When we share with others, we bond, connect, learn, and grow. When we share, we open ourselves to others, building closeness.
Splitting a meal, a chocolate bar, sharing a blanket, a bed... all bring us physically close together.
Talking about our internal emotional environment, about our interests, hobbies, vision for our future, and feelings about the world help others to know us and feel closer to us
The more we share with others, the more likely they are to share with us.
If someone you want to be close to isn't sharing with you, ask them to. Ask them what you can do to make it more comfortable for them to share. Not everyone values the same things, so what you may share may not be valued by the other person, and vice versa. When you want to build intimacy, it's helpful to learn what others care about and participate in it if they want us to.
Research has demonstrated that sharing food, sharing stories about the past, etc. promote the release of pleasure chemicals that make us feel close to one another. We feel close to people who often share things with us or tell us about themselves. The happiest relationships are among people who like to do things together. No matter how sext or hot someone is, if you don't share time together, you likely will not be as happy as you could be.
Learning to share can be challenging, especially when we have not felt safe to share, or have shared in the past and felt rejection or judgement. People who value, like, or love you will want you to share, will want to learn about you. Sharing takes time and investment in others and in yourself - time that's worth it! Make time to share with others, and for others to share with you.
When someone shares, listen and engage. Reflect back what you've heard and tell them what it means to you.
When someone, or you, fears sharing, ask what you can do to help build safety and to make them comfortable to share.
It's okay to disagree but don't shame or stigmatize someone else's interests. Say "I don't share that with you, but I am happy it makes you happy" or "I'm not into that, but how can I help you get what you want or need?"
Sometimes people share things with us that are hard to hear. Sometimes we share stuff that is hard to share.
A trauma-informed approach accepts a person's experience for what it is, and recognizes that more people than not have experienced trauma.
Supporting someone will always go better than victim-blaming or asking the person to suppress it or relive it for our own curiosity. Instead, explore options to support them in the moment. What trauma survivors need is acceptance, care, and support.
If we are unsure what to do when someone shares something hard for us to understand or hear...
Look for resources together.
Talk to a counsellor, therapist, coach, or educator who is familiar with the topic.
Ask them what they need or want, and understand if they don't know. You can always offer to be there when they are ready.
Social Media Post to Share with Friends.
Want to share this information with someone on social media? Check out Cooper's "Intimacy" post on Instagram @supportpupcooper. Check out his Sex Ed Posts highlights to find all the sex ed posts easily.
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