The other day, my long time friend, who I will call Connie for this writing, said the loveliest thing to me....she had sent me a card with a lovely note but I didn't understand one comment so when I called to thank her for the card, I asked her about it. Connie said.....well, when I talk to you I feel that I can safely say what I want without you making judgements...I feel I have space..no, not space....I interjected...room?....are you saying I give you room? Yes !!! that's it she said. I have room and I feel safe to be me. You don't push me. That both made me feel awesome and brought this musing to mind :-)
I would like to clarify "room" and how it differs from "space", in my mind. To me, space means separation. You hear people say in relationships...I need space and they are apart for a bit....or about a job....and then they go on vacation etc.. Room has nothing to do with separation, in fact, the opposite because when you give someone room or they give you room...it shows understanding and a willingness to "wait and see"...a closeness happens.
I have used the concept of "giving room" in a few ways during my life. I find it very easy to learn about people when you give them room to be, say, and act who they are. Sometimes when you talk to people..or I should say, try to talk to people....they are more interested in giving their opinion to what you are saying and telling you what they think etc...instead of listening to what you are saying. By giving room to the other person...you find out what they think, how they talk, what they feel...and they feel good about this and continue to talk. In addition, by not opining back on every thought, you are not telling them what you expect so they are apt to be more "real" and you are better able to make a more accurate assessment about this person.
Another use of the "room concept" is to see how people react in a problem situation. Let's say, someone does something that does not sit well with you...it could be serious or not....it is better to wait and see how that person responds to the problem.. even to your disapproval. It is easy to be likable when things are wonderful....but, the true person shows thru when there are "issues"...rather than react quickly and sending a message of what you expect in behavior...if you give that person room you can see if they do it again...is this how they operate etc etc...it is easier to get someone's "measure" when you are not giving out your expectations and watch their own more true behaviors.
The most important use of the "room concept" is in what I call personal freedom. It seems a rare quality when people give you room to like what you like and do what you want to do and most importantly , accept who you are. People , it seems, aren't happy with having their own likes, opinions, philosophies etc., they expect you to have them, also. People have trouble letting other people be who they are....giving them room . I am sure you have experienced this also....I see it happening all around me...It has happened to me all my life....everyone had ideas on who I should be...what I should do...or think....I give them room to say what they need to(sometimes not :-) )...and I move on . I do see these types of comments and judgements however making an impact on others. I see people whose family , friends, SO's etc. make comments that affect them greatly. Who knows what people would achieve, become, or do when given the room to do so.
I see this with parents who stamp their own likes and desires onto their children. The child wants to play violin....the parents want a baseball star...or the piano...or whatever.....without giving the child room to explore what desires and likes they have. I look upon this as lost potential and possible feelings of dissatisfaction as adults. I know it sure happened in my childhood years and those of my friends. Although, I mention this issue, I have no answers how to change it....I'm sorry to say.
The only control we have in this "room concept" is in what room we give other people or even ourselves. I have found no way to encourage or make people give me room. I have a lot of years of experience and it hasn't helped. I have used that term in conversations ie:...I'm going to need more room on this. That doesn't seem to do the trick because then a discussion usually ensues when I am expecting just a simple...OK . So, it is up to us, individually, to give it to others and ourselves and maybe the concept will catch on and it will be a world in which we can feel more at ease.
After that last paragraph, I thought I was ending my thoughts on this musing but, I am still unsettled about it. I would say, further, if people do not give us the room we personally need to deal with an issue, to think further, determine if we like or don't like something, or just generally seem to "push" us in any way that makes us uncomfortable...then, it is imperative that we, as individuals, take that room for ourselves in whatever manner necessary. Otherwise, we will be shortchanging ourselves and may lose out on something positive and wonderful:-)
Truism: We all need room to be the person we were meant to be.
"People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me." - Soren Kierkegaard
"I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life - whoever you are, whatever our differences."-
Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion..... A filling up. ~Anne Leclaire
"When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen." - Stephan Covey
"Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied." ~ Chuang Tzu ~