What do you notice about how you relate to and communicate with others? How do you tend to take others in?
Do you nibble here and there, retreating to digest before popping out for another nibble of interaction?
Is it through a straw that you take in another, carefully controlling your intake so as not to be overtaken by the flow of interaction?
Is it with a voracious appetite that you devour another - desiring gobs of intense interaction, never really having your fill?
Or do you sit down for a shared meal, each enjoying from the others plate?
Maybe you don't feast on others at all but rather interact by force-feeding yourself to another?
We tend to nibble, gobble, sip, or force-feed when we have been shown that it's difficult to trust others to engage meaningfully and mindfully with us.
We can strengthen our ability to share in a balanced meal of mutual engagement by learning to trust ourselves more readily.
We can remind ourselves that we have choices that require no justification and that we also are worth being taken in and enjoyed.
Holding space for ourselves while engaging with an other might look like this:
"I've decided not to meet up tonight because I need to rest."
"I've enjoyed hearing about you. I'd love to share with you what I've been up to."
"Sometimes I take time for myself to relax or focus on other things, rather than texting back immediately; which feels really good for me."
"I'd like to tell you about my day, is now a good time?"
"I've enjoyed our time together...I'm going to head home now."
"You're important to me, so I need to hold off on this conversation until I can give you my full attention."
"I'm going to take some time for myself."
Developing a capacity to hold space for ourselves feels safer when engaging with others, because we begin to realize that we don't have to do anything we don't want to, nor do we have to explain ourselves or ask permission when it comes to expanding our space.
This kind of freedom helps us to stay more present with an other. As we learn to trust ourselves more, utilize your nibbles and straws. You'll sit down for a shared meal as you are feeling more steady and ready.