Fear of intimacy

fear of intimacy Overcome Your Fear of Love

by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.
The first step to not acting on our fears is to recognize that we have them. The fear of intimacy isn’t a problem without a solution, but finding a solution means identifying that there is a problem.
Many of us feel cheated or victimized by circumstance, while failing to see that our biggest obstacle is how we get in our own way. Whether it’s a worry of stirring up a past hurt or a re-creation of our childhood that’s at play, it will benefit us to gain a deeper understanding of our less conscious motivations that damage our closest relationships.

In any relationship, the only person you can control is yourself. By being open to how we are resistant to achieving the love we say we want, we empower ourselves to change 100 percent of our half of the dynamic. Even a less-than-perfect relationship can teach us the ways we limit ourselves and help us grow our capacity to love. It is in our power to decide who we want to be in our relationship and to act in accordance with that, no matter what our partner does.
1. Look at your history – As we delve into the ways we defend against love, it’s helpful to look at our past. We can start by looking at our current or recent relationships. Where are the stumbling blocks? If the relationship has ended, where did it go wrong? What issues keep/kept coming up? What ways might we be pushing/have pushed love away? What thoughts inspired these actions? What were we telling ourselves the last time we provoked our partner, started a fight, acted coldly, rejected a loved one, refused an invitation, ignored or withheld affection, sloughed off a compliment, etc?
As we identify the thoughts or “critical inner voices” that filled our heads on these occasions, we can start to recognize themes and recurring behaviors and begin to identify patterns. We can see how our own defenses systematically operate to ward off love. We may notice that we have trouble being acknowledged by our partner or that we feel angry when he or she relies on us. We may feel repelled by a loving look or be quick to feel insecure or rejected.
Once we start to know our patterns, we can trace them back to their roots. We can look back to our childhoods to see where these adaptations may have come from. Were you rejected or intruded on by a parent or caretaker? Were you put down in your family? Did you observe destructive interactions between your parents? Did you notice negative dynamics in their relationship that influenced how you now act in yours?
The attitudes and behaviors we witnessed and experienced as children often subconsciously shape the ways we think and act as adults. Having someone love us or look at us differently from how we were looked at as kids presents a unique challenge that few of us anticipate in our adult relationships. Having a satisfying, loving adult romantic relationship often represents a break with our families’ patterns of relating.
Differentiating ourselves from our family of origin and having a sense of our own unique identity, while a positive development, will likely stir us up. Yet, failing to differentiate from negative or self-limiting adaptations to our past circumstances will make it difficult for us to live our own lives as happy, individuated adults, much less happy, individuated and in love adults.As we come to understand how our past informs our present, we can perform one of the most beneficial acts to improving our love lives - we can put our emotions and projections back where they belong. For example, we can stop seeing our partner as rejecting or suspicious.
2. Stop listening to your inner critic – Try to recognize that little voice in your head that feeds you information like, “He doesn’t really love you. Don’t be a fool. Get moving before he really hurts you.”  Think about how this critical inner voice coaches you to avoid feeling intimate or vulnerable. “She is just manipulating you. Don’t let her get to know the real you. You can’t trust anyone.” Think about how it puts you and others down, injuring your confidence. “You’re too ugly/fat/poor/awkward to have a relationship. No one will be interested.”
Throughout your life, this cruel and conniving thought process will try to lure you away from finding love. Identifying it will help you to stop seeing it as reality or your own point of view. It will allow you to separate and to act against its harmful directives. Remember that letting go of your inner critic means letting go of an old identity that, although unpleasant, can also feel safe in its familiarity. Breaking from this critic will rouse anxiety, but it poses a battle well worth fighting. Powering through this anxiety and refuting your inner critic at every turn will allow you to uncover and become your truest self.
3. Challenge your defenses – It’s easy to fall back to those old, comforting activities that keep us feeling sheltered and alone. Even though, they may make us feel lonely, unfulfilled or hardened against love, we revert to our defenses like a heavy blanket shielding us from the world. Our defenses, no matter how alluring they may sound, are not our friend. They are there to keep us from achieving our goals.
It may have felt threatening, even dangerous, to open up to someone as a child or show our feelings in our family, but these same defenses are no longer constructive to us in our current relationships. Perhaps, pretending we didn’t care helped guard us from the pain of feeling neglected or invisible, however that same attitude will make it hard to accept loving feelings that are extended to us today. As we learn how adaptations that served us in our childhood are harmful to us in the present, we can act against these almost instinctive behaviors and, over time, become who we want to be in our relationships.
4. Feel your feelings – We’re all familiar with the expression, “Love makes us feel alive,” and it’s one cliché that’s entirely true. Love makes us feel. It deepens our capacity for joy, passion and vitality. However, it also makes us more susceptible to pain and loss. Falling in love can remind us of previous hurts. It can awaken us to existential realities. Unfortunately, we can’t selectively numb our feelings. When we try to avoid pain, we subdue joy and love.
Caring deeply for another person makes us feel more deeply in general. When these emotions arise, we should be open to feeling them. We may worry that strong feelings will overpower us or take over our lives, but in truth, feelings are transitory if we don’t try to block them. For example, sadness comes in waves, and when we allow ourselves to feel it, we also open ourselves up to feeling a tremendous amount of joy.
I recently heard the comedian Louis C.K. perfectly and succinctly capture this point in an anecdote on late night talk show, saying, “Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments… Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness.” Sadness can be a good sign that we are more open and vulnerable. Similarly, anxiety can be a sign that we are changing or developing ourselves in ways that will positively impact our lives. my guy
5. Be vulnerable and open – So many of us live in fear of being vulnerable. We are told early on to be smart and toughen up. The dating world accepts, even promotes a culture of game-playing. Don’t call her for at least three days. Don’t say “I love you” first. Don’t tell him how you feel. Don’t let her see how much you like her. Being vulnerable is a mark of strength, not weakness. It means ignoring the voices in your head and acting on how you really feel. When you do this, you learn that you can survive, even when you get hurt. You’ll be able to live with more honesty and possibility, knowing that you’ve stayed yourself, even when the world around you wasn’t perfect.
Staying yourself doesn’t mean getting set in your ways or closing off to new experiences. Being vulnerable means just the opposite – a willingness to be open to new people and to breaking old patterns. If you typically choose dominant or controlling partners, only to find yourself in a relationship you resent, try dating someone different with more flexibility. Avoid making hard and fast rules about relationships. Follow what you feel, all the while finding strength in the knowledge that no one else controls your happiness, you do. You can avoid falling victim to the outside world and to your own inner critic by continuing to act with integrity, dropping your defenses to become your real self.
Committing to these actions and investing in your relationships are both part of a natural process of growing into and becoming your own person. It’s a matter of severing the more destructive, often imaginary ties to your past and unleashing a newfound sense of self – a self that is now capable of having a loving relationship with another unique individual. When we brave the barriers we alone put up inside ourselves, we learn to live “all in.”
We can start challenging ourselves to accept love – to return a loving look, rather than turn away in embarrassment. We can act in ways that our partner would experience as loving, rather than holding back and being self-protective. We can approach our defenses with curiosity and compassion and slowly start to change our part of the equation that limits our capacity for love.
Yes, we may get hurt along the way by the shortcomings in others, but it’s important to note that, as adults, we are resilient. When we open ourselves up to love, we create the world we live in. Real love radiates out and is supported by and extended to others. Its contagious effects are likely to reflect back on us, filling our lives with meaningful interactions and relationships. As this occurs, life is sure to feel more precious, but isn’t that the idea? Source:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201402/5-ways-overcome-your-fear-love


Join Dr. Lisa Firestone for the online course “Creating Your Ideal Relationship: How to Find and Achieve the Love You Say You Want.”


0 # Reviews on Adonis 2014-02-28 01:43
Hello there, I believe your site might be having internet browser
compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at
your site in Safari, it looks fine but when
opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful website!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # find casual 2014-03-07 14:55
Sources: Press Release: 'Penthouse' makes $500M hookup with social site
Various, USA Today ( Adult Friend Finder Corporate.

It is rare when hot wives rarely cheat with total strangers.
Consider going out to dinner or lunch instead of
having everyone over or dragging your date to an adult child's home for dinner.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Respark The Romance 2014-05-08 19:41
To the web page manager, may I inquire exactly how do you tackle spammy posts?
We are willing to compensate simply for suggestions concerning how to overcome it!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # liuxuetaiguo.org 2014-07-03 11:59
Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed!
Very useful info particularly the last part :) I care for such
info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.

Thank you and good luck.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # seo firm london 2014-10-01 00:37
Instead, I look forward to seeing my kids after school and going
to the beach before dinner. Remember the good old days when Real Estate Agents could just advertise
in the Sunday newspaper and list all their Open Houses for the
weekend. In this digital training manual you'll discover
exactly you can do to land your first client in as little as 48 hours of
making your investment in WP Text Pro.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Anemonalove 2017-07-06 20:42
Hello fellas! Who wants to see me live? I have profile
at HotBabesCams.co m, we can chat, you can watch me live for free, my nickname is Anemonalove
, here is my photo:

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Anemonalove 2017-07-08 01:59
Hi guys! Who wants to meet me? I'm live at HotBabesCams.co m, we can chat, you can watch me live for
free, my nickname is Anemonalove , here is my photo:

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Anemonalove 2017-07-17 08:46
Hello fellas! Who wants to meet me? I'm live at HotBabesCams.com,
we can chat, you can watch me live for free, my nickname is Anemonalove , here is my pic:

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Security code

Parents by instinct

Administrator | 2016-03-12

Maybe some of the instincts are wrong....... "What makes 11 year-old Evan lie, fight and steal? A...

Read More

It's every Woman's Right to Choose

Administrator | 2016-03-05

Women’s ability to access safe and legal abortions is restricted in law or in practice in most count...

Read More

How bad was daddy this weekend?

Administrator | 2016-01-19

“To turn a child against a parent is to turn a child against himself"“Psychiatrist Richard Gardner d...

Read More

How Your Brain Can Turn Anxiety into Calmness

Administrator | 2015-11-24

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at wor...

Read More

Myths about depression

Administrator | 2015-11-23

 Patricia Deldin: "Depression is often misunderstood in the public. Sometimes people think th...

Read More

What is it that makes us human?

Administrator | 2015-09-20

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight ? That we laugh ? Cry ? Our curi...

Read More

The brain that changes itself

Administrator | 2014-12-05

"The “plastic paradox” is this: that the same plasticity that allows us to change our brains and pro...

Read More

Not why the addiction but why the pain

Administrator | 2014-12-05

Canadian physician Gabor Maté is a specialist in terminal illnesses, chemical dependents, and HIV po...

Read More

Anxiety in Children and Youth

Administrator | 2014-12-05

Dr. Gordon Neufeld has spent his professional career teaching and theorizing as a developmental scie...

Read More

Honest liars

Administrator | 2014-11-20

Why would people deceive themselves? What is the mental architecture that enables the same person to...

Read More

You can cope

Administrator | 2014-11-07

      THE INSIDE STORY Right now, someone you know is facing a mental health cha...

Read More

What is a Personality Disorder

Administrator | 2014-09-04

Personality disorders form a class of mental disorders that are characterized by long-lasting rigid ...

Read More

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Administrator | 2014-08-29

The exact cause of true narcissism has yet to be fully proven. Psychodynamic theories suggest the ro...

Read More

Too much silence is dangerous

Administrator | 2014-08-16

“The silence and inactivity in the chamber makes people nervous. “(Steven Orfield)"And you can't tal...

Read More

OCD Daily war

Administrator | 2014-08-16

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as an anxiety disorder. The condition has two main ...

Read More

Confessions of a depressed comic

Administrator | 2014-08-12

  Kevin Breel didn't look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and conf...

Read More

Between suicide and life

Administrator | 2014-08-11

  “Depression is difficult to explain to people. If you have experienced it there is no need...

Read More

Some people never change

Administrator | 2014-07-31

"You cannot save everyone" written by Bryant McGill Should you help someone who is reaching out and...

Read More
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedinRSS Feed