Right Distance Right Depth

Right Distance Right Depth is an invitation to 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 on what we share can help us (and often the other parties) regulate and get clear about what is a YES for us.

There are also times when we're holding back, being hesitant, and feeling insecure when the relationship could thrive with more closeness, transparency, and realness.

Right Distance Right Depth is meant to be dynamic, too — adapting as energy levels, logistics, desires, values, shared intentions, and lifestyles morph and change day to day and season to season.

  • Allows us to stay centered, calm, and confident
  • Allows us not to 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 our healthy boundaries are, and what we might need to adjust to feel safe and balanced.

When we're at Right Distance Right Depth, we have more energy. With less depletion, there are more resources available for the relationship and our thriving life.

Frequency and Duration

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…

Vulnerable Sharing and Intimacy

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 over time and through the experiences we have with them. If we're open to adapting our Right Depth:

(a) We may discover with certain people that sharing our more vulnerable feelings does NOT give us back good energy… even when we're explicit about what we want and why.

(b) Some people do not handle intimacy well at all. Some people criticize rather than support. Some people judge more than accept.

(c) Some people vary from day to day, so the Right Depth varies with them, too.

(d) And with the right beings for us, we will discover as we reveal a bit more of ourselves, we relax! We start feeling excited to be closer and match up with them at a deeper level.

Useful Questions

  • 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 essential for my well-being? (If so, how can I communicate that with those affected and reach healthy understandings?)


Related Concepts

Co-regulation, Boundaries, Safety-Respect-Freedom


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