Is the space around you all about yourself or does it have space for others to co-exist too? Or is it all about others and not about you?
There’s nothing wrong with thinking about the other, so long as there’s space for you. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about oneself, so long as there’s place for others too. For mutual coexistence, it is important that we are aware of each other’s space. It is even more important that we respect the spaces. As we are aware, our freedom ends where the other person’s nose begins. But sometimes we think that we can twist and turn the other person’s nose if it doesn’t match our requirements. That is not only possible but also disrespectful and harmful for a relationship.
Think about all the environments where we exist. At work, because we manage people as leaders, do we in the name of feedback and career growth expect people to change their very nature to suit our space?
What about at home, would it be upsetting if someone doesn’t eat the way we want or talk according to our criteria? What do we do then? Do we want to change them?
People may or may not be mindful of your space, but you can be. And if you are, you can ensure that your space is your space. No one needs to give you your space so long as you know to graciously occupy your space. For that, the first thing is to accept, recognise and respect yourself as an individual and that your space is just as significant as anyone else is in this world. If we keep letting others take our space, they will always continue. If you want it to stop, it is vital to communicate that you would appreciate some space. No one takes offence to that. People don’t feel hurt if you tell them you respect your space. They may feel hurt if we tell them we want their space or that we disrespect their space. People may not magically realise that they have been encroaching your space. But you can make that magic happen. A gentle, yet firm communication on what’s important about it will go a long way in establishing a respectful space. Where there’s space, there’s growth, freedom and respect.
You can be gracious of other people’s spaces too. If you are having conversations, is it all about you or what you want to talk about? Or are you mindful of different people and their interests too? There was a man who once said, “I am sorry, I have been talking about myself for a long time. Now let me pause and you can talk about me”. 🙂
Are your jokes WITH people or AT people? When we joke with people, we aren’t making fun of them or their identity. When we have fun at other’s expense, we may cross the lines of respectful boundaries and attack a person’s core self or identity. That no longer remains our space.
Don’t you like to be around people who respect you and give you your space to exist freely? Whatever you want others to be, you can be an example and lead the way. No one likes to be around a person who is always about themselves and wants others to dance to their tunes. They may find temporary acquaintances or fair-weathered friends but not the ones who stand by through all weathers. Sooner or later, life catches up. If you are all about yourself, you will have no one but yourself to care for you. And I m sure none of us want to be in that state.
When we correct, suggest, advice, get angry or irritated at people – it is good to be aware if that is because they are not matching our criteria or if there’s genuinely something wrong with what they are doing or saying. If we can’t respect kids and give them their space to make their choices, their mistakes and have their learning, how would they learn to respect us and our space in our old age? If we can’t respect our elders and their space and their limitations, how could we expect others to be mindful when we age? Can we give people the liberty to exist freely? Just because someone is my spouse, friend, child, parent, colleague or subordinate, they don’t have to be someone they don’t wish to be. And just because we are one of the above, we don’t have to cease to exist what we truly wish to be or have the potential to be.
Let’s speak to the extent that we remember to listen
Let’s listen to the extent that we remember to speak
Let’s live in a way that we can co-exist
Let’s co-exist in a way that we can love!