Lack Of Emotional Intimacy
Emotional intimacy is one of the most wonderful experiences we ever have. Nothing else really comes close to the experience of sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings with each other, to be deeply seen and known, to share love, passion, laughter, joy and / or creativity. The experience of intimacy fills our souls and takes away our loneliness.
Why then would anyone be afraid of intimacy?
It is not actually the intimacy itself that people fear. If people could be guaranteed that intimacy would continue to be a positive experience, they would not be afraid of it. What they fear is the possibility of being damaged as a result of being intimate with another.
Many have two major fears that may lead them to avoid intimacy: the fear of rejection – of losing the other person, and the fear of engulfment – of being invaded, of being controlled and losing oneself.
Because we all have learned to react to conflict with various controlling behaviors – from anger and guilt to compliance, withdrawal, and resistance – every relationship provides us with these issues of rejection and engulfment. If a person is angry, the other may feel rejected or controlled and angry back, give up, withdraw or resist. If one person quits, the other may feel rejected and become judgmental, which could trigger the second’s fear of engulfment, and so on. These protective circles exist in one form or another in every relationship. When the fear of rejection and engulfment is too large, a person may decide that it’s just painful to be in a relationship, and they avoid intimacy altogether.
The fear exists, not because of the experience itself, but because someone doesn’t know how to handle the situations of being rejected or controlled. The secret of moving beyond the fear of intimacy lies in developing a powerful loving adult part of us as teachers to not take rejection personally, and learn to set appropriate limits against engulfment.
When we learn to speak for ourselves and not allow others to invade, smother, dominate and control us, we will no longer fear losing ourselves in a relationship. Many people, terrified of losing the other person will give him up, hoping to control how the other person feels about them. They think that if they follow one another’s demands, the other will love them. Yet losing oneself is terrifying, so many people stay out of relationships because of this fear. If they were to learn to define their own values and stand up for themselves, the fear would disappear.
Anyone can learn this six-step process, and with practice, heal fears of intimacy. Through practicing the Inner Bonding process teaches you to appreciate and protect who you really are, and take full responsibility for your own feelings of value, lovability, safety, security, pain and joy. When you deeply value yourself, you do not take rejection personally and become non-reactive to rejection. When you set yourself, you will not give up even trying to control another’s feelings about you.
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