'Me-Space', 'We-Space', 'Them & Me Space'

I find occupying Me-Space very easy…it’s where I spend most of my time most comfortably. Hermiting. It’s my hiding place…it’s where I retreat to…away from others…and I often bring with me a feeling of 'just leave me alone please’. I don’t like to feel that I’m being pulled out of Me-Space by a request from We-Space. I recall I wasn’t always this way but I think events in later life (many years of overwhelm and unmanageable uncertainty as a single parent) led me to this way of being. It’s a strange impulse when I exam it because I felt so incredibly isolated during those years and yet my response is to isolate myself. Funny!

So, We-Space is a tough nut to crack for me. It asks me to be more vulnerable and interactive. I’m great at parties and social activities but it’s the day to day idea of interacting with others in more mundane and intensely intimate ways that makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe and trapped. If it’s an interaction that isn’t framed by ‘I’m here to have a brief period of playful fun and I can leave whenever I feel like it…’. then I just want to get back to seclusion…‘Me-Space’ with a sign on the door reading ‘Do Not Disturb’.

In the ‘Which-Real-Skills-Matter-To-You-Right-Now’ thread my mind immediately is aware of which skills are more oriented toward a We-Space or a Me-Space. I noticed, not surprisingly, that the skills I chose could easily be seen as primarily Me-Space oriented. I also noticed my reaction to those who chose very obvious We-Space skills and my sense of almost disbelief that someone (in their right mind) would choose something that so obviously involved people other than themselves!! That’s how oriented away from We-Space I currently am.

I feel it even in our Tapping Circle…somedays I feel a part of it and many days I feel apart from it. It’s a dynamic tension.

Most often to me my experience of We-Space is felt as ‘Them and Me Space’. That feels lonely…self-isolating and I don’t like it. I have a desire to be more involved and intimate with We-Space but I’m not sure how to start that…it feels very threatening to me. I think there’s a lot of feelings of shame…shame around failure…not being good enough…that sort of thing, that I’m wanting to keep secret. Something like that…

I think you could even think of people as belonging to one of two camps…those that default into Me-Space and those who’s default is into 'We-Space. Of course most often it’s a spectrum of dynamic shifting in and out but my guess is that we are fundamentally most comfortable and feel most at home oriented toward one or the other. When feeling stressed and seeking comfort, security and certainty do you orient toward being a part of We-Space or do you orient toward Me-Space? I suppose the type of stress can alter that orientation.

I remember a time in life when I really could feel a sense of We-Space and I recall how warm and soothing and comforting and reassuring that could be. I’m also aware that We-Space isn’t only rainbows and unicorns and farts that smell like sugar & cinnamon (!! is that even possible?!!)…but I feel a sincere longing to have access to that experience again in my life.

I’ve also been curious if others detect differences between ‘spaces’ that seem similar in terminology. For example, is there a difference for you between ‘Me-Space’ and ‘My-Space’ or ‘I-Space’. Is there a discernable difference between ‘We-Space’ and ‘Us-Space’? I sense a difference but have trouble putting it into words.


When I think of Me-Space, I do think of the “prerequisite” that the person is not operating from their primitive brain. I didn’t realize I felt that as a prerequisite until you described how you were feeling Me-Space. Flight / Hide / Avoid in the sense that these are reactions are, well, good and useful in helping to self-regulate.

My preference for Me-Space and We-Space attunement is how we are when we’re not in primitive brain reactiveness. Me-Space becomes a free choice for solitude to renew, replenish, reduce sensation and hear-feel-know… Me.

To me again the “I don’t like requests from We-Space” feels like primitive brain again. There’s a difference – subtle? – between being in Me-Space and not open right then to requests from others… and that kind of reflexiveness I also feel when I am not self-regulated (and I’m not open/able to co-regulate).

Being a single parent is absolutely HARD on the primitive brain. We love and want to tend, but when we’re overwhelmed and cannot “escape” – it’s like there’s a “vow” that can happen that once we get free of this obligation we’ll never let ourselves get trapped by… love? – ever again.

I need an exit… if not always immediate, I need to know that my partner has my well-being in mind, as I do hers. We build trust over and over again by choosing to be aware: including when either of us feels that edge-of-trappedness and needs to know we can escape for a bit of Do Not Disturb time.

Not having that I’ve observed means a lot of re-calibration and conscious expression of boundaries to rebuild trust and grounded freedoms.

It feels in my experience of you that you’ve more than “started.” We have a We-Space here, and you’re engaging in a way that feels very We-Space to me. And, you’re also tending to your Me-Space.

What I look for are remnants of Obligation – have to’s, should’s, and the shame that rises when we don’t. Tap tap tap.

You pointed out in another message how whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re ALL part of We-Spaces! I believe that we’re in the process of cultivating better (and more conscious and shared) Agreements about We-Space… and Me-Space tending, too.

“I have 20 minutes to play, and then I will pause and go back to my studio. Would you like to… ____?” To me that sets a container, a we-space NOW, and what you’re inviting and your limits.

I’ve been doing that more and more with Emerald (he’s 7 so it’s easier than when he was 5 or younger for sure). It helps! I feel freer and the we-space is getting sweeter.

Are some people not We-Space folks? I do believe that whether by nature or nurture/trauma, some people don’t take others into account. Their frame of reference is Me! My World! My Life! Indeed, I think it would be accurate to call that a My-Space orientation.

And, yeah, I coach people who suffered from such oriented parents (and cultures) when what they really would thrive in is an emotional world where of COURSE they could take care of their needs and personal desires (Me-Space) and of COURSE they would enjoy being of service to others, too – even generously! – and reaping the harvest of others being generous with them, too!

That’s the kind of ecosystem I thrive in.

Thank you @Glenn! Would love to hear from others on this as well!


I am feeling this too, Me-Space and Them space more and more lately. Primitive brain? How about just plain tired? Sometimes there is We-Space but more often it feels like he demands My-space. I’m getting asked questions he knows the answer to. When one does not understand the We-Space and doesn’t want to learn - I’m tired. I hope this does not sound like blame. To me it feels more like disinterest in anything that is out of their comfort zone. It’s like “leave me alone” unless I want something. Not always but often.

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If there is a HARD aspect to emotional work, we discover limits… in ourselves and also in others. The needs and yearnings also become more acute, no longer hidden underneath compliance and obligation.

It saddens me that of all the great articles and resources on Thriving Now, the #1 most visited article is this…

My Husband is a TV Addict

Yes, it is #1 on Google when you type that in. When people choose to reach out to me, it’s striking how stuck they are in wanting their husband to be different.

I get it.
I wish they were different, too!

Addiction is deeply sad to me, even as I also understand all the ways people withdrawn and self-medicate and stop really being Present (or a Present / gift) to those in their lives.

Jean, you and I see this all the time. There’s a quality of compatibility and pre-requisites of self-awareness and desire to be emotionally free before someone can be a part of our community.

It’s NOT that we’re saying, “You need to go do this and that before you’re welcome!” It’s more akin to people recognizing that they are unable… unprepared… and backing away.

We-space is intimate. Someone who feels responsible for everyone and everything is going to find We-space triggering. Sure! And we’re hear to help and model that We-space doesn’t mean you are responsible (and can even change) someone else’s limits.

Which means, we can find ourselves with an awareness of the We-space… that isn’t a shared awareness. We can find ourselves knowing that we can’t help but seek to add value to the we-space we share, but what we’re getting back is avoidance and non-co-creation. :cry:

I have relatives, blood relatives, where Compliance is what they value FAR more than Freedom. “Oh, you’re free… as long as you do THIS!” :anchor: They want people anchored to them through obligation and compliance – for the good of the family – rather than the messy reality that both individually and as a we-space the choices are not (and likely never would be) all the same.

Sigh. And we go forward anyway.

I believe the joys of a sweet we-space are attractive. Even when weird and awkward, people ready and yearning for this will recognize that it’s growing, has potential, and is worth investing hearty energy in.

That I also have to live in a world where lots of Them-spaces and Us-vs-Them dynamics exist doesn’t change to me the bold imperative to co-create alternative narratives, attitudes, and frames of reference.

Perhaps like with consent, those of us who have had our body-autonomy violated have been the leaders in the consent movement. Those who have existed in spaces that have depleted us (and even traumatized us) feel like we’re rising into consciously crafting Thriving We-Spaces – where we can – and grieving consciously those spaces and with certain people where it really isn’t possible.

Love to us all,


Hmmm, am I stuck in wanting him to be different? I could be. There were times when I stopped trying to grow hoping that would help me be more in a We-Space. Of course I didn’t realize that was what it was called. But my own pain was too great and I had to find ways to help myself. I know he is not going to be different, or I hope I know. There has been a new level lately though. I don’t think it is dementia. I sense something else. It is a lack of interest in things. Yes it has triggered my primitive brain more than I realize. What’s going on, I wonder? Does he know? Does it have anything to do with having been isolated too long? Or is it aging? I don’t know and don’t know how to find out. Wait I guess and see. Hey Angels 911 !

You mentioned more than once about people who have no idea what we are talking about here. What is We-Space? What is emotional freedom? What does that even mean. There are people who this kind of talk scares them. They don’t have the capacity to be even curious. I do understand that.

I have been reading about pre-birth planning which I find very interesting. He and I might have had some kind of agreement pre birth. He would agree to not communicate so that I could learn what needing communication is about. This might sound woo woo to some, but the way we came together and my needs do not seem to be coincidental. He has been oh so helpful in other areas though. I appreciate and tell him so, or thank him for this or that.

Like I’ve mentioned before here, there truly is so much we don’t know.

I am glad we here are discussing We-Space and whatever it means, how to develop and co-create in it. It does bring up longings, that’s for sure.

Yes, love to us all,


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Actually, your question really got me pondering. 'Cuz you feel as “accepting” as I could ever imagine myself to be while still keeping the longings alive.

My sense is that the isolation has been deeply impactful in ways we have yet individually or societally come to be clear about. Some aspects will unwind “on their own” as we get to be more free again. Others, well, we’ll likely have to put conscious attention to.

Thank you… for you and engaging here with us.

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I think we, as a society (as a world) are in pretty new territory here with this pandemic. We’ve had pandemics before of course but it’s the collective response that is unique and the response is both an attempted solution and definitely very problematic at the same time.

Early on in the pandemic a friend said something to me about how our parents and grandparents went through something similar during the world wars. He was attempting to find a reference experience to make sense of things I believe…to make things feel a bit more okay. However, this pandemic situation is very different. One of the more common themes that emerges from those past war experiences was the comradery and the connectedness that many people felt. People often spoke and wrote of those years in a very romantic, fond manner because of how close people became out of necessity. Close both emotionally but also just as importantly they were able to maintain physical closeness. So even under those extreme conditions with all the worry of safety and survival one of our most basic primal needs was still largely satisfied.

This pandemic is dramatically different on at least two counts by my thinking. Foremost is the physical isolation from each other. And secondly is the problem of who (and where?) the ‘enemy’ is exactly. During war the enemy is usually pretty clear…it’s those ‘others’. But in this ‘war’ is the enemy my friend?..A family member?..is she the one that is going to infect me (kill me?)…Who do I trust? Who is safe? That’s deeply problematic for us and our basic primal safety needs. So much uncertainty!! I can feel it very active in me some days.

Very early on in this pandemic I could see the emotional ripples spreading out many, many years into the future…like the ripples of a famine or other great catastrophe will ripple out into generations emotionally and biologically (epigenetics).

Boy! That all sounds pretty gloomy and somedays I feel that way. But I do believe that having a clear and accurate picture of things (as best we can) is appropriate and useful. And of course there will still be many moments of joy and love and celebration to participate in… and ‘things’ will be different moving forward.

It’s important to see things as they are…not worse than they are…not better than they are…

We can do hard things. :slight_smile:


This quote evoked an awareness in me, that in the lockdown and over-arching imposition of “what we need as a country or state” that…

Other people sometimes need you to wake them up to the fact that there′s another person here with needs that are different from theirs.

Some people have a stronger need for safety and isolation from any possible danger than I do.

I have a need for connection (including in person, sharing gravity, kind of connection) that is higher than many.

I AM SHOCKED by how valuable I find it in my nervous system and sense of life well-being to meet a “stranger” on the mountain path and have them greet me and wish me a good day, and to get the chance to do the same.

The contrast with those who flee the trail 6’ and pull their dog to their side and barely acknowledge me is… oh-so-painful. OH so painful.

There’s a part of me that really wants – thrives even – being kind and acknowledging to strangers. Yes, I need to be safe, too. The man sitting and drinking at 9am by the side of the parkway where I was starting my hike the other day I… admit I avoided. As a solo male on my hikes mostly, I totally honor a solo other person may wonder WTF I am doing dancing. Mentally imbalanced or joy-full? Best not to find out, eh?

Still… I have needs not being met. Even with all the blessings in my life, baby snuggles, and more. The profound sense of backing off from each other out of intensified uncertainty and fear and honest desire for safety is still unwinding in me, needs to unwind in me for my flourishing to be honest.

Thanks for being HERE, and engaging. This is part of what helps me so much. Blessings to our participating members… :heart_decoration: :peace_symbol:


The corona-virus will likely prove to be a shorter term problem than the ‘thought viruses’ of fear and uncertainty that have spread. I began to consider that notion some months back when I first noticed the phenomenon of how many people I would see outdoors walking alone wearing a mask with no other people anywhere in sight…or driving alone wearing a mask. I can only imagine what they must be imagining. Are there any safe places if you are invested in that state of mind?..if you are playing those kinds of movies in your head that show that IT’S EVERYWHERE!!! Your own private horror movie theatre!! Yikes!!

How long after the virus is deemed no longer an uncontrolled threat will it take for each of us to relax into the physical space of ‘we’ again without an underlying sense of uncertainty and vigilance? No doubt that will be a very individual process. I’m certain that some of us who were perhaps already not at ease socially will have a much tougher time…and people who were already very vigilante about germs especially.

I’m not trying to be negative (imagine if I tried!!! :slight_smile: ) but, for me, it just makes sense to attempt to predict some of the more obvious lingering effects we can expect to be presented with …in ourselves…and in others. I suppose in some way it’s a strategy to provide me with a sense of certainty/safety…that I can feel into and begin to consider some probable ‘aftershocks’ so that I’m not overwhelmed if they actually bear out.


We’re planning on attending a Mother’s Day outdoor event hosted by someone we know, where some dear friends will also be there which definitely makes it a YES.

I realize that I don’t know what consents will be needed in the moment, what I’ll feel awkward about and what will be a yes for me and we.

Heck, at the grocery store I am pretty darn sure the checkout clerk who was “closed” that I entered their line could see my acknowledging smile beneath my mask… and took the silence and probably the look in my eyes as needing to speak up and defend that she’d been closed for 10 minutes! (but still had someone standing there). It’s REALLY awkward for me not to have more facial-expression feedback!

On the mountain trails, I admit I am liking still that people who “make way” for each other seem (to me) to be engaging with more pleasantries than those who just walk by – like we used to.

I’d really like to keep the pleasantries…

(I didn’t take your messages as negative. Part of what I feel is important in the emotional world is awareness and sharing of awareness. The energy of many (most?) is still really vigilant. I mean, before all this the energy in some places like groceries was pretty checked out or focused just on getting their stuff and getting out. The added layer of vigilance makes it… noisy for my nervous system. Glad I don’t have to go often.


I would like to go out to eat on my birthday, outside of course. I have not been out to eat in way over a year. One of the problems of eating out is flies and the other is smokers. I don’t know how to “manage” this. Our gov has lifted the mask ordinance for people outdoors. I will decide on the day.

Glenn no I didn’t find your messages as negative but I smiled a little when you wrote (imagine if I tried). I know, I have a weird sense of humor, thanks.