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body image and fear of intimacy

S

saffron

Guest
Fear of intimacy is often exacerbated or made worse by a negative body image. Here's how to improve your body image and strengthen your relationships.

When you have a poor body image, you pull away from other people. You can't relax when you're alone with your partner – you may develop a fear of intimacy. “…those with a poor body image have more trouble developing intimate contacts. They may sabotage relationships before they start or before they become really important,” says Rita Freedman, author of Bodylove: Learning to Like Our Looks and Ourselves.
The roots of poor body image

A negative body image can develop from not being lovingly touched when you were young. Poor body images can also result from being criticized, neglected or abused. A bad body image is definitely exacerbated or made worse when you compare yourself to models and movie stars – or any family member, friend, or colleague you perceive has achieved and succeeded – and when you look at your own body, personality, and actions in a critical or negative manner.

Poor body image is often made worse (or a good body image is tainted) by the magazines, movies and tv shows that permeate lives in North America. We're surrounded by gorgeous, thin, perfect, happy, smiling images of perfection that we can't possibly live up to. Negative body image and poor self-esteem naturally increase because we compare ourselves to impossible standards.
Poor body image and relationships

Long-term, established relationships can also be affected by objectification and a poor self-image. Your appearance can become as or more important than mutual respect, honesty and open communication. If you’re afraid of gaining a few pounds, changing your hairstyle, or even going back to school or getting a better job because of what your husband or boyfriend might think, then your relationship may not be grounded in love and authenticity.

When your relationship revolves around your weight or your partner’s appearance, then you probably don't have uncritical and accepting perspectives of each other. That's not love, that's just lonely. Negative body image increases feelings of isolation and fear of intimacy.
Strong body image and relationships

When you have a healthy body image, your personal and professional relationships will be rooted in authenticity and honesty. You won’t be afraid to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions because you know that you are more than your actions and appearance. You won’t feel insecure about talking to people you think are incredibly beautiful, intelligent, or well spoken because you know that they are human beings with insecurities and fears of their own – just like you.
Improving a bad body image

* Admit you can't read minds. The guy on the bus probably isn't cataloging your flaws or counting your zits. When you're being intimate your partner isn't distracted by your cellulite – you are. Just because you feel self-conscious about yourself, don't assume others think the same way.

* Forget all-or-nothing beliefs. Just because your hair isn't perfect or your weight isn't ideal doesn't mean you can't highlight and enjoy your gorgeous eyes or long legs. You're not all good or all bad. Value who you are as a whole person, not just someone struggling with a negative body image.

* Focus on your passions and goals. Forget about your poor body image, imperfect skin, or big nose. Think about your dreams: do you want to write a book? Star in a play? Travel to Italy? Focus on the best parts of life – your adventures – and leave your negative body image where it belongs: so far behind you, you can barely remember it.
 
A

abertha

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Thats a nice post, thanks for putting it here!
 
silly madam

silly madam

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Hi Saffy

Reading thru your post i can relate to a lot of the statements. Unfortunately this is not necessarily a good thing is it. It is certainly making me think a bit.
Thanks Saffy
 
S

saffron

Guest
I found it very inlightening, the more I get to know about myself, and my low self esteem the more I can get right to the core of what is happening and what areas I need to work on.
I have a huge problem with intimacy and have never been able to hold down a meaningful relationship, even with friends, but them I am highly untrusting also, which doesnt help, so even on days that I feel I look quite nice I cannot trust the attention that someone gives me. and up goes the wall or I get really drunk and self sabotage.
although the article is limited it still highlighted a lot of things that was meaningful.
sometimes it helps recognising something in ourselves, even if not positive, because then it give you something to work with.
glad you found this helpful
take care
S :hug:
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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When I don't work out and have some extra weight on me my Brother and Dad always tell me I must get back to it. They say I'm fine and everything but just loose the weight and look my best - I do get a bit ticked off with it, but I know that they are just trying to help. Personally, I enjoy the buzz of working out, the extra energy and health benefits I get from it are another driving force to do it. The thing is, working out can be boring unless your gym has TV's and a music channel tuned in - or you can take your own MP3 player along with you. I know that looking fit helps with confidence etc but if people are going to judge you on that alone then such people are pretty shallow in the first place.
 
S

saffron

Guest
agreed b ut it is how you think about yourself that matters and that should always be priority, so when you work out you are feeling the benefits so you have to decide whether this is more important than what your family say,
have you ever told them the way you feel when they say that. I should think they would be mortified because they sound very caring.
S
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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494
Location
UK
agreed b ut it is how you think about yourself that matters and that should always be priority
Absolutely.

, so when you work out you are feeling the benefits so you have to decide whether this is more important than what your family say,
have you ever told them the way you feel when they say that. I should think they would be mortified because they sound very caring.
S
I've discussed my feelings with them but they have a hard time understanding the tiredness and lack of motivation that can effect me sometimes - they seem to think that it's my choice to feel that way when in fact it's all a side-effect of the medication and maybe the illness. That's the reason why I've been ticked off in the past, it can be very frustrating although I understand they are trying to help. I go mainly for the reasons stated above - extra energy, feeling fitter, stronger and to get in shape although getting in shape is really a bonus result of the other three. I must admit, it feels good coming home after a good workout and I sleep better for it (y).
 
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