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Some people are open books and are quick to share whatever is on their minds with very little prompting. But others are more reserved, and it generally takes more effort for them to open up. And it’s in these relationships we must be more intentional about creating the space for them to share.

We all desire to know and be known. But often we take very different paths to achieve the connection we desire. And we regularly miss each other when we assume everyone connects in the same way we do.

To be sure, love provides what’s needed. And we must often adjust our approach to meet the other and love them well.

And loving someone who is more reserved usually means creating the space for them to step in and open up.

For example, this might mean giving them time to process their thoughts and feelings before sharing. Those with an internal processor might not know what they think or how they feel until they’ve had the time to reflect privately by themselves.

Giving them this space creates more opportunity for connection later.

This might also mean listening more in the conversation itself and simply taking more moments to pause. Creating this breathing room allows the other to gather their thoughts and speak freely without feeling like they must fight to be heard.

Likewise, creating space includes learning the art of questioning. Interrogations might elicit facts, but not connection. But a good question is like the aroma of our favorite meal – drawing us out and satisfying our souls at the same time.

While it takes time, learning to ask good questions shows we care about the heart of the other even as we’re inviting them to share more with us.

Of course, the other has their part to play here. But it’s possible we’ve not created adequate space for them when it seems they’re consistently reluctant to open up.

In the end, do your part to love well by creating the space for others to open up and share their heart with you.

Photo by brooklyn on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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