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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about what it means to “hold space” for another person or social interaction.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What does it mean to “hold space?”
  • It encapsulates something that is very important to the success of a relationship.
  • It means we are securing the perimeter for someone else.
  • When lions take down a kill, one lion will secure the perimeter so everyone else can eat in peace.
  • The lion is holding space for everyone else.
  • When we hold space for someone else, we create a safe space for someone to attend to whatever they need to attend to.
  • Sometimes we secure the perimeter because of our own emotions. We realize that it is not the time or place for us to address something that is coming up.
  • We can’t just disregard work or tasks to address emotions.
  • Sometimes we protect tasks from the disruption of emotions.
  • Or we protect our loved ones from the disruption of our own emotions.
  • We need to take turns, so each person gets to be the one in the safe zone.
  • Make sure you aren’t the one always holding space for everyone else.
  • 30 minutes of space holding could solve most conflicts.
  • Try to be aware enough of the concept that you acknowledge the energetic hit someone else takes as they hold space for you.
  • When we are holding space, we are trying to get hold of the assumptions, motivations, and emotions coming up either on our side or someone else’s.
  • To shift your perspective and secure the perimeter treat the relationship as a third entity that needs equal attention and care. It is a node in the system.
  • There is more to take into consideration than your feelings.
  • If you say hurtful things to each other, you risk damaging not only your partner but also the relationship.
  • Check in to make sure the other person can hold space for you when you need it, so you don’t risk long-term damage to the relationship.
  • Sometimes holding space for someone else can be emotional, or it can just be about someone else’s situation or thoughts.
  • As we begin to discipline ourselves to hold space for others in our personal lives, it starts to translate to the world in a bigger way.
  • There isn’t a lot of holding space in the world right now.
  • Free speech is under attack because people riot whenever anyone has a belief that is different from theirs.
  • We have to show up as the best people possible.
  • How are you treating yourself?
  • Are you holding space for yourself and being radically honest with yourself without judgment?
  • If you can’t hold space for yourself, you can’t hold space for others.
  • How to hold space:
    1. Extravert the thing that is happening. In other words, talk out what is happening so it can be dealt with.
    2. Slow everything way down. Speed kills relationships. Count to 10. Separate until you cool down. Don’t react. Pause and think things through.
  • What techniques have you used to hold space for others?

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about what it means to "hold space" for another person or social interaction. #holdingspace

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  • Godwin
    • Godwin
    • August 24, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Holding space is the best thing. I personally use this method when I’m in a tight spot or I want to avoid an argument with that person. So I’ll allow the other person to off load their emotion which I think is important because it could be something they’ll want to express and holding space for them even if it’s not interesting to me but listen to what they have to say for it to off that individual’s mind is relevant. To be honest, I don’t know how that person is feeling or how they’re day has been, although when I hold space now it clear I see and understand. For me, i tend to use this when I’m home because I dislike arguing with my family also I agree with Gina it is “similar to giving grace to others”.

  • Chris
    • Chris
    • August 11, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Hi Dana!

    I have one solution for you! After listening to the PH Podcast on Systems Thinking in relationships the idea came to me of having a “Relationship Journal” for my intimate relationship. Essentially the idea is that we have a shared/collaborative journal that we take turns writing. The purpose of the joint journal is to reflect on our relationship, such as discussing our relationship as being a third entity.

    To get to your question, our relationship journal allows for us too both hold space for the other person, while also not letting avoidance creep up. One scenario where our relationship journal is quite effective in holding space is when we need to “secure the perimeter from our own emotions”, as Mark and Antonia talk about in the beginning of this podcast. The person that wants to hold space simply writes an entry in our journal about what ever they are feeling/thinking, and the other person will get to read that entry when they are ready to (although we mutually agreed that that period should not be too long).

    I think that by using a relationship journal the person holding space still gets to coommunicate their feelings/thoughts in a manner that minimizes avoidance while knowing that what you wrote is going to be read by the other person, when they are ready too do so.

    I cannot say that this merhod is perfect, as it assumes that you live in proximity to the other person and a dedicated habit of journaling. But nonetheless a great method of holding space and furthering you connection!

  • Gina
    • Gina
    • July 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Really good podcast on “Holding Space.” I’m an INFP and I’m so triggered by decisions and situations that to me are pointless, the miss the forest for the trees situations, rules for rules sake. Happens frequently at work where more and more tasks are placed on nurses and large amounts of money is spent to meet standards that are meaningless in the real care of patients. But I don’t like this feeling that rises inside of me either, It’s like I feel like have to detach or I end up too forcefully stating my opinion…ugh
    I think holding space is the same or similar to giving grace to others. Giving others the space to make their own decisions, not always having to have an opinion, letting go of the right to be right all the time, forgiveness of others and yourself.

  • Craig
    • Craig
    • July 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    One of 7 habits: Habit 5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
    If you pause to understand, you hold space and reserve your own judgment to find the other persons’ point of view.

  • Dana
    • Dana
    • July 10, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Longtime listener with a question on holding space vs. avoidance. You addressed some of the concerns around emotions getting stacked if a need goes unmet. You’ve also spoken previously about the valuable lessons that coincide with tension/ambiguity. What would your advice be about the tension between holding space until there is an opening for a (potentially) challenging conversation vs. overcoming avoidance by maybe not waiting for an opening? Any insight you have is appreciated! —D

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