Emotional Intimacy is learned
In order to move beyond which ever primitive protective strategy we employ, ie. distancing, dominating or adapting, we need to remain mindful of which one we’re using and be willing to let go of it. Typically, the feelings sitting behind each strategy are fear and helplessness. Consequently, we need to learn to feel these feelings, learn how to express them, give a voice to what we want or need. We can also learn to become competent at identifying and expressing the story which accompanies these feelings and the strategy we are attempting to let go of. The domination strategy will either have story about feeling afraid of losing ourselves or losing the other, the adaptive strategy will inevitably have story about fearing to lose the other, while the distancing strategy will have a story about fearing to lose ourselves. The most creative way to tell these stories and to strengthen rapport is to relate them without blame.