Self Intimacy: What It Is & How to Nurture It

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Self Intimacy: What It Is & How to Nurture It

Do you ever feel like you’re living your life on autopilot? Many of us rush through our days, meeting the expectations of work, family, and society without taking a moment to truly connect with ourselves. As a therapist and a life coach, I know that this lack of self-intimacy can hinder your personal growth and your capacity to have close, connected, meaningful relationships with others. In this article, we will explore what self-intimacy is, why it’s important, and what you can do to nurture your connection with yourself so that you can develop greater intimacy with others. 

What Is Self Intimacy? 

Self intimacy is the connection you have to your deepest self. It’s being aware of your feelings, tuning into your thoughts, and being present with your experiences in a way that helps you build self compassion and understanding. Having a good level of self intimacy is necessary for being truly close with others. You can’t share your deepest self with someone you care about until you are intimately familiar with those deeper parts of you. If you struggle with emotional intimacy in relationships, developing self-intimacy is the place to start. 

Why Does Self-Intimacy Matter?

Self-intimacy allows you to turn off the auto-pilot feeling you may sometimes experience, where you react to situations and emotions without deep understanding where our reactions are coming from. It empowers you to be more intentional, more emotionally healthy, and more secure in your connections with others. 

As you develop self intimacy, you’ll begin to understand your relationship patterns from a new perspective. This self-awareness is the starting point for personal growth. It can also enhance your self-esteem by helping you uncover your strengths and remain compassionate toward your “faults.” It encourages self-love and acceptance, helping you to treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you might extend to a dear friend.

Self-intimacy can also be challenging. It requires you to confront your shadow side, or parts of your identity that you don’t like to acknowledge. But it’s through this recognition and acceptance of deeper layers of yourself that you can become the happiest, best version of you. 

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Self-Intimacy and Intimacy with Others

Our relationships with others are deeply connected to our relationship with ourselves. It’s only when we have deep intimacy with ourselves that we can experience true emotional intimacy with another person. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Understanding and Accepting Yourself: Self-intimacy means not shying away from the parts of yourself you may have once deemed undesirable. By accepting and understanding these parts of you, you feel more secure and more able to be yourself with others. 
  • Vulnerability and Trust: True emotional intimacy with others requires being vulnerable. When you’re self-intimate and have accepted your imperfections, you can be more open about them with your partner. This authenticity builds trust and deepens the connection between you.
  • Identifying Needs and Wants: Without self-intimacy, it can be challenging to identify your own needs and wants. As a result, you might struggle to express these desires to your partner, which can lead to resentment and conflict in relationships. When you are intimately connected with yourself, you can communicate your boundaries and needs clearly, which helps you get those needs met

How to Develop Self-Intimacy

Here are a few practical steps you can take to nurture self intimacy:

  • Seek Support: If you want a better relationship with yourself, finding a therapist is often the best path forward. A good therapist can help you uncover deeper thoughts and feelings and understand yourself from a new perspective, which can build your sense of connection with yourself. 
  • Journaling: A journal is a valuable tool for exploring your inner world. Use journal prompts that challenge you to explore your feelings, identify emotional triggers, and reflect on what brings you joy. Writing about your thoughts and feelings can help you notice patterns over time and can provide an outlet for self-expression. 
  • Daily Check-Ins: Regularly check in with yourself. Spend a few minutes each day reflecting on your emotions, thoughts, and overall emotional well-being. Keep notes about how you’re feeling and notice any recurring patterns or changes over time.
  • Meditation: Many people find that meditation helps them foster a deeper mind-body connection. It can help you become more aware of your emotions and how they show up as sensations in your body, leading to a greater understanding of your inner world.

Support for Building an Intimate Relationship with You

Nurturing self-intimacy is the starting point for so much personal growth, including more meaningful relationships with others. This is a journey that can enrich your life and lead to greater fulfillment and connection. 

If you would like my support with building your self intimacy so that you can improve your emotional wellbeing and your relationships, I invite you to schedule a free consultation


Emily B., M.S., LMFTA

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