"I need space"
Updated: Jan 28, 2022
If you've spent time around children, you at some point will here them say "I need space." Shoot, I've even seen it printed on a t-shirt. But have you ever stopped to think about what that statement means and why we use it (or not).
"I need space" is a statement that is both a boundary and an action. I need to get some space to figure out what's going on inside. It is a step in independence and autonomy, a step in creating the space to look within about the struggles at hand. This is a developmentally appropriate step for children to get space from their parents/teachers/ caregivers to figure something out, to try out an idea or concept. It's pretty crucial for healthy development and ongoing relationship success for a person to get space when they need it.
In the workplace, family demands at home and general busyness of life it can be hard to get space. And it can be even more difficult to get the right kind of space that is restorative and growth supportive, as opposed to the increasing pull towards filling that space with additional screentime, work calls, extra Zoom meetings, after hours emails.
Everyone will have their own relationship to space. Some absolutely love it and need a lot of it, some don't need it at all, some mixed and lots in between.
The need for space is NORMAL.
The need for space is HEALTHY.
The need for space is an opportunity to go deeper.
I see the purpose of the need for space is to find clarity. To not be interfered with as one finds an internal struggle in a learning process. This is the experiential and emotional learning that I love to support so much.
I work with clients in a nature based setting to support their autonomic need for space. When someone gets that kind of space, by literally stepping outside, and is supported in that space, their relationship to their struggles and troubles automatically shift. They automatically get perspective on an issue. And, when it's worked with in coaching, the learning about the struggle deepens, leading to insight, relief and empowerment.
So, the next time you feel the need for space, see if you can allow yourself to state it out loud and make sure that you get it. Make sure it's a statement rather than an ask, these are YOUR needs. For bonus points, you can let the other person know that you will be back, that you are just taking some space for a moment to regroup.
In this time, go for a brief walk, take 5-min, take a breather. Try to find your breath, reorient to being outside if that's the space you are able to get, and find the relief in getting a bit of space from the troubles or difficulties at hand. The troubles can be related to work, finances, relationships, family, parenting, the list goes one.
Getting space is healthy, and a sign that you really need to check things out.
Tending to yourself and understanding whats underneath the need for space (why do I need space?) is a potential for powerful growth.
If you would like to learn more about space and the need for it, stay tuned for more insights on my blog and schedule a consultation with me to receive a powerful coaching call.