Romance is in the air. With Valentine’s Day soon approaching, it is important to not let shame interfere with your emotional intimacy. When you feel shame, it can be difficult to open up and share your feelings with even the closest people in your life. Don’t let shame ruin your special connection.

Valentine’s Day is this week, and I have noticed many ‘click-bait’ articles about intimacy and relationships.  I’m a sucker for “clickbait,” those irresistible headlines or pictures that get you to click on them. Stuff like: ‘woman lives on butter for 7 years’, ‘what to do if the gas pedal in your car gets stuck’, or ‘the 7 best places to retire abroad’.

I took the bait for an article about the 5 best ways to create intimacy in your relationship. Sounds fitting for the season, right? Tip number one, was to create more intimacy by sharing your feelings with your partner. In order to exemplify this, the article gave two example dialogues, one of not sharing your feelings and one where the couple shares intimate feelings. The first dialogue went like this:

  How was your day?

  It was tough. I had a long meeting with customer who wasn’t happy.

  Yeah I bet.

This was their example of how sharing how you feel can lead to greater conversations:

  How was your day?

  It was tough. I felt really frustrated with a customer. We had a long meeting and they weren’t happy. It seems like no matter what solution I proposed it didn’t work out.

  Yeah, that’s frustrating when you keep working for a solution and it’s not happening. How did it end?

  We scheduled another meeting. And now the pressure is on.

The second dialogue includes how the person is feeling. Sharing how you feel, or the other person sharing how they feel, creates and opportunity to emotionally relate.

This is great in theory, when it goes right. But when there’s deep shame involved, this simple conversation may not even happen. Why? Because when shame runs deep, the last thing you want to do is share your inner world. Often when shame is in effect, you do the opposite of share. You hide. You keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself. The hiding prevents heart connection from taking place and blocks intimacy. Shame blocks you from seen, heard and related to.

Let’s tweak the dialogue just a bit.

  How was your day?

  It was tough. I felt really frustrated with a customer. We had a long meeting and they weren’t happy. It seems like no matter what solution I proposed it didn’t work out.

  Yeah I bet.

The response, “Yeah I bet”, is harmless enough. But when shame runs deep, this response may trigger you. Here you are sharing how you feel and you get nothing in return. Shame gets triggered and perhaps you feel unloved, or that you don’t matter. You are feeling tired, frustrated and pressured. You’re emotionally vulnerable. Being emotionally vulnerable, plus shame being triggered, kicks of the downward spiral into not being enough. Then away you go.

Emotional intimacy is vital in relationships. One of the best ways to create intimacy in your relationships is to first resolve shame. When you feel whole and strong in who you are. It’s easier to share how you feel. It’s easier to not take things personally. It’s easier to speak your truth and share your thoughts and feelings. Sharing your thoughts and feelings is a path to getting the intimacy you seek.

This Valentine’s Day, and every day, I hope you can address your shame in an effort to create open dialogue and lasting relationships with your romantic partner as well as your friends, colleagues, and families. Don’t let shame get in the way of your relationships.

If you are interested in learning more about resolving shame and how it maybe blocking you from the intimacy you desire, let’s talk. Book your free call. Click the link below. It will be the best hour you spent looking at a hidden barrier between you and intimacy.

Shame is NOT a life sentence, so free yourself.

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