Healing the Fear of Intimacy

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Why would someone be afraid of intimacy? Don’t we all want to feel close and connected with someone?

Yes, of course we want that, but there are very real fears that keep us from opening to emotional intimacy in a primary relationship.

The Fears

What is the first fearful thought you think when you think of feeling close to someone?

“I’m going to be rejected or I’m going to be abandoned.”
“I’m going to be smothered, engulfed, controlled. I will lose myself.”
“If I lose the person I love through death, I can’t handle the pain.”

These are the fears that are behind the fear of intimacy. It’s not the intimacy itself, but the bad things that can happen that are sometimes part of an intimate relationship.

These fears come from the pain of having been rejected, or of having lost ourselves in a relationship, or of having too much loss without knowing how to handle grief. These experiences may have been so painful that you are afraid to experience them again.

Is this pain inevitable in an intimate relationship? Yes and no. The pain of rejection or engulfment is NOT inevitable. The pain of losing a loved one through death may happen and is always a huge challenge, but would you really rather live a life without love than face this challenge?

The healing

The key to healing the fears is developing your loving adult self.

For example, you are in a relationship with someone you really love. One day, out of nowhere, your partner gets angry with you, shuts down to you, or threatens to leave you.

If you are operating from the ego, wounded part of yourself, your reactions might be:

“What did I do wrong?” (Taking it personally and feeling rejected).
“What do I have to do to fix this?” (The beginning of losing yourself).

Then you might also get angry or shut down to avoid feeling rejected, or you might scurry around trying to make things right, taking responsibility for your partner’s feelings. Out of your fear, you would try to control your partner.

If you are operating from your loving adult self, your responses might be:

“My partner is closed right now and trying to blame me or punish me for something. My heart hurts from being treated this way, but I know that his or her behavior has nothing to do with me. I cannot cause another person to act this way, nor am I responsible for how he or she chooses to behave. If my partner leaves, I will feel very sad, even heartbroken, but I can manage this feeling with deep compassion and tenderness toward myself. Now, I wonder how I can best take loving care of myself until he or she opens up?”

As a loving adult, you would not take your partner’s behavior personally and feel rejected by it, nor would you give yourself up trying to get your partner to open up. You might ask your partner what’s wrong with an intention to learn, and if he or she opens up, then you can have a productive conversation. If not, then you would compassionately tend to your own heartache and do something loving for yourself – take a walk, call a friend, read a book, and so on.

You would not fear being left by your partner, as you would not be abandoning yourself. You would know that you will take loving care of yourself.

Developing your loving adult self is a process that takes consistent practice. When you shift your intention from trying to have control over another not rejecting you, to taking loving care of yourself, you gradually develop your loving adult. The more powerful your loving adult self is, the less you fear intimacy. You no longer fear rejection because you no longer take others’ behavior personally, and you no longer fear engulfment because you no longer give yourself up to avoid rejection. As a loving adult, you learn how to manage loss so that you don’t have to avoid love.

The Inner Bonding process is a powerful process for developing your loving adult. Practicing the 6 steps of Inner Bonding gradually leads you out of your fears of intimacy and into the ability to truly love yourself and take loving care of yourself, so that you can share love with others.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, 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 for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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