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Are You Afraid Of Emotional Intimacy?

emotional intimacy

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Are You Afraid Of Emotional Intimacy?

We all desire the deeply fulfilling experience of emotional intimacy, yet many people have two fears in the way of emotional intimacy. Discover what these fears are and how to heal them.

Emotional intimacy is one of the most wonderful experiences we ever have. Nothing else really comes close to the experience of sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings with another, of being deeply seen and known, of sharing love, passion, creativity, laughter and joy. The experience of emotional intimacy fills our souls and takes away our loneliness. Why, then, would someone be afraid of emotional intimacy?It is not actually the emotional intimacy itself that people fear. If people could be guaranteed that emotional intimacy would continue to be a positive experience, they would have no fear of it. What they fear is the possibility of getting hurt as a result of being intimate with another.

The Two Fears Underlying the Fear of Emotional Intimacy

Many people have two major fears that may cause them to avoid emotional intimacy: the fear of rejection – of losing the other person, and the fear of engulfment – of being invaded, controlled, and losing oneself.

Because many of us have learned to react to conflict with various controlling behaviors – from anger and blame to compliance, withdrawal, and resistance – every relationship presents us with these issues of rejection and engulfment. If one person gets angry, the other may feel rejected or controlled and get angry back, give themselves up, withdraw or resist. If one person shuts down, the other may feel rejected and become judgmental, which may trigger the other’s fears of engulfment, and so on. These protective circles exist in one form or another in most relationships. When the fears of rejection and engulfment become too great, a person may decide that it is just too painful to be in a relationship, and they avoid emotional intimacy altogether.

Yet avoiding relationships leads to loneliness and lack of emotional and spiritual growth. Relationships offer us the most powerful arena for personal growth, if we accept this challenge. So what moves us beyond the fear of emotional intimacy?

Healing the Fear of Emotional Intimacy

The fear exists, not because of the experience itself, but because you don’t know how to handle the situations of being rejected or controlled. The secret of moving beyond the fear of emotional intimacy lies in developing a powerful loving adult part of you that learns how to not take rejection personally, and learns to set appropriate limits against engulfment.

When you learn how to take personal responsibility for defining your own worth, instead of making others’ love and approval responsible for your feelings of worth, you will no longer take rejection personally. This does not mean that you will ever like rejection – it means you will no longer be afraid of it or have a need to avoid it.

When you learn how to speak up for yourself and not allow others to invade, smother, dominate and control you, you will no longer fear losing yourself in a relationship. Many people, terrified of losing the other person, will give themselves up in the hope of controlling how the other person feels about them. They believe that if they comply with another’s demands, the other will love them. Yet losing oneself is terrifying, so many people stay out of relationships due to this fear. If they were to learn to define their own worth and stand up for themselves, the fear would disappear.

The Inner Bonding process is designed to create a powerful inner adult self, capable of not taking rejection personally and of setting limits against loss of self. Anyone can learn this six-step process and, with practice, heal fears of emotional intimacy. Through practicing the Inner Bonding process, you learn to value and cherish who you really are, and take full responsibility for your own feelings of worth, lovability, safety, security, pain and joy. When you deeply value yourself, you do not take rejection personally and you become non-reactive to rejection. When you value yourself, you will not give yourself up to try to control another’s feelings about you. When you value yourself, you are willing to lose another rather than lose yourself.

Start to learn Inner Bonding now! Moving beyond your fears of emotional intimacy will open you to the deep personal and spiritual growth that relationships can provide, and the profound fulfillment and joy that loving relationships can offer.

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Find out how Inner Bonding has helped Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love.

Author’s Books

CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING

Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.

Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world — mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.

Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.

In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.

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