Does the following statement sound familiar?

“I’ve been hurt in the past so it’s hard for me to trust again.”

All of us have either thought or spoken words to that effect.  We’ve all had our hearts broken in a relationship or been wounded emotionally by our family.

And so vulnerability is a tough space to inhabit.

Yet it’s exactly what you need to express in order to achieve intimacy, which is a key characteristic of a healthy relationship.

In order to have that intimacy, both people need to feel safe emotionally yet that safe space can be hard to create.

It turns out that our nervous systems are highly developed when it comes to detecting danger, even emotional danger.  So when speaking to a partner, we have to be super aware of our voice tone, eye contact, facial expressions and body language.

If you are not, the other person will perceive you as a threat, making intimacy nearly impossible.

If you’re not feeling close to your partner, it might be because of how YOU communicate, especially when you express disagreement or dissatisfaction.

Emotional safety also requires truth telling and keeping your word. 

She won’t feel safe with you if you’re deceitful or break your promises.

As a final note, I will leave you with this great quote from John Amodeo, PhD:

 “It’s easier to love a person than to feel intimate with them. Intimacy requires emotional safety.”

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