The first time I was on the receiving end of this statement, I almost slapped the brown off the face of my best friend who
Typically I carried the same pained resentment for the unavailable loved one, stand offish acquaintance or feuding friend who didn't have my time until I made a few hide-thickening discoveries of my own.
I felt I needed space too but was too "nice" to say.
The relationship might have gotten too tense or stale for me too and I noticed the constant friction or bored communication too but was trying too hard to fix it when the best option was to take a break from trying and just let things take a natural course till we found each other again.
I could use the space too.
If only just to rub my bruised ego.
In the scenario of a disagreement, the natural reaction is to withdraw when our person feels slighted but sometimes we are pushed too close into the same space to get away or that needed comeback is out of reach so we stay in the hurt, but mentally if not physically we can shift from the source of the offense to the cause of it; asking ourselves loving what hurt us about the incident and offering ourselves understanding.
Stepping into the arena of resolution immediately can cause more grief sometimes, especially if the culprit isn't ready to admit their fault or if we don't get the understanding we expect, so taking a step back to resolve internally is allowed.
I could say I needed space too.
If they can say it, I can say it too without feeling guilty when I do need space. I could give myself permission to say I needed space too when I wasn't being treated right, wasn't getting my needs met, needed to get away or just needed to be with me.
I could let go.
It was okay. It wasn't about me. They probably were going through something they needed time sorting out and I could totally understand that because it happens with me too. They would be back when they felt okay.
I was fine without them.
It would be awkward in the beginning but life would move on; I would find new friends and toys in the big playground of life.
I didn't have to fix it.
I'm the fixer who wants to cross the distance after a disagreement and mend broken bridges of communication but occasionally when the other party is not conciliatory I have found comfort in the self respecting distance given to an unapologetic offending friend.
I have also found that the peace in staying on my own while consuming bite sized pieces of a misbehaving loved one only when I fancied the taste for them, was as equally satisfying as the seasons when we 'zinged'!
When we connect with people it's such an emotionally satisfying feeling-one we always want to have so no wonder we try to hold on when it feels we should let go.
Now dealing with those rude and not so gentle demands for space aren't as difficult now.
I don't mind much anymore because I know I can give as good as I get!