Daphne was everybody’s friend. She was the life of any party and when someone needed help, she was always there. She helped organize events at work which were over and above her normal duties. She even helped take care of her ailing father when her siblings wouldn’t or couldn’t help.
She kept busy all of the time.
Everyone agreed that she was a great person and yet Daphne had an empty feeling inside herself and secretly wondered if there was something more to life. Although she couldn’t quite put her finger on it, she felt like something was missing.Although no one could have guessed, at the bottom of Daphne’s “empty” feelings was a fear of intimacy.
While we are in no way saying that there is a problem with being of service to others, we are saying that “busyness” is one way people sabotage connections with others.
This is not only true of intimate relationships but also with co-workers, family members, and friends. There also can be a fear of intimacy with yourself.
Besides “busyness,” here are some other ways that the fear of intimacy might show itself:
–pointing an accusatory finger outward, judging the other person instead of looking within
–displaying anger or hostility to keep people away
–cutting, sarcastic remarks that are supposedly meant to be humorous or “kidding”
–being sexual while closing down to a true connection and intimacy
–adopting a superior attitude
The list could go on and on but we think you probably have the idea…
What we have discovered is however the outward behavior shows itself, there is a survival need that’s not being met.
We have found that when we are strong within ourselves, our survival needs are not in question and we are open to a deep connection with others.
We are certainly aware that fear of intimacy can also be a “red flag” telling you that this relationship isn’t right for you.
So how do you know when to move past the fear and open yourself further into the relationship–or when to use your fear as a signal that being intimate in this relationship is not very wise?
We suggest that you open to love no matter what. To us, this means loving the person while maintaining boundaries that are healthy for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the other person but it does mean honoring them and holding them in compassion.
It doesn’t mean being in the type of relationship that the other person wants. True intimacy is opening to love in every moment.
With that being said, here are 5 ways to help you to move past your fears and open more to intimacy with the people in your life…
1. Don’t confuse busyness with connection. If you are like Daphne and feel like there’s something missing in your life, start looking at all the things that keep you busy. Start slowing down and taking time to connect with people even with a smile or a kind word.
2. Don’t confuse listening and giving advice with listening from your heart. True intimacy begins with listening with an open heart and not from your frame of reference. True intimacy begins with understanding the other person’s frame of reference.
3. Don’t confuse giving love and kindness with true intimacy. True intimacy comes from giving love from deep inside. This might be something entirely different than doing the things that you consider are being loving. True intimacy asks that you learn to receive as well as to give.
4. Always take time to support and nurture yourself. If you don’t allow an intimate connection with yourself, how can you expect to have one with another person? Take the time to be introspective and love yourself. If that means getting a massage, do it. Whatever supporting yourself means to you, do it.
5. Speak your truth in ways that others can hear. Unfinished business and words left unsaid build up walls that keep intimacy out. Although your truth may be difficult to say, talk to the other person from a place of pure love.
Fear of intimacy can be the result of many different things going on inside of you. What’s so interesting about “fear of intimacy” is that until you let go of the fear of getting hurt (or the fear of whatever is keeping you from being more intimate) then, you’ll never have the kind of love, depth and connection that we know is possible.
Opening your heart and letting go of your fears can be difficult. If your fears of intimacy are keeping you from having the best possible relationship, we encourage you to work through whatever is causing you to be fearful. More love and closer and more connected relationships await when you do.