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Fear and Intimacy

I want to know and be known,  but have over the years created blocks to this out of fear.  I tend to try to placate people by pretending to be silly, childish, and unthreatening.  I don’t think I am entirely threatening, serious or adult, but those are cards in my hand which I tend to keep in the hand, while I play the other ones.  I am a bit like a traditional woman in this respect who has been taught that if she says what she thinks straightforwardly men will not find her sexy and attractive.  At the end of the day though I have had enough with the false front, because the performance prevents intimacy and is, on top of that, exhausting.  Will people like me the way I really am?  I don’t really know, but I know I cannot spend my very limited time pretending.

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9 thoughts on “Fear and Intimacy

  1. You can try losing the false front. But start being yourself among people you don’t care much about, in case you lose them 🙂 And you’re so right, being false is exhausting. Now, on to …….. The traditional woman who dumbs down for a man? We don’t dumb down for men we don’t find attractive. Or for men who can’t fill our needs. And I have yet to find a Traditional woman. We don’t dumb down for smart men we also find sexy and attractive. Some of us haven’t dumbed down for years

    Most men and women choose their own general level of friends and partners. 5’s choose 5’s and 9’s choose 9’s in looks, education, and intellect. About the man in the story? Is he a traditional man who would dumb down for a smart woman who was also sexy and attractive? We need a bit of flexibility or adjustment with various people while still being ourselves. He may find that friendships with good people are more satisfying than pretend intimacy. Sometimes a woman who is 9 in intelligence does well with a man who is a 9 in kindness and compassion.
    I’d tell that man to start thoughtfully, and give it a go today.

  2. 💜…(coming straight from the Heart)

    Dear Eric,

    How are you feeling tonight (Spiritually, Mentally & Physically)?

    As the Grandfather of my friend (Arun Gandhi) might have said ‘Thank You for Being The Change you wish to see in the world’ & here’s why I say that:

    As an American of African-Ancestry who teaches Mindful Empathy, has an LGBT Father & once upon a time played Major League Baseball for the President of the United States authenticity & placation have been a daily (Life) balance. Your words are a beautiful gift of Empathy and I just want you to know how important they are (personally & collectively)

    …I’ll pause there & tweet you from @TrueNorthHouse if you’d enjoy any expansion on anything I just said 😉 Have a Grateful Day ‘ELK’

    Tony ‘The Empathy Guy’ Scruggs

      • ⚾…Gratitude received with the Sincerity it was given ‘ELK’ (Is it cool to call you that? It’s such a baseball tradition that I forget to request consent sometimes)

        I just read your blog again (I’m digging the multiple layers on the 2nd pass) & it reminded me of a conversation I had with a young lady on our ‘Garry Marshall Softball team’

        …she was an American of Caucasian-Ancestry and was wanting some Empathy (since Empathy is 4 different things, I mean Understanding in this case) around the pain she felt from placating to Men. After I “RSVP’d” her pain I shared with her how brave she was for protecting herself with this strategy. Seemingly shocked to hear that reframe I let her know that ethnically I’ve needed to do the same thing in order to prevent injury! She exhaled, Empathically smiled & said “thank you”

        Thank You for adding me to your Twitter Family E. Besides our Ucla & Garry Marshall (‘Beaches’) connection I need to send Mayim a Gratitude tweet for sharing YOU (& your Contemplative blog) with us yesterday. Hopefully she feels the Bruin/Henderson appreciation😎Namaste’

  3. I understand your point completely, and find myself in much the same situation. In truth, I am heartless, extremely cold, formal, harsh, and dead serious. Being myself, I am cold, calculating, responding to people rather than emotionally reacting. Such a natural disposition makes people extremely uncomfortable, frightened at times. I can be intimidating without even trying, threatening by presence and not action. All in all, my natural state is probably a bit more offsetting than yours.

    To put on a false face to placate others is a constant burden, something I know all to well. First in the effort to try to please people, second in the guilt of being dishonest towards others. Sometimes the efforts are quite tiresome, and always with a bit of guilt. One may also question if people like the individual putting on the act, or the act itself. When the mask is good enough, the play realistic enough, the facade deep enough, one may not be able to tell if someone likes you, or the masked character. Of course, this is always the price of dishonesty.

    In fact, what is the difference between good social behaviour and dishonesty? Being nice to someone you don’t like is good, kind, the right thing to do, unless, of course, you consider such to be dishonest, and thus the wrong thing. A psychopath says “Hello” to an old lady, instead of acting on his desires to knock her down, beat her, and steal her purse. Should we laud him for good behaviour, or should we verbally assault him for not being true to himself?

    As for your analogy, I’d say I’m an old sword. Cold and hard, with a nice sheath of wood and leather. If I’m charming and non threatening, people will come to look upon my covering as a sign of warmth and life. To have people know my intimately is to know the cold piece of steel I really am. I have to avoid intimacy, because my natural state frightens people, so the sheath must always be on, and must always be presented. For people to know my intimately would only make things worse, and it only brings up reactions of respect, but mostly of fear. It is especially upsetting to those that think there is something even softer and more lively underneath the sheath.

    I could confess that when I was drinking, I wore the mask, and acted like the sheath, so much and so long to be as nice to people as I could so they would not bother my drinking habits, that I came closer to believing I was the sheath and not the sword, the mask. I never really lost myself, but it was amazing to me when you put on an act long enough, the actor has the risk of losing himself to the role he is acting. Wear a mask for a day, yo control the mask. Wear the mask long enough, you might become the mask.

    I digress, and speak a bit too much of myself, but I suppose I can relate to what you write, and have simple advice, one should not feel too bad about putting on an act to behave civilly with others one does not wish to. Sometimes a working relationship is better off with a false niceness than with an unprofessional real meanness. Be honest with those you can, and those for him their opinions and love of you truly matter. You can’t win everyone as yourself, and not everyone will love you for who you truly are. Sometimes intimacy and real emotions with some people area very bad thing.

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