After listing the four-step Auxano Communication Approach© in Chapter 13 of The Stories We Tell Ourselves, I discuss a notion within relationships I’ve termed “the sliver of space.”
Webster’s defines “sliver” as “a small and narrow portion.” In other words, you don’t need much, but you do need some.
As I wrote in my book, “This sliver represents the separateness of the two individuals in the relationship, but it also serves as a reminder for the listener to let the speaker have and express their own feelings without taking on the other person’s emotions.”
It’s that last part that’s so important to having a sliver of space in your relationships, especially when conflict arises.
If you’re arguing with your friend and the friend becomes visibly angry, you don’t want to take on their anger. You want to remember that a “sliver of space” exists between you two and that you don’t have to reflect their emotions. This ought to then allow you to truly hear the other person without your emotions clouding your judgment.
The saying is true: “Cooler heads prevail.” Relational conflicts can often be better resolved when both parties remember to allow for a sliver of space between each other.