Or at least, intimacy killers. Nothing says you’re inadequate, insignificant or unacceptable more than when you’re being judged, criticized or bossed around by someone. If you’re determined to kill intimacy by 1000 cuts, do the following to your significant other:
- Criticize, judge or blame him/her often over appearance, work, money, diet, health, etc. --Don’t listen to what he/she has to say especially during disagreements
- Don’t try to understand his/her point of view or why he/she feels a certain way
- Be insensitive to his/her needs and desires, have it your way
- Don’t accept him/her as is--do your best to change him/her to your satisfaction
- Continue to speak in harsh tones, sigh in exasperation, roll your eyes, use looks of contempt --Don’t have an interest or give support to his/her goals or passions
- Tell him/her what to do or say what he/she’s doing wrong, treat him/her like a child
- Do your best to be right in arguments and don’t own up to your mistakes
If you find there’s tension, coldness, power-struggles, less sex and cuddling in your relationship, you’re well on your way to choking off the flow of love and intimacy.
If you’re on the receiving end of these actions, you probably don’t feel safe, valued or cherished. No matter how confident or put together you may seem, you have vulnerabilities and insecurities. These types of treatment have a way of tweaking the unconscious fears of not being worthy, good enough or important and incites conflicts. Love and intimacy can’t flourish in an atmosphere where kindness, understanding, support and respect are absent.
The good news is that there are ways to turn things around. Take responsibility for your actions, commit to doing things differently in the future and learn basic relationship and communication skills. Over time with consistency, trust and safety, intimacy can return.
For the basic skills, check out Step 2 in my book, CPR for Relationships, Seven Steps to Breathe Life Back into Your Relationships. In it, you’ll learn how to use inviting body language, listening to understand another person and speaking skills that will get you heard and understood. Also, you may want to look at 12 Relationship Needs which can be found in my book or on my website -- FierceFirstStep.com
Copyright © Sho Aoyagi 2013
These articles are meant to be informative and not to be taken as advice. Every person’s situation is different and the articles may not pertain to your speciﬁc situation.
Also, before dealing with any issue with another person or before attempting to look at your own issues, it’s important to consult with an appropriate professional for guidance.