Giving Space is not Cowardice, It’s an Act of Wisdom

Giving space to others is just as important as making them respect yours. If necessary, you should distance yourself to protect yourself, knowing that it's better for you.

The wisdom of giving space is one of the best things we can all practice.  It’s a way to respect the other person, to offer them space that promotes personal growth in those around us.

When this doesn’t happen, when other people do not respect your space, your rights, and your needs, it’s you that has to distance yourself.

Doing so is not a reflection of cowardice, but rather, of wisdom.  When people invade your private spaces, the places in your mind where you store your dreams, needs and values, they are attacking your identity and self-esteem.

It’s important that you remember this, which is why we’d like you to consider the following things.

Giving space to promote personal freedom

Let’s start by setting one thing straight.  By “giving space” we don’t mean just getting interpersonal physical distance.  This idea goes beyond that, and can be defined by:

  • Giving space to allow the other person to have his/her own voice, opinion, and to defend his/her own values, and to make sure they are respected.
  • Respecting spaces also promotes personal growth in the other as well.  Giving them wings to reach their goals while being themselves at all times, without imposing your own beliefs or choices.

It’s common in both parent-child relationships and romantic ones that sometimes, it’s those private spaces that everyone needs to not become damaged by these relationships.  Let’s look at it in better detail.

woman with ballet slippers on back

Family space and private space

Educating your children does not mean controlling them or watching every step and choice they make.  Every child has his/her own personality, dreams, and hopes that we all need to respect.

  • If you try to make them “exactly as you want them to be,” you will be completely violating their private space and personal and emotional growth.  That is not right.
  • Families should enjoy common spaces where they can talk, give guidance and advice, but afterwards each member has the right to his/her own values, and to achieve their own dreams.

Couple’s space and individual space

Being a couple means creating a common space where you never stop being yourself.  Despite the fact that every couple needs to learn how to balance this complicated union, it’s only the couples that successfully achieve this balance that have a satisfying and lasting relationship.

  • A couple’s space is one that shares future projects to strengthen the bond, highlighting the values that join the two together and that bring them to agreements.
  • But at the same time, each person in the relationship must have his/her private space where he/she can continue to grow as a person with work projects, friendships, goals.  These should never be attacked or destroyed by the relationship.

When my personal space is attacked, I will defend it

girl opening red box

Imagine that there were several invisible walls around you that were designed to protect you.  You’re inside them with everything that defines you and makes you happy.

  • Your values.
  • Your dreams.
  • Your triumphs.
  • Your experiences and what you’ve learned from them.
  • Your self-esteem.
  • Your personal image that you hold of yourself, one that you’re satisfied with.
  • Your important relationships with people that you love and who are important to you.

Now imagine that your partner, or friend from work, or a brother or sister, starts to cross these walls and attack each and every one of these treasures that you hide inside you, that define you: they criticize your values, your body, they ridicule the type of friends you have.

What exactly is going on then?  They are violating your personal space and you, therefore, must defend yourself.  Let’s explain how.

Ways to defend your personal space

  • Make it clear that no one has the right to step over those boundaries.  That’s something they need to know from the get-go.  If you shut your mouth today, tomorrow, and yesterday, they’ll end up going too far past your boundaries and will damage your self-esteem.
  • If they are violating your personal space, put “space” between the two of you.  Distance yourself from what is damaging.  If you don’t, you’ll slowly stop being yourself, and you’ll end up so empty inside that you’ll turn into the shadow of who you once were.  It’s not worth it.
  • Giving space and distancing yourself is never cowardly.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.

People that are capable of leaving behind the things that hurt them are acting with the wisdom and bravery of people that are capable of defending themselves.  This is one way to care for your self-esteem.

We recommend practicing it today.  Defend your personal space as well as respecting that of others.

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