10 Ways to Hold Someone When They Don't Know What They Want:
Just take a breath and let the energy settle so they have more space to check in with what they really want.
Stop all interaction and verbally check in with the person.
Ex) "I'm wanting to make sure you're a full yes to this interaction, so I'm going to pause with you right now to give you some space to determine if this is really what you want or if you'd like something different"
Literally walk away from them so they can be in their own space to make a decision.
Sometimes you just being in the same space vicinity as someone else can make it really hard for a person to make the best decision for themselves. You can even put a time-frame on this situation as well and say something like, "I'm going to go out of the room to give you some alone space to really check in with yourself and I'll be back in five minutes to check in"
Walk away and let them come to you.
It can be more empowering for the other person for you to walk away and let them come to you when they're ready to or they know how they want to interact with you.
Ask them clarifying questions to help them figure out what they want.
Usually when people don't know what they want they're hitting their hard or soft boundaries. This can be, if they feel good about it, a chance for you to help them discover how they can lean into their soft boundaries, if they desire to, to learn something new about themselves and their desires. This ideally is done carefully, slowly, and without expectation.
Example questions: "How does it feel to be around me right now? How have our interactions felt up to this point? (if they're open to it) How does it feel to have my hand on you body right now?" And have a discussion what ever comes up.
Ask them how you can support them while they're deciding what interactions feel good to them.
This can be a great opportunity, again, to empower them, and let them let you know how you can support them. Ex) "How can I support you right now?"
However, if the person is obviously very uncomfortable speaking their needs and desires (can't talk, eyes looking down or away, body seeming frozen or turned away...) , it may be best to take an even further step back and embrace one of the firstly listed tactics.
If the current interaction is feeling unclear, counter-offer another way you both can interact that has lower stakes.
Offer them another interaction that may be more comfortable, that can create more connection and trust. Ex) "How about we pause with the physical touch and you tell me a story about one thing you really value in your life."
If that specific one doesn't work, offer another one. Ex) "How about we go for a walk or make some food to eat." If none feels good to that person, it may be time to take some space.
Embrace the notion of high possibility, low expectation.
Understand that there are so many various ways to interact with a person that can be really fulfilling. Get creative! Understand that a specific need can potentially be met in many different kinds of interactions.
Validate that you don't need anything from them and you're really happy to interact with them however feels really good to them.
Understand that this person owes you nothing, and every interaction that they have with you is a gift. It can be very conducive to trust and connection to this person if you remind them of the concept above, verbally.
Ex) "I just want to remind you that I don't need anything from you, and I'm happy and feel grateful to interact with you in what ever way feels really good for you"
Embrace sensitivity, vulnerability, acceptance, creativity, love and play.
See this as an opportunity to navigate how to best interact with another person to create the most trust and connection, using the above tools.