Emotional Intimacy Part 3



Some of the barriers that block emotional intimacy:

 Self-Centeredness – Focussing on your partner and your relationship is crucial and cannot be achieved if we focus on ourselves and our own wants and needs the majority of the time.  Note that taking care of yourself and your own wants and needs is also essential, it’s mutuality and balance that is needed, not self-sacrifice.

Pride – I am right and you are wrong.  If your relationship is a battleground it will most likely fail.  Right fighters do not work WITH their partners, they simply want to win.

Intellectualizing - Focussing on rational thought alone is a destructive block to any emotionally healthy relationship.  An awareness of and ability to communicate our own feelings and emotions means that true intimacy can occur in an environment of empathy, care and safety.

Mind-reading – A sense that we do not need to talk to our partner because we already know what they are thinking.  This block is one of the most serious as it dismisses the partner as insignificant, it is the antithesis of respect.  We can guess what another is thinking but we never know, unless we confirm our assumptions with that person.  We have all had the experience of knowing someone so well that we can finish each other’s sentences, and we can become more accurate about what our partner might be thinking as the relationship progresses, this is healthy and brings us closer to each other.  It is the assumption that we know what our partner is thinking, and the lack of interest in what our partner is actually saying about their own reality that is disturbing.  Positive and healthy actions might be based on assumptions such as, buying our loved ones a present we think they will like.  This is different to assuming our partner has rejected us because of some behaviour we have witnessed and interpreted as negative, and then punishing them in some way for rejecting us.  If we feel rejected by our partner a more healthy response would be to mention the behaviour we had noticed and ask them if their intention was to reject us?

 Anger and Insensitivity – we cannot be angry and empathetic at the same time.

 Blocking  – Communication requires that we listen to each other.  Refusing to communicate, blocks any chance of emotional intimacy.

 Judgement, putdowns and sarcasm  – We need to be open and sensitive to the information we receive for communication to work well.

 Control – equality in a relationship is essential.

 Lack of time – We need to make quality and private time for each other in a relationship.

 Unsafe Environment – we need a safe and protective environment to be able to share deep feelings.

Lying – we need to be able to trust our partners to feel emotionally intimate.

Blaming – We need to take responsibility for our own behaviour.

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Subpages (1): Emotinal Intimacy Part 4