Relationships: Do Some People's Childhood Set Them Up To Feel Smothered When They Experience Intimacy?
When it comes to intimacy, it could be said that there are at least three types of people. There can the ones who want to experience it, the ones who do experience it and the ones who do everything they can do avoid it.
And whether one has fulfilling relationships can all depend on which one of these they can relate to. But regardless of what their relationships are like, there is the chance that this is how they have experienced life for quite some time.
A Deeper Connection
If one is able to get close to other people without feeling uncomfortable, it is naturally going to have a positive effect on their life. This will allow them to share what is taking place within them.
One can then open up about how they feel, reveal their needs, and share their dreams and fears, for instance. Ultimately, they will be able to share who they are without losing themselves.
Through sharing these parts of themselves, it is going to allow their relationships to be far more fulfilling than if this wasn’t the case. This is not to say that they won’t have surface level conversations though.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that one will share each part of themselves and this will enable them to operate as a whole human being. Yet, if they were to only share certain parts of themselves, parts of them will end up being neglected.
When one does what they can to avoid intimacy, this is going to be something that takes place. This is not going to be something that occurs from time to time though; it will be a way of life.
Even so, this doesn’t mean that they will realise what is taking place, and this is because they can be out of touch with their emotional needs. Thus, it could be normal for them to only share their mind and body with others.
Once they have shared their mind and/or just their body, they could feel as though their needs have been met. In fact, they might find it hard to understand why someone would want more.
If they were to come into contact with someone who wanted more from them, they could describe them as being ‘needy’, for instance. The other person’s needs could end up pushing them away.
Back and Forth
One could then go and find someone else to share their body with, or they could end up going back to the same person. This could be sign that the other person is willing to overlook their need to experience intimacy.
Alternatively, one might feel the urge to go back to the same person, and this could be seen as a sign that they like them. It might only be a matter of time before they have the need to get away again and that could be the end of it, or this could be a dynamic that continues to play out.
A Deeper Look
If one was to get in touch with what is taking place in their body - when they feel the need to get away - they may find that they feel smothered. It is then not that they want to get away from the other person; it is that they want to avoid how they feel.
And through being away from someone who will trigger how they feel, they will be able to settle down. Once this has taken place, it is not going to be a surprise for them to want to go back again.
It could seem as though it is their physical needs that cause them to go back to the same person, but there could be more to it. This might be a way for them to avoid feeling abandoned.
The feeling and the fear of being abandoned can be the reason why someone else would come on strong. If one was to come on strong towards them, they could also end up feeling smothered.
However, even though both of them experience the same feelings, there is a difference when it comes to the intensity of them. When one avoids intimacy, the feeling of being smothered will be the strongest.
And when someone wants to experience intimacy but has the tendency to attract people who are distant, they are likely to find that their fear of being abandoned is far stronger than their fear of being smothered. Therefore, if someone can relate to this and they are fed up with attracting people who are unavailable, it will be important for them to see the part that they are playing.
If one is in a position where they want to experience intimacy and they keep feeling the need to get away when they are with someone, it is going to cause them to experience a lot of pain. They may have sabotaged a number of relationships, and this could mean that they will only get so far.
Perhaps this has even caused them to cheat on a number of occasions, as this will have allowed them to experience a sense of freedom. It might occur to them that it is not the people they have been with who caused them to feel trapped; it is what was taking place in their own body and mind.
What’s going on?
How one feels when they get close to another is likely to be the result of what took place during their formative years. This could have been a time when one of their caregivers got to close to them and as they wouldn’t have had boundaries at this time, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to protect themselves.
Getting close to another would have been seen as something that would cause them to lose themselves and to be annihilated. How they felt all those years ago has then remained in their body and it will be triggered whenever they end up getting close to another person.
Through seeing that what is taking place externally is only triggering how they feel internally, one will be able to change their life. One will need to develop boundaries and to deal with the pain that is within them, and this can take place by working with a therapist.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.