Have you ever experienced getting close to someone and suddenly, without warning, they create some sort of drama and fall out of your life? This happens with dates, friendships and even clients. You beat yourself up wishing you could have done something different and you blame yourself for their leaving. It isn’t your fault; you just experienced their “Intimacy Defense.”
When people are hurt at a young age by someone they trusted to keep them safe, they build a powerful defense from allowing anyone to get that close again. They desperately want connection, but when they bump up against the breaking point when they really start to care about you, something triggers in them to remind them of their old hurt and they run.
When they experience unconditional love and acceptance, instead of feeling good, they unconsciously interpret it as a threat to their survival. They find excuses to quit or run away by rationalizing with silly stories and making it your fault. They associate closeness with pain. Putting up the protective barriers not only cushions them from reliving the old pain but also closes them off to love.
The person who leaves has to project the problem onto you to avoid facing their own fears and preserving their ego. They justify their escape by making up exaggerated claims of mistakes you made or promises you didn’t keep. In a desperate attempt to justify their abandonment, they are forced to bend the truth to fit to their own agenda.
What is sad is that they will burn through friends, family and colleagues and never really get close to anyone. They play the victim but they are acting through their own self-punishment. The defense is so unconscious that they don’t even realize what they are doing.
To try to rationalize with a person like this is futile because their ego is so clever they are so convinced the problem is with you, not them. Instead of getting angry, see them as scared people. They must have gone through some tough hurts to be so defensive and afraid of love. Have compassion for them.
If you understand WHY it is happening you can stop beating yourself up about it. Don’t close down like them. Continue to open your heart knowing you did nothing wrong but present a loving opportunity to go deeper intimately in a relationship.
If you find yourself doing this to others, examine your fears of intimacy and the unconscious assumptions that have been made around relationships. If this is a pattern, you can change it by going toward the fear and seeing that there is no real threat to love.
In dating and coach/client relationships, there is always a level of intimacy that gets created. You are not responsible for the other person’s fears or projections. Some people are evolved enough to accept responsibility and transcend their fears. Your openness can be a catalyst for a breakthrough that will change all relationships in their life.
Unfortunately not everyone is ready to move past the Intimacy Defense, but that doesn’t mean you should shut down your heart and stop sharing all of who you are. As you continue to stay open, people who are ready to receive the exchange of love will flow into your life.
Have you experienced this? Write a comment below and share what you think!