Ever feel awkward or unsure of what to do or what to talk about when you want to get close to an attractive person? Don't despair. We've all been there.
Fortunately, you can develop better intimacy skills. Honing your intimacy skills is not something I learned in high school - when I really could have used themu! I had to learn them by trial and error, like most of us.
What the heck are intimacy skills? Okay, I know some of you are thinking, "Va Va Va Voom!" Yet sex is only one expression of intimacy - physical intimacy. For most of us gals, however, emotional intimacy precedes physical intimacy. That's just the way we're built. That’s what we mean when we say to our girlfriends, “guys just don’t get it.,” and they nod knowingly. So guys, if you are reading this article, take note. Emotional intimacy skills will make you a favorite with the ladies.
Emotional intimacy skills are interpersonal skills which build a warm, trusting, reciprocal connection with another. When you are emotionally intimate with another person there is a comforting feeling of belonging, trust and safety. That is what lights our fire and makes us interested in more.
Here are my favorite and Top 10 Intimacy Skills for Building Emotional Closeness
- Active Listening is the ability to listen attentively and with an open mind and without an agenda. Everybody who has working ears can “hear,” but active listening is an art form. Most of the time women just want an acknowledgement of what we are saying. We don’t want guys to “fix it.” Women talk to de-stress ourselves and to build closeness.
- Presence is the ability to focus on and savor the NOW. If you are always thinking about the past or the future, you will miss a lot of wonderful close moments in the present. I like to say, “You must be Present to win!”
- Immediacy is the ability to speak from your heart in the moment. An example is what you might say to your significant other if there is distance between you: “I miss you and want to be close again.” This is a much better to build intimacy than complaining or criticizing, which tear it down.
- Compassion is when you practice kindness, wisdom and forgiveness with your loved one and with yourself. Compassionate people are easy to be around.
- Open-Heartedness is the ability to give and receive love and affection without expectations. That’s a tall order, but it is also one of the signs of unconditional love.
- Self-Esteem is thinking well of yourself and liking who you are. When you have good self-esteem it shows. It is an attractive quality because it creates an abundance of love within you that you choose to share with others. It is hard to form an emotionally close bond with someone with low self-esteem because they tend to reject your love and kindness – thinking they are not worthy.
- Vulnerability requires taking a calculated risk. It tests to see if the other person is trustworthy and sensitive. Yes, you have to take some emotional risks, but when you share something that feels very personal and the other person reciprocates at the same level, trust grows. Start with something personal, but not your deepest, darkest secret. See how the other person responds to your vulnerability.
- Assertiveness is the ability to ask for what you want. One of the biggest mistakes I hear clients say all the time is, "if he loved me, he'd know..." This requires the other person to be a mind reader. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a good guesser. Be an adult and tell me what you want.
- Be Trustworthy. Trust, the foundation of any ongoing relationship, is extended to trustworthy people.
- Take responsibility for your own actions, thoughts and emotions. Don't blame them on your partner. Not only is this a sign of maturity, but of humility.
Which one of these skills are you best at? Which one do you need to brush up on?
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