Passion Builds from Moments of Authentic Connection. Begin Turning Your Attitudes Around in a Hurry!
I see both shame and arrogance interring with people’s sex lives all the time. Feelings of shame are often hiding in arrogant attitudes. How can you know if you are one of these types? If you are arrogant you may believe others need to change so you can get your needs met. How’s that working for you? If you are meek you may believe you aren’t worthy of closeness with others. Not acting on your desire to have companionship is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You become better and better at not risking showing people (including your partner) who you are. Being blustery also hides you from those around you.
Let’s unravel both of these destructive attitudes and get to some useful behaviors.
SHAME BASED INTIMACY
I don’t dare say who I am.
I am afraid I will say something stupid if I make myself known.
He gets so mad when I say what I want.
If I am not careful, I will just start crying, and not be able to stop.
These ways of talking about yourself build thicker, more rigid, walls between you and other people. I like to think of them as brick walls. Knocking over the whole wall is nearly impossible. You can, however, chip out the mortar around one defensive brick and knock it out. Your armor now has less strength. Now you see, and possibly are seen. As you feel capable, that hole is much easier to make larger, by chipping out one of the bricks next to the hole you already have. I help people make sense of who they are as their armor becomes more porous.
ARROGANCE BASE INTIMACY
People should learn to know what I want.
I can make people do what I want.
Don’t they know how important I am?
I have earned the right to treat people poorly.
Either shame or arrogance will block the people around you from seeing the whole you. And you cannot truly see yourself without other peoples’ impressions of you. You are hiding feelings of inadequacy with your blustery attitude; even if you might not be aware of it. When you can’t control people, do you feel incapable of controlling yourself? Why even try to be on equal footing? I, again, think of arrogance as a defensive wall made of bricks. If you are willing to start chipping away at it, you may find your partner likes you better, trusts you more and is eager to give you what you want. Keep looking for areas where the bricks (belief in you as more deserving than others) are easy to knock out. You will now be standing stronger in your vulnerability. Highly sexy! No need to prove it.
Sex is best when the parties involved see, sense and understand each other. This does not happen over night. Sex needs to become ever more give-and-take to be its most thrilling and comforting. Meek people, stop keeping your passions hidden from others! On the other hand, if all you want is controlled sex, you are building a box for yourself in the long-run which becomes ever more confided. With arrogance your feelings of closeness to your partner, and all the richness it provides, will be further and further from your grasp.
An attitude of enquiring is the starting point. Relax in the knowledge you have an honest, brave, supportive and kind self at your innermost. You will begin to do and say the right things the more you practice seeing through your guardedness. Even little bits of progress become cumulative. A glimpse of honorable, brave ways to behave will never leave you. Remember these moments and allow new, authentic actions to emerge in your intimate involvement. Mammalian (human) wiring requires us to be close to others. Simply stop blocking your natural connection and notice your progress, rather than any imperfections.
Bill Maier, LCSW has more writings about softening shame on his website: www.billmaiermsw.com. Please feel free to contact him for further information about Attachment, Neuroscience and Applied Psychoanalytic approaches to change.