Intimacy in our relationships occurs when we’re able to be honest with ourselves and others, and express our vulnerability. You may think intimacy is just for couples or romantic relationships, but all of our relationships have some level of intimacy as it’s the fiber that connects us to others.
It takes time to develop intimacy; you can’t force it. What most of us regularly feel is the very human desire to connect with and be accepted by others.
Feeling disconnected? Follow these 10 tips to cultivate closeness and connection in all of your relationships:
Be present When we’re completely present we value our relationship and our time together. Intimacy is single-tasking, not multitasking.
Limit distractions Turn off your mobile and other devices and give your full, undivided attention. Interruptions and distractions break the connection that only your undivided attention can bring.
Share your truth Bring as much truth and honesty as your relationships will allow. Gradually shared truth over time develops even deeper levels of intimacy in our relationships.
Begin with listening Allow a person to speak uninterrupted. Listening allows you a deeper understanding of what is being said, and strengthens your connection.
Be authentic. Trying to please other people when it goes against who we are, or what we believe, eventually hurts us in relationships. Speak and behave from your authentic self. It’s better to be disliked for who you truly are, than liked for who you are not.
Live your words We betray others when we say one thing and then do another. Align your words with your actions for deeper trust and intimacy.
Communicate feelings What you feel communicates more about you and builds deeper intimacy versus sharing your thoughts alone. When we communicate our feelings with others, they feel it, and we feel it, and together we develop deeper, more intimate connections.
Resolve conflicts Take responsibility for your part in any conflict and watch your actions build deeper intimacy, particularly if both sides in a conflict are willing to serve the needs of the relationship. Apologize and agree on how to go forward.
Keep commitments Keeping commitments builds trust and sustains our relationships; breaking commitments erodes trust and hurts feelings. Apologize when you fail to maintain your relationship.
Cherish your relationships Regularly express your gratitude for those you cherish and all they bring to your life. Never take for granted the love, kindness, care, and support of others. Regular words or acts of gratitude show we value our relationships.