You, Me, and What’s In Between

two faces vaseThere’s YOU.

There’s ME.

But there’s also something else — there are the things that are BETWEEN the two of us.

What’s in between is the most interesting of the three.

Why? Because you think you know who you are. And I think I know who I am. But in the middle, where we intersect and overlap?

That’s where the magic happens.

Positive Space Between Us

It’s in the space between us that we create new ideas, bigger and better ideas than either of us could have devised on our own.

This is the space where donors say “Yes,” where partners build businesses, and where couples remember just what it is they most love about each other.

But we need to be mindful, because the between space is also the place where we seed disasters with our mistaken assumptions and beliefs.

Negative Space Between Us

That area between us shifts and changes by the minute depending on how we feel and how we behave. But more importantly, the way we feel about and behave with each other is determined in large part by how we perceive what’s happening in between.

Here’s an everyday example from a mistake I almost made.

I was walking side by side with my husband the other night, in a hurry to get to a movie on time, when he fell back a few feet.

As the space between us grew physically, I had a sense that something was wrong. I started to decide that he was falling back because he was irritated with me. I began replaying the argument we’d had earlier that day.

I felt myself getting angry with him all over again, filling the space between us with a dark cloud.

After getting myself worked up, I stopped walking and turned around to say something snarky… only to see that he’d stopped, not out of irritation, but to take a photo of a new building we were walking past. For him, at that moment there was absolutely nothing between the two of us at all — his attention was elsewhere.

The irritation that filled the space between us was entirely of my own making! If I had made my nasty comment, I could have drawn him into my dark cloud and soured what turned out to be a lovely evening.

The space between us has the potential to create negativity if we don’t look under the surface to be sure we know what’s really going on.

Of course, the space between us is also where we can create true magic — experiences and ideas greater than either of us ever imagined! But that’s another post. 😉

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Look Under the Surface of the Spaces In Between

Start paying attention to the in-between spaces you create with others. Notice the space you create when you nod or smile to someone you pass on the sidewalk or in the store. Notice the space you create when you don’t nod or smile. Notice how your assumptions color the spaces between you and others.

There’s more to these in-between spaces than meets the eye!

Share a story in the comments below about a time when your assumptions colored the space between you and someone else.