No, not the iPhone kind. There’s an “i” in iPhone because it’s all about you. The thing is, the world isn’t all about you. It’s about you and other people, and how well you interact with other people will largely determine how successful you are in life. More important than your IQ, or your “Intelligence Quotient” (that is generally the way people rate how “smart” you are) is your EQ, your “Emotional Quotient.” If you can’t tune in to other peoples’ energy, for example picking up on knowing when they are happy or sad, or frustrated or calm, you won’t be an effective team member. And if you can’t work with a team, you’ll be hard pressed to score those “wins” in life. Take any sport as an example. Since it’s all about The World Cup right now, let’s use that one. All of that beautiful, tight passing is the result of flawless team work-and that’s how you win. There’s no World Cup for individual players.  It goes to the team that works the best together.

We live in a world driven by technology, so of course, we need to be on our phones.  And that’s OK some of the time.  But our communication skills are taking a hit because we’re starting to replace face time with phone time.  And if we don’t have that face time, those parts of our brains shrink, and we feel unhappy and incomplete.

We also tend to use our phones to numb out, to avoid face-to-face interactions when confrontation feels too hard.  It’s a lot easier to bully someone with words, or break up with them over text, because then we don’t have to see the pain and hurt in their eyes based on what we said, right? But that’s not going to make you stronger, or help you deal with life.  It’s just going to make you weak, give you an excuse to hide, and avoid life.  But trust me, eventually you have to face the music.  Don’t you want to do it with your head held high, knowing who you really are inside, and have people respect you for it?

Then you need to pry your fingers from around that phone, and work on replacing phone time with face time.

Your Pax Mantra for the week: Embrace the Face!

Here’s how to up your face time and still have FUN:

  1. Remember when I wrote about volunteering as a great way to ramp up your happiness? Volunteering gets extra Pax Points because it’s also a great way to ramp up your interactions with other people.  Hello face time!
  2. Same goes for thank-you letters.  We talked about them as a way to express your gratitude to someone important in your life.  Well, sharing a letter of gratitude is a great way to increase your happiness and your face time with someone important in your life.  This two-fer gets extra Pax Points!
  3. Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, your family is the closest thing to you and there’s a lot of love there.  And they need your love as much as you need theirs.  So go for at least once a week to put away your phone, computer, or whatever other tech gadget you’ve got glued to your fingers, and spend some face time with your family.  That could just be dinner, or something more lively and fun like board games, bowling, or anything else you all decide you’ll enjoy together.  Maybe you could take the lead on making sure this happens.  Your family will show you that much more love for it.
  4. You might be noticing that most of your catching up with friends is happening over text, Facebook, Instagram, telephone conversations or Twitter.  Don’t let technology take away your peeps! Pick one of your favorite activities, or even something you’ve never tried before but want to, like yoga, a hip hop class, rafting or surfing, pick a friend (or friends), and hit it together.  Doing something challenging for the first time with friends makes it much more fun, and you will all always have the experience to look back on and laugh about later.