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About Getting Close

"I don't know why she says I won't get close! It's so frustrating!"
"She just won't get close, no matter what I do."
"I'm lonely. I need someone close."

We talk about closeness all the time, but:
What is closeness?
What makes us feel close?
What can we do to feel closer?

WHY WE WANT TO BE CLOSE

The only thing we need from each other is attention.
Every other need we have can be taken care of on our own if necessary.
And the closer we are to another person
- physically and emotionally -
the more attention we get.

PREREQUISITES

Don't bother thinking about how to get closer to someone
if you don't spend much time with them!
The first prerequisite is time.

And if you are with someone but you give all your attention
to something that doesn't involve them,
you still can't be close.
The second prerequisite is energy.

So, if you are spending enough time and energy
with the person you want to be close to, read on.
But if you don't do these two things,
the rest of this topic might not relate much to you yet.
You'll need to change your priorities first.
(Read "How Are You Spending Your Life." Then come back here.)

SKIN TO SKIN

The closer our skin is to the other person's skin, the closer we are!
(How's that for brilliant…)

People who are afraid to get close always stay as far away as possible.
They isolate themselves socially.
They only shake hands if they absolutely have to
(usually a very firm, almost painful handshake)
, and, of course, they never hug.
They even avoid all "unnecessary" touch during sex!

EYE TO EYE

Simply looking into the other person's eyes creates closeness.
As long as the other person is comfortable,
you can't overdo this.

EAR TO EAR

Most of us are used to not being heard,
or at least not being heard well.
Be sure you have understood the other person's words
before you start formulating your reply in your head
- otherwise you are only hearing yourself.

HEART TO HEART

Just tell people what you feel.
Sharing feelings will always bring greater closeness.

People who are afraid of closeness don't share their tender feelings (sad, scare, and joy).
They only share their "harsher" feelings (anger and excitement).
They actually try to turn all their tender feelings into harsher feelings
before they let you notice them.
This isn't telling people how they really feel at all.
It's actually misleading to the other person and puts distance between the two people.

Here are some examples of how people who are afraid of closeness do this:

 

TENDER FEELING STATEMENT:

TURNED HARSHER:

Sadness to anger…
"I'm just very sad since I lost it."
"He took it away! It's just not fair!"
Scare to anger…
"What'll I do?! I'm just so scared."
"I hate this! I just hate this!"
Scare to excitement…
"That looks too scary for me!"
"Come on! It'll be fun!"
Joy into excitement…
"Isn't this just wonderful?"
"Look at that! Amazing!"
Sad to excitement…
"I'm just very sad about losing it."
"I can't wait to get the new one!"
Joy to anger…
"Isn't this wonderful?"
"Son of a bitch! I can't believe it!!"

HOW TO GET CLOSE

  • Admit that you want plenty of attention.

  • Spend enough time with others. (Change your priorities if you need to.)"

  • Spend more energy with others. (Change your priorities if you need to.)

    Get more skin-to-skin contact. (If you are afraid of it, get help.)

    Look into the other person's eyes (unless they show discomfort with it).

  • Take time to hear what the other person actually says (instead of what you are thinking).

  • Notice your tender feelings and admit to yourself that you are feeling them.

  • Express your sadness as sadness (not as anger or excitement).

  • Express your fear as fear (not as anger or excitement).

  • Express your joy as joy (not as excitement or anger).

GET CLOSE BY SHARING YOUR JOY

If I had to give only one bit of advice about how to get close it would be:
Tell people when you feel joy about how good things are right now!

If you only do this, you will see a lot of improvement in all areas of your life.
(Try it, and let me know if I'm wrong…)

Please Tell Your Friends About This Site.

Enjoy Your Changes!

Everything here is designed to help you do just that!

Relationship
Analysis



Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee) 

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