If we are dealing with someone new, or someone whose ability to listen openly and respond empathetically is uncertain, then we will be wise to start our bridge’s construction with sturdy material.


If we first lay something too delicate across the chasm, if we share a story or a feeling bound up in too much fragile hope or hurt or personal values, then we risk this feeble support snapping beneath us as we step out upon it together.



Instead we can first share pieces of ourselves that are bulky, easy to relate to, big enough to cross the gap, and sturdy enough that our Other will be able to stand upon them too. And we can then get a sense for whether we trust this Other enough to share more vulnerable pieces of Self atop this sturdy structure.