When we or our partner feel(s) vulnerable, there is an opportunity to create intimacy. Often, we do not know what to say to someone who is feeling vulnerable, so we say nothing.
What most people need when feeling vulnerable is someone to simply be there with them.It is not necessary to have the answer or make him/her feel better. By simply saying, “I don’t know what to say/do to help you, but I will sit with you,” you create an intimate connection. It is tempting to talk – hoping to say the right thing. Often only silence is needed.
Silence allows the person to take the lead – to speak, cry, be silent, or otherwise. It is tempting to try to take away or protect the people we love from pain. We can’t. Our partner doesn’t need us to take away his/her pain. People grow through their pain.
- Allow your partner to experience and work through his/her pain.
- Practice being with your partner without words – allow the intimacy of silence and your presence to speak for itself.
- If you feel vulnerable and your partner tries to make it better, ask him/her to simply sit with you if that is what you need.
- If you want to be held, ask for that. Practice intimacy by being there for each other
James Cordova, a researcher at the University of Illinois, says that intimacy develops when someone shares something s/he feels vulnerable about, and the other person responds in an accepting and positive way. This positive interaction creates emotional safety in a relationship, which fosters more intimacy.
*DISCLAIMER: This is general advice and not directed at any specific situation.
THE BEST COUPLE COUNSELOR IN MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
SUSAN RESNIK, M.Ed, LMHC
Susan Resnik is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified SYMBIS Facilitator who specializes in couple counseling. She’s been in the mental health counseling field for 25 years and has won multiple awards on her counseling excellence.