A young photographer came into my shop this week and as it sometimes happens when it’s quiet and the energy is good, I got to work a little on-purpose magic.
She talked about her creative process and how she loves to wander with her camera, waiting for the moment to arrive that deserves capturing. She rolled her eyes at well-meaning relatives who direct her to take this or that. When she goes to the beach with her boyfriend she said she can’t have quiet time because he is never quiet.
So I asked her “Do you sometimes fight to get space, or do you fight to get closer?” I told her that when I was in my early twenties I was a space taker and used to find it hard to declare my independence and need for sanctuary and solitude and would unconsciously start a fight to get free time. I told her that connection makers sometimes fight to get closer to someone, to get more of something like touch, talk or time. When one of you is a space taker and one is a connection maker, one of you is going to push and one of you is going to pull which gets neither of you anywhere.
The downside of space takers can be that they push away, and reject at moments that is unfair to others. They can also get annoyed by instructions and irritated by external interruptions that bombard their internal processing.
The less fabulous traits of connection makers, is that they appear to express disappointment when they feel they’re not getting what they want, and they like to broadcast what they’re not getting enough of, often in ways that don’t encourage others to jump in and give it to them.
Once you know which style you are, the next step is to recognize your needs. Properly recognize them. Like answering “I know I am a person who needs…”Answer it over and over until you have nothing left to say.
Space takers could do with learning to express in a kind, compassionate and caring way their need for quiet, alone time without blaming or justifying. So, as an example, “When we go to the beach I’m just letting you know I’m going to wander off by myself for a whole hour, to soak up the silence and recharge my batteries, and I’m looking forward to meeting back up with you afterwards to have some fun together.”
Connection makers could do with practising being self-reliant and giving themselves more of what they need. Search for things that bring happiness and fulfilment that don’t include anyone else. Have a motto to give more than you get. And look to see if distraction and constant company is filling your aloneness or keeping you from feeling your feelings.
Whatever your style, avoid fighting to get what you want more of, and instead get into the habit of knowing what you need and meeting that need.