand I could use some help, but on the other hand…the energy with which she said it, I was not sure why she was offering this tip. I needed a bit more connection and clarity.

So I said:

“It depends a bit, I want to connect first with your reason for offering the tip…is it because you want to celebrate something that worked for you…?”

“Uhm…Yeah, I guess so…”

I continued:

“…and maybe also because you want to support me in my situation…?”

She replied: “Yes…that as well…”

And I still continued:

“And maybe you feel uncomfortable hearing my discomfort and want to get rid of that feeling…?”

She smiled a bit and said:

“Yeah…maybe that as well…”

I asked:

“Do you still want to give me the tip…?”

“No, not really, I’m ready to listen more…”

I felt relieved, she felt relieved.

She listened to my struggles and that was so helpful. Her presence supported the space to speak about what had been troubling my mind. And after about fifteen minutes the solutions to the issue appeared out of the same mind, which was now a lot clearer. I even solved something else I had been struggling with, without her having to say a word.

At the end of the conversation I asked if she thought the tip she offered before would’ve been helpful for me. She said:

“No, it seems – both in our conversation and in the situation you were struggling with- that the quality of presence and care we offer to each other is the most important thing in the end.”


Creative commons photo by Tricia Wang on Flickr