Fear of Intimacy
By Doctor Howard Peiper
Intimacy is one of the most wounderful experiences we will ever have. Nothing else really comes close to the experience of sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings with another, of deeply seen and known, of sharing love, passion, creativity, laughter and joy. The experience of intimacy fills our souls and takes away our loneliness.
Why, then, would we be afraid of intimacy? It is not actually the intimacy itself that we fear. If we could be guaranteed that intimacy would continue to be positive experience, we would have no fear of it. What we fear is the possibility of getting hurt as a result of being intimate with another.
The Two Fears Underlying the Fear of Intimcay
Many of us have two fears that may cause us to avoid intimacy: the fear of rejection of losing the other person, and the fear of engulfment of being invaded, controlled, and losing ourselves.
Because many of us have learned to react to conflict with various controlling behaviors from anger and blame to compliance, withdrawl, and resistance every relationship presents us 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, we may decide that it is just too painful to be in a relationship, and we avoid 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 intimacy?
Healing the Fear of Intimacy
The fear exists, not because of the experience itself, but because we don’t know how to handle the situations of being rejected or controlled. The secret of moving beyond the fear of intimacy lies in developing a powerful loving adult part of us that learns how to not take rejection personally, and learns to set appropriate limits against engulfment.
When we learn how to take personal responsibility for defining our own self-worth, instead of making others” love and approval responsible for our feelings of worth, we will no longer take rejection personally, and learn to set appropriate limits against engulfment.
When we learn how to speak up for ourselves and not allow others to invade, smother, dominate and control us, we will no longer fear losing oursleves in a relationship. Many of us, terrified of losing the other person, will give ourselves up in the hope of controlling how the other person feels about us. We believe that if we comply with another’s demand, the other will love us. Yet losing oursleves is terrifying, so many of us stay out of relationships due to this fear. If we were to learn to define our own self-worth and stand up for oursleves, the fear would disappear.
Intimacy can be experienced at many levels, including physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial and recreational. Intimacy is nutured through mutual trust, tenderness, acceptance, open communication, caring, apologies, forgiveness and respecting boundaries. Moving beyond our fears of intimacy will open us to the deep personal and spiritual growth that relationships can provide, and the profound fullfillment and joy that loving relationships can offer.
Dr. Howard Peiper, N.D., nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written several popular books on nutrition and natural health.
Howard, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written numerous books on nutrition and natural health including 12 best sellers.
Create a Miracle with Hexagonal Water
New Hope for Serious Diseases
The A.D.D. & A.D.H. Diet
Zeolite Nature's Heavy Metal Detoxifier
Viral Immunity with Humic Acid
The Secrets of Staying Young
Nutritional Leverage For Great Golf
All Natural High Performance Diet
Natural Solutions For Sexual Enhancement
Super Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
Books can be ordered at:
Safe Goods Publishing.
Dr. Peiper is co-host of the award winning Television show, Partners in Healing. They feature guest in the alternative healing field including such names as Harvey Diamond, Dr. John Upledger, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Gary Null and Dr. Marshall Mandell.