How Do You Know Who Has Bandwidth For Listening And Support?

How Do You Know Who Has Bandwidth For Listening And Support?

Sharing helps so much. How do you if they have room to listen and hear your vulnerable sharing?

With Cathy Vartuli from and Reid Mihalko from

Cathy: So we just answered the question about someone who’d shared vulnerably have been judged by her family or husband. There are times when sharing vulnerably especially if you’re going through a lot.

Reid: And if you didn’t see that video, they were judged as being “insecure” because they were sharing vulnerably.

Cathy: And I’ve had times when, for instance I just moved across the country, started a new job, looking for a house, I have more stuff coming up and I’ve been share more with my friends and people close to me. There’s times when they don’t have the resources to hold space. I want to talk a little bit about how you can judge that and still vulnerably with people you love and close to get the support you need and respect their boundaries. This is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from So the question is how do you know when somebody has the resources?

Cathy: Right. The general, like what you and I talked about a lot and what you’ve always encourage people is you want to share what’s true for you. But there can be times when you’re sharing, like for the last month, I’ve had a lot of things that were unsettled for me. There was more processing and more talking that I wanted to do so that I can feel more grounded… like “Oh my God. I’ve never been on this job before. I think I’m doing a good job.” but this is not happened today. You wanted to process stuff or share stuff and how do you know when someone has the space for you to be vulnerable and share.

Reid: Sure. Ideally you can just check in with them. Be like, “Hey, do you have space?” and they can accurately self-report that they do what they don’t.

Cathy: And sometimes like… may think that they do and they may not.

Reid: Most of your friends will say “yes” because they care about you and they want to help. Or they… a really a “no” but can’t say “no”. Or they… I mean there’s a lot of different reasons but let’s say that those are the main two and maybe there’s a third where they say “no” because they don’t want to upset you. I grew up in a family where a lot of people said “yes” ‘cause they didn’t  want to upset. It was easier to say “yes” and just go along with it and hope it gets over, right? Rather than have to deal with cleaning up the explosion that would happen if they actually share what was going on.

That kind of tolerating is really common in most people’s families. They bring that into the rest of their lives. Understanding that all of us, me included, we have been raised in a culture where we were rewarded for tolerating. There’s a whole murder-sacrifice thing where relationship [inaudible 00:02:56] the way we show love is by going to more help.

Cathy: If you’re really a good person and you suffered a lot from the people you love.

Reid: If you really cared about this person, you would go out of your way. Add that all together and it basically means, if you really want to go there, you can’t trust anybody when they say… when they answer your question, “Do you have [end 00:03:24] processing right now?”

Cathy: Well, even some of the news clear that may think that they have a bandwidth and they can party in to the, “Oh my God”

Reid: All the great intentions. “Pave the way to hell”.

Cathy: Based on that and I’m being physicist, we should never share with anybody because it would be…

Reid: Based on that, you hire a pro. There is a reason why therapy and counseling is really useful. Now, if you grew up in a family where everybody in your family is a horrible listener and gives you their opinion before you give and share anything, then you’re usually the one who’s like, “Hell yeah, I’m going to hire a therapist. This is dreamy.

Cathy: It’s wonderful to have friends that you can turn to and invent to gets a [inaudible 00:04:12].

Reid: Look at what’s going on in their lives. If you going to have a [wef 00:04:18] that they don’t the resources, then don’t even ask. They’re probably going to say “yes” because they want to support you and you already know that they don’t have the resources.

Cathy: And if you have friends that have the ability to say “no” and you sense that there is something.

Reid: You trust their judgment and you know they’re not under duress.

Cathy: You can request that if they notice something change and they let you know. It’s not fun to have someone be resentful or kind of take it out sideways when they don’t realize they’re just got overwhelmed part with you to conversation.

Reid: There’s a psychological term for this in business and I can’t remember what it is. If we’ve been talking for 30 minutes and I realized I’m on my wits end and you’re my friend in the middle of really sharing vulnerably, I’m probably going to be like, “I’m probably go to five minutes. I think they might get over the hump of this in five minutes. I was [inaudible 00:05:22].

Cathy: You’ve actually with me and said, “Hey, I’m running out of steam. I haven’t eaten there whatever.” I can give you five more minutes and so that can let people wrap up or you’re rather than, “Hey, we’re done.” And you’re like mid-sentence.

Reid: I teaches stuff for living. I’ve made all the mistakes and more. I can usually tell and speak up around that. Your friends if they’re not coaches and therapist may not now that.

Cathy: And you can start role modelling, asking, talking about it.

Reid: I’m only paying the picture for… really the value here is when it goes horribly wrong and they can’t just [inaudible 00:06:05] and then they explode, you implode. Everything’s okay. It’s just that they’re not a therapist or a trained listener. They weren’t able to tell you that they didn’t have the bandwidth. It’s okay, you guys can get through it. What are your resources and do you have several people you can talk to just in case the first three aren’t available?

Cathy: To me it’s lot like a dance. There’s going to be times when you step on each other’s toes or stumble especially you’re trying to do more intricate steps. I love Reid’s difficult conversation formula where you can clean things up. It’s kind of, “Do you have a few minutes? I’d like to talk to you about something I’ve been saying. Really love how much you listen, how much you’ve been there for me. I’m afraid that by talking about this ruin everything and you’ll never be there for me again. What I noticed is the last time I was eventing I asked if I could find but [inaudible 00:07:11] you got a little sleepy and you seemed resentful towards me the rest of the night. They’re really love to know what we’re talking about. Are you maxed out? If you let me know, we can both take care of ourselves.”

Reid: The difficult conversation formula is… you can go to or just type in the search bar “difficult conversations” and you can find the article to it and there’s also free download.

Cathy: There’s a model like steps you can fill in. It’s really powerful and it’s okay to be awkward at first. It still works.

Reid: Good luck. It’s all baby steps. Not about perfections but progress. Keep going, you’re doing great. None of your friends are going to be perfect at this. Hell, you should hang out with therapists, who are therapists to therapists and find out how fucked up the world is.

But getting your needs met, being able to communicate and share and get reassurance and feedback when you needed it, that’s way healthier and way more important than trying to be silent and tolerant.

Thanks for speaking up. Speak up right now. Leave some comments.


More articles on improving your communication and relationship skills:

How Do I Encourage My Partner To Get Support?

How Can You Support Your Partner Through Low-Self-Esteem When They Don’t Know What To Ask For?

By | 2016-09-23T14:50:31+00:00 March 5, 2017|Dating, Flirting, Relationship Skills, Sex Geeks|