Authentic Connections

Developing Intimate Relationships

Authenticity is a prerequisite to intimacy. There are many layers to authentic connections, communication being only part of it. Authenticity is a learned skill that needs to be nurtured. Unfortunately, most of us do not learn to relate authentically as children. Learning this as an adult usually requires more internal work than most would recognize. It requires some risks, but it is so worth it.

Authentic connections require several elements:

Safety in relationships. This is particularly true in complicated relationships with people who lack emotional intelligence – and especially hard to achieve.

Self-acceptance. Learning to accept ourselves (and others) as the  perfectly imperfect humans that we are is also necessary. This quality leads to relationship and emotional safety, as we will discuss in more detail.

Self-awareness. Self-awareness enables us to understand more about who we are and what makes us tick. It is about learning to embrace our strengths and limitations, good and not-so-good qualities, sensitivities, and vulnerabilities.

Table of Contents:

Introduction........................................................... 5

Safety: The Foundation of Intimate Relationships     8

Safety in Relationships......................................................... 8

Story: Randy and Nancy.................................................... 11

Acceptance of Self and Others........................ 16

Self-Awareness and Vulnerability................. 18

Story: Kaylee......................................................................20

Empathy and Compassion............................... 25

Your Stuff and My Stuff...................................................... 25

Boundaries..........................................................................27

Turn Down the Intensity of Your Emotional Reactions 28

Mindfulness.......................................................................30

Verbal Expression of Empathy........................................ 32

Conscious Emotional Risks............................... 34


Best,

Juan


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