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September 10, 2012

Tips For Building Intimacy

IStock_0dating(2)When it comes to building intimacy, people often think it takes major efforts over a long period of time.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Building intimacy is in the little things and it starts with a genuine love and respect for the other person. 

Below are five stepping-stones to building intimacy in a friendship, romantic relationship or family.  The more consistently you implement these, the more intimacy and trust you will create in your relationships.

1.    Speak honestly:  We cannot have intimacy if we’re not willing to tell our truth to those we love.   Sharing our truth with compassion is one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone.  Even the difficult truths are gifts. It doesn’t serve us to pretend things are fine if they aren’t.  It doesn’t help us to say our relationship is great if they aren’t. When we can have the courage to truly tell the other person what is going on for us (in a grounded, respectful way), we begin to build true intimacy. 
2.    Share yourself:  Relationships are about connection.  One key way we get and feel connected is by sharing our stories with one another.  It’s incredibly intimate to share one’s dreams, fears, ideas and even embarrassments with another and trust that they can hold that information with love. Intimacy means: “Into-me-you see”, if we’re not sharing ourselves with our loved ones, we create distance not intimacy.

3.    Incorporate tender sprinkles often:  Kind acts yield kind feelings.  Sometimes we forget to nurture the relationships of those closest to us.  We have to nurture those relationships.  Those who are in our inner circle deserve to get the best of us.  We strengthen these relationships by paying attention to the little things—the compliments, kind notes, loving acts, tender touches and cherishing behaviors.  Tender sprinkles keep relationships strong—remember to incorporate them.
4.    Be supportive:  Our closest friends and loved ones should also be the most supportive peeps in our lives.  We have to stop playing the devil’s advocate, responding out of fear and blocking the success of those we love.  When we help our friends, family members and partners soar it helps us to soar as well.  Be the buoy pulling others up not the anchor weighing them down.
5.    Lighten up:  one of the biggest blocks to intimacy I see is people getting bogged down in the seriousness of life.  We have to learn to lighten up.  Not everything has to be so heavy.  Have fun, laugh, joke around and be spontaneous.  Whether we’re with our lovers, our friends or our family members we can increase intimacy by just plain having fun.  Who knows, we may even enjoy ourselves n the process.

Challenge:  If you’re feeling a lack of intimacy in your life, start taking small steps to create it.  Share yourself, speak honestly, sprinkle kindness, offer support and…lighten up.


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