Intimacy is a term often used in reference to romantic relationships but it is an important part of all relationships. Intimacy is about making yourself known to others and experiencing closeness. It also involves honesty, trust and vulnerability which some people find difficult and daunting.
Intimacy was once a human biological need with close relationships with those around us increasing our chances of survival. In our modern society, we can logistically survive alone but intimacy and relationships are still important to our happiness and wellbeing, helping to reduce anxiety, depression and loneliness
There are many possible causes of a fear of intimacy. These include childhood experiences, previous relationships, low self-image or confidence issues, social anxiety and fear of rejection.
If your partners or friends complain about lack of closeness this could be a sign that you have a fear of intimacy. It can be difficult for one partner to understand the other’s perspective. Sometimes we sabotage relationships, convincing ourselves our partner is too demanding or of the existence of other problems, in order to avoid facing our fears.
There are also some more surprising signs of a fear of intimacy.
You hate sitting still
People with a fear of intimacy often keep themselves busy to avoid facing up to their perceived weaknesses or possible loneliness. It’s the perfect excuse not to have time for people who might be trying to get too close.
You’re known as being very positive
Positive people tend to be well liked but it’s also a way of avoiding deeper connections with people. Humans tend to bond over weakness – sadness, struggles or problems – rather than strength.
People turn to you for help
When you’re the strong one people may ask for help or advice but you’re very rarely asked to give anything away about yourself. If people see you as dependable and faultless they may well be a little intimidated and avoid prying too deeply.
You have an ‘ideal’ partner in mind
Intimacy phobics often create a list of desirable (usually unachievable) qualities they want in a partner so that no one can ever live up to them. You may get hung up on unavailable people which makes it easier for you to justify your situation to yourself.
Overcoming Fear of Intimacy
If you think you might have a fear of intimacy and would like some support overcoming it, I can help. Fear of intimacy can be a deep rooted issue going back to childhood or it can stem from a lack of confidence or low self-worth. Whatever the cause, hypnotherapy can help, providing a new confidence which will help in all areas of your life.
A positive relationship with an understanding therapist is a great place to start to build intimacy in a safe space. You’ll soon start to feel that you aren’t so afraid anymore and your relationships, friendships, happiness and even professional performance can all improve as a result. To get the process started or find out more, please do get in touch.