Why holding space is essential for your relationship? We’ve all had conversations with someone who is so consumed with airing their opinions and feelings that you can’t get a word in otherwise. It’s not only frustrating, it destroys any opportunity for real connection in the relationship. In particular, if you are struggling with emotional abuse in your marriage, whether you are the victim or perpetrator of the abuse, the concept of holding space is absolutely critical. Watch as Dr. Hawkins talks about what it means to hold space for your mate and why it’s critical to healing marriage wounds.
Why Holding Space Is Essential for Your Relationship
In a world filled with conversations, some stand out as more critical than others. While we often label discussions involving difficult topics as “critical conversations,” the truth is that every conversation holds a certain degree of importance. It’s crucial that we actively listen, empathize, and hold space for one another, regardless of the topic. After all, what is the point of talking if no one is truly listening? In this article, we will explore the concept of holding space and why it is absolutely essential for nurturing healthy and fulfilling relationships.
The Critical Nature of All Conversations
Before diving into the depths of holding space, it’s important to acknowledge that every conversation we engage in holds significance. Think about those moments when you couldn’t get a word in edgewise or when it felt like the other person was more interested in monopolizing the conversation than in understanding your thoughts and feelings. Such experiences can leave us feeling unheard and unimportant.
These types of interactions are not exclusive to any specific relationship; they can occur in any dynamic. Whether you’ve experienced emotional abuse, are the perpetrator of it, or are in a relationship that has taken a turn for the worse, the concept of holding space remains crucial.
What Is Holding Space?
Holding space is a simple yet profound concept. It involves recognizing and cherishing the space that exists between you and another person during a conversation. This space is sacred, a place where thoughts, feelings, and ideas are exchanged. When you hold space, you commit to truly being present with the other person.
When you sit with someone, holding space means that you listen intently, caring about what they have to say. It’s about being attuned to what’s alive in them, understanding what they might want from you or the world. In essence, holding space is an act of genuine caring and empathy.
A Healthy Relationship’s Foundation
In a healthy relationship, both parties actively hold space for each other. This means minimizing distractions, engaging fully in the conversation, and demonstrating a sincere interest in each other’s thoughts and feelings. Much like a game of tennis, a healthy interaction involves a back-and-forth exchange. It’s a mutual effort where ideas, feelings, and perspectives are volleyed between the two individuals.
Imagine a tennis match where one player refuses to return the ball, or worse, smashes it down their opponent’s throat. No one would consider that enjoyable or fair. Similarly, words in a conversation can have the same impact. A healthy interaction ensures that both individuals can freely share their ideas, knowing that their thoughts are valued and welcomed, even if not always agreed upon.
The Imperative of Holding Space
Whether you’ve been a victim of emotional abuse, have perpetuated it, or find yourself in a relationship where these dynamics exist, holding space is imperative. It’s an agreement, a commitment, to listen, understand, and welcome each other’s thoughts and feelings.
If you’re in a relationship where holding space isn’t happening, it’s time to reassess. You might need to establish stronger boundaries or, perhaps, watch this video together to understand the importance of holding space. By taking turns sharing your points of view and feelings while honoring each other’s perspectives, you can work towards reaching conclusions that leave both parties feeling respected and fulfilled.
In essence, the power of holding space lies in its ability to foster growth and understanding within any relationship. It’s the foundation upon which healthy connections are built, and it’s a fundamental aspect of any critical conversation, no matter the subject matter. So, let us all commit to holding space for one another, for it is in this sacred space that we find the true power of connection and empathy.
Also read: Can a Narcissist Care About You?
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.