‘Holding space’ means to create a safe container for someone else to freely explore and express all parts of themselves. Here is how you can start to hold space when needed...
Hold the boundaries. Yours and theirs.
Your boundaries may look like topics you are/aren’t willing to discuss, when you are willing to hold space. Holding their boundaries may look like not letting anyone else interrupt the interaction, telling them to ignore their phone if it rings part way through.
Listening only and repeating back (in your own words) what has been said to show you heard it vs. listening and then waiting to reply with your 2 cents before the other person has even finished. This may sound like, ‘so what I am hearing is...’, ‘it sounds like you are feeling…’
Remember : you don’t have to ‘fix it’.
When someone is sharing or releasing, the most important thing is to empower them in feeling it all. You don’t have to fix it at all, you just need to witness it. Of course if they ask for suggestions you can always offer what rings true to you.
When we know someone else has got us, we have the freedom to cry a little harder, laugh a little louder. We can let go. When you hold space for someone else you gift them this freedom.