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Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live

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Making Someone Feel Seen : The Best Gift You Can Give

gift giving

The other night in my writing group we wrote about the best gift or gifts we had ever received. I am fortunate. I had three different gifts come to mind.

One was a Snow White miniature kitchen I found under the Christmas tree when I was five years old. I can’t remember if the kitchen was from my grandparents, my parents or Santa, but as I bounded down the stairs that Christmas morning, I saw piles of wrapped packages, my beloved grandparents rising from what I can assume was a dismal night’s sleep on our pullout couch and the perfectly delightful kitchen set. My heart was full.

The Snow White kitchen was special because it was exactly what I wanted. I played with it for hours — cooking imaginary meals for my human family and doll family. The kitchen was just for me. My sister was not into dolls, princesses or traditionally girls’ toys, but I was.

It’s surprising the ones who come through for you

The next memorable gift I wrote about was a loving card and bouquet of flowers my friends Mike and Tanya gave to me one year for my birthday. It was shortly after my divorce. I really had no expectations for that birthday. I knew my parents would call. My kids would dutifully say happy birthday and make last-minute cards for me.

Mike and Tanya had cleaned my house every other week for five or six years at that point. Over the years, they have become like family. They showed up that Thursday with what seemed like an extravagant bouquet, my favorite chocolates and a sweet card. That year, their gift was the most thoughtful gesture I received. It still makes me cry when I think about it.

Beyond diamonds

Lastly, one of my favorite gifts was the engagement ring I received this year. The ring is beautiful and exactly my style. I love that it came with the promise of a lifetime with the man I love, but the real gift came a day or two later when we went to the jeweler to pick out a band to go with it. My fiancée, Mark, was adamant we get to the jeweler quickly so I could pick out exactly what I wanted.

As I meandered throughout the store, trying on different bands and holding them against the engagement ring, I started to worry that I was taking too long. I feared I would wear out Mark’s shopping patience. I didn’t want him to think I was indecisive. I didn’t want to take up too much of our day. But he was infinitely patient. He reassured me repeatedly, that I was not taking too long. He genuinely seemed to not be bothered. He seemed to enjoy the time. He wanted me to be happy. He encouraged me to put my enjoyment first.

As I reflected on what these significant gifts had in common, I realized they all made me feel seen. As you exchange gifts this holiday season, I hope you receive something or experience something that makes you feel known and seen. I know I’m rethinking any generic gift-giving ideas I had. The thought really does matter.

Can you remember something that didn’t start as a gift, but ended up as such? What was the best gift you ever received? Why? 


Perhaps The Quiet Rise of Introverts could be a gift that makes someone special feel seen. Perhaps it could help them connect with themselves and you. Happy Holidays!

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One Comment

  1. Michael Buley December 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Brenda, all I can think, really, is what a beautiful couple you and Mark are. You might wish you had found each other sooner. And you found each other. I wish each of you all the love and joy and beauty that anyone might know.

    Thank you for sharing your favorite gifts with us. I just think how beautiful you are. So open, honest, caring, genuine, real. I don’t know Mark, of course, but for the things you share with us here. But it sounds like he knows he’s found one extraordinary woman. And I have every confidence that he is just as extraordinary.

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