We’ve been getting down and “naked to the soul” throughout the recent month. I’m unveiling all those major inhibitors to intimacy in this series and today is a wrap up of what has inspired incredible interest from the community. It is an honour to share insight from the counselling room on common snags to the secure connection and love we deserve in order to spread the love for everyone!
Last month I recognised four main categories:
Today I present the overarching theme of being “naked to the soul”.
It would be safe to stay that our human nature default status is a lack of appreciation for ourselves. Even worse, self-deprecation and toxic self-loathing. It takes effort to keep abreast of the spiralling anxious thoughts that feed this.
In society, talk yourself up or display too much self-promotion – you’re arrogant, conceited and “full of yourself”. In reality, we thrive on encouragement, positive reinforcement and the connectedness from others to “have our back”, particularly when life gets challenging.
If I were to blatantly stereotype, many men will derive status from their achievements along with power from sex. A lot of women feel validated for their appearance and sense of belonging and acceptance when in a relationship. I note we do have unique “mosaic” brains so everyone features their own blend of longings.
When we “strip back” our work, our interests, our looks and who we are with, it’s worth reflecting on exactly, Who am I without my money, job, my partner or other avenues I rely on for validation?” “Who do I represent?“ “What do I stand for?” and “What do I long for?”.
Do we miss out on complementing each other in healthy partnerships because we overlook what’s really inhibiting intimacy? The recognition of our design for love, acceptance and belonging for being ourselves with all our flaws and raw spots? Are we scared of what will see in ourselves when not covered by our “things”.
You deserve to ask (in the appropriate way) for your desires, recognising you’re an amazing work in progress and be accepted for your short-comings. Have the courage to turn up bare in your relationship, naked to the soul.
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, workshop facilitator and guest speaker. Tune into radio Salt106.5 each Friday morning for her co-host of the Morning Wakeup. Don’t miss more on these articles in her “Is This Love” Podcast and download your FREE relationship resources at www.relationshiprejuvenator.com
Ever wondered the most consistent challenge for couples that features in the counselling room week after week? Not fibbing or blubbering. I’m talking phubbing! This is a behaviour, I’ve sadly discovered, I am still guilty of and I’m guessing you could well be too.
Technology advancing at lightning speed and its great impact on the way we do things is nothing new. I personally can’t wait to download the latest App for fear of missing out! Last week it was for sleep monitoring and this week it’s a new funky navigational one. Social media networks have become the main channels of communication for so many of us. You’ve been living in Paradise Caves (that’s a real place on the Sunshine Coast!), if you haven’t heard of or used Facebook, Messenger, SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, WhatsApp and Tinder.
This is where your internal friction lies. Regularly prioritise that phone that tells you the weather, how to find package free wholefoods to engineer that delectable dish to cook, how much money you raised for the Sunshine Coast Coastrek, and the footy scores; over the love for your partner, results in “phubbing”. Phone plus snubbing.
I’m the first one to admit to being amused or mesmerized for too long by a certain hand-held device portraying enviable, captivating pictures, data or ideas - whilst my own family was seeking my attention. I’d often phubbed them and am ashamed. This shocking behavioural phenomenon is a also a real word and a “thing”. This dreadful “technoference” means those most important to me could be in deficit of the emotional attentiveness they deserve. Furthermore it can make us feel incredibly down.
Just last week, Neurocience News reported, what a team of psychologists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) led by Dr. Phillip Ozimek discovered:
“Private and professional social networks can promote higher levels of depression if users mainly use them passively, compare themselves with others socially and these comparisons have a negative impact on self-esteem. ‘It is important that this impression that everyone else is better off can be an absolute fallacy,’ says the psychologist. “In fact, very few people post on social media about negative experiences. However, the fact that we are flooded with these positive experiences on the Internet gives us a completely different impression.”
Long ago, the Relationships Australia Indicator survey cited the concerning and significant proportion (around 50%) of both men and women who indicated that there had been a negative effect on their relationship due to a current or former partner spending too much time on the internet instead of with them or their family. Sad!
Marriages and Children flourish when they are not constantly receiving the message that your phone is more important than them. The happiest head start to your child’s life is a secure “attachment”. That is, they need to know they can count on you when they need, you love them and you need them. It also means, joining them in their “bids” for your attention. The frequency of such requests as, “Watch me balance this fidget spinner on my nose, Dad.” can be annoying, however from what I hear from the wise elderly, they’ll be grown up and gone way too soon.
My Relationship therapy often incorporates couples creating their own customized rules to prevent social media infiltrating their relationships and use it to enhance their connection. The first step is awareness, so be proactive and discuss any concerns with your partner. Here are some ideas that I’ve collaborated with couples and found effective:
If you have small Children, model behaviour and respect for others you would hope they will reflect - especially when they are teenagers! As much as social media is an effective tool in connecting relationships, it can also lead to their demise. Be still, be present, and you give and get the gift of NOW. You too can stop phubbing.
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, radio co-host, workshop facilitator and guest speaker. Contact www.theconfidantecounselling.com or via email. Look out for my new podcast discussing these articles and more, "Is This Love?"
With anticipation I look forward to your interaction and suggestions for more interesting research, tips and information on the below topics.
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Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.