Right Distance Right Depth is an invitation adjust how close and how intimate we are in a situation or relationship.
There are times when we can feel too close, too involved, too exposed. Giving ourselves a little space – distance – and backing off a bit can help us (and often the other parties) regulate and get clear about what is a YES for us.
See also: Co-regulation, Boundaries, Safety-Respect-Freedom
- Allows us to stay centered, calm, and confident
- Allows us to not get pulled into another person’s story, behaviors, or feelings when they might be unhealthy for us physically or emotionally
- Allows us to maintain some privacy and self-protection when revealing “too much” would make us susceptible to harm, hurt, or triggering
When we find the sweet spot for engaging with another, we can be more calm and confident. We can know what is right for us, where are healthy boundaries are, and what we might need to adjust in order to feel safe and balanced.
When we’re at Right Distance Right Depth, we have more energy. With less depletion, there’s more resources available for the relationship and our thriving life.
For some people communicating every day is just right. For others, that would be way too much. Same with visits, length of time together, bids for attention, requests, touch…
Sometimes less is more. And sometimes less is… less.
Discovering how much to share and with whom is a real skill. People do reveal their nature, and if we’re open to adapting our Right Depth then we may discover with some that sharing our more vulnerable feelings does NOT give us back the energy we want… even when we’re explicit about what we want and why.
Other times, we may discover as we reveal a bit more of ourselves, we actually relax! We can even feel excited to be closer and match up at a deeper level.
Some people do not handle intimacy well, at all. Some people criticize rather than support. Some people judge more than accept. Some people vary from day to day, so Right Depth varies with them, too.
We invite you to share life examples where Right Distance Right Depth has played a role in relationship.
- Would I/we feel better with less closeness or more?
- When I reveal my deeper thoughts and feelings, am I getting back from the person or group what nourishes me… or depletes me?
- Do I have phases where being closer and more engaged is what I need, and other phases where solitude and separation are important for my well-being? (If so, how can I communicate that with those affected and reach healthy understandings?)
What other questions come to mind for you? Please reply and share your wisdom.
- Boundaries can include Right Distance (although there’s more to boundaries than distance, and boundaries are what apply when someone is breaking the Right Distance we need to feel safe and respected.
- Intimacy resources can help us explore and understand Right Depth.
We welcome links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept. Memes and quotes are also welcome.