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Why & Self-Help

People’s deepest fear is to know themselves and accept themselves.

On this page you will find an inspiring definition of Intimacy, a good tool of communication (NVC), the illustration of Fear of Self-Disclosure and Fear of Intimacy, as well as Wujing’s personal experience of Self-Help.

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Intimacy

This inspiring definition of Intimacy is from Robin Norwood’s book, Women Who Love Too Much.

To achieve a deep level of intimacy:

  • Both people accept everything about themselves: good or bad, strong or weak, smart or stupid…… 
  • Both people accept everything about each other without judgement: good or bad, strong or weak, smart or stupid…… 

Feel Safe to be Unsafe:

  • Achieving the requirements above, both people will feel safe to be themselves with each other instead of pretending to be someone to please the other.  
  • Because of the safety such intimacy provides, both people will be able to explore themselves and the world, which helps both people’s individual personal growth.

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Nonviolent Communication (NVC)—Tell the Truth!

Official Website:http://www.cnvc.org/

A great book to start: What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication by P. T. Judith Hanson Lasater Ph. D. and Ike K. Lasater

  • Model: Describe Observation—>Express Your Feelings—>Tell Your Real Needs—>Request Something Clear and Doable to Meet Your Needs
  • If the Request is declined, ask people of their needs.  Modify your requests to meet both people’s needs.
  • If there is no way to meet both people’s needs, you should understand that not all needs can be met.
  • Details of the Model

    • Observation: it is the objective description of what happens, which should not contain any subjective judgement.
      • Ex:”Your books and clothes are on the floor in different places” is an observation.  But “Your room is messy.” is a judgement.
    • Feelings: We are free to express our own feelings, which are truth. But those feelings should not involved others, which could be judgements.
      • Ex: “I feel sad” is a feeling.  But “I feel rejected” is not a feeling because it indicates that somebody has rejected you.
    • Needs: Needs are the true reason behind what we say and do, which are the strategies we use to meet our needs.  A lot of times we use the wrong strategies, which doesn’t help meet our needs but only cause the violence between people.
      • Ex: The need behind the statement, “I don’t like it when your room is so messy”, is order and neatness.  Saying the room is messy can easily piss the person off.
    • Request: It is very different from Demand.  Request is open—the person can decline the request or ask to make some changes.  Demand is forcing other people to do what you want. What should only request something clear and doable so people will be more willing to understand our needs and help meet it.
      • Ex:”Can you make your room organized?” is not clear or doable.  The person may think his/her room is organized already.  ”Are you willing to put your books back to the shelf in order and put your clothes to the laundry bag?” is a clear and doable request.

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Fear of Self-Disclosure

  • Have you ever lost a friend because you fear to say “I’m sorry.”?
  • Have you ever lost a opportunity because you were afraid to voice your desire for it?
  • Have you ever regretted that you should say “Shall we talk?” to someone when you were in confusion caused by misunderstanding?
  • ……

“Self-disclosure is an important part in building friendships and relationships and in general it increases liking and creates a bond of trust and confidence among people.  However, opening up to other people entails certain risks and dangers as releasing or giving away personal information may make people vulnerable.” — Arash Farzaneh

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Fear of Intimacy

When people fear of intimacy and the fear gets so strong that it severely keep the people from developing deep relationships with people they love, the Fear of Self-disclosure becomes Fear of Intimacy.

“Fear of Intimacy is a phobia that affects over 250,000 people in America alone. (See, you are not the only one!)  It is defined as fear of intimacy of any form or kind.  People suffering from the fear Intimacy or Intimacy Phobia will do anything and everything to avoid Intimacy of any form or kind.  Any event, person, or situation that resembles, relates to or symbolizes “Intimacy” can trigger this fear of Intimacy off.”

  • Possible Causes

    • Fear of Rejection/Abandonment
      • Lack of parental care in childhood
      • Traumas, such as rape and child abuse
      • Societal pressure
      • Loss in the past
      • Betrayal in the past
    • Fear of Engulfment
      • Afraid of being controlled
      • Afraid of losing oneself
      • Lack of self-esteem
      • Loss of oneself or great confusion in the past
  • Some signs and symptoms of Fear of Intimacy

    • You feel negative, angry, and uncomfortable when you see others voicing their thoughts and opinions.
    • You withdraw when others talk about their thoughts and feelings.
    • You are too protective of your thoughts, feelings, and yourself.
    • You can’t show affection to those whom you love the most.
    • You don’t want to open yourself up and conceal information about yourself.
    • You behave critically with yourself and others.
  • Overcoming Fear of Intimacy

    • Recognize your habit of hiding behind emotional walls, whether it’s withdrawing silently or being overly effusive and talkative. You need to see yourself objectively.
    • Realize that hiding doesn’t necessarily mean verbal silence. You can hide your real self and still be extroverted centre of attention or leader of the pack.
    • Notice when you’re hiding, and consciously deciding if you should continue. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want to spill your guts — you need to discern when to open up.
    • Tell the person you need to talk to that you want to hide and you feel uncomfortable talking about your thoughts. Overcoming fear of intimacy means sharing your discomfort and fear, especially with someone you love. Communication often makes negative feelings dissipate.
    • Practice sharing one thought at a time. Take small steps with people you trust; soon, sharing yourself will become a habit and you’ll be comfortable developing trust and vulnerability in your relationships.
    • Seek help from a counselor or psychologist if there steps don’t work for you. There are underlying issues that are making you fearful and a professional helper can help you find those causes easier.
    (Overcoming Fear of Intimacy for People in Love by Laurie Pawlik-Lienien)

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My Personal Self-Help Experience

  • It is FREEDOM from fear and freedom to be yourself

    Read Exploratory Exercise

    • Admit the fear
    • Feel it fully
    • Act as if you were fearless
  • Know what you are talking about

    This website is NOT teaching you to say your impulsive and unreasonable thoughts out loud. It must be something that you know you are dying to say and will never regret for saying it. It must be something you have thought about for many times. It must be the truest part of yourself.
  • Know your Priority

    • Think about what’s most important to you. To not being rejected? To not making yourself a fool? To not getting hurt? OR to open your heart, take the risk, and obtain what you truly want?
    • People are different and have different priority value. The options above are all equal. Be true to yourself and choose the one that you’ll never regret for.
  • Don’t be afraid

    • You won’t die!

      To overcome my fear of public speaking I took an Acting class last year. Before our performance my professor always told us, “You won’t die.” And yes, I’m still alive now!

    • Your fear just needs some attention!

    • Once a part of my gums was inflamed. It hurt so bad and bled when I flossed there. So I didn’t dare to touch it for a whole week. When I went to my orthodontist she told me, “That part only wants a little more attention from you. The blood means - FLOSS HERE MORE and HARDER.
    • We have fear because we care. Our fear just wants to remind us of who and what is important to us.
  • It’s OK to be rejected

    Most of time the feeling of rejection is irrational, which means it may not be rejection at all.  
    Even if it is really a rejection — It’s OK baby. The world won’t collapse.  Your value does not depend on other people’s acceptance or rejection!  You will still be who you are!
  • Use the Neocortex of your brain to control the fear

    From a revolutionism view our brain is divided into 3 parts:
    • Reptilian Brain: oldest, controls body’s vital functions like heart rate and breathing, involuntary.
    • Limbic System: emerged first in mammals, responsible for memory and emotion, unconscious. Amygdala plays the primary role of memory and emotion.
    • Neocortex: emerged first in primates and culminated in human brains with its two large cerebral hemisphere, responsible for the development of language, abstract thought, imagination, and consciousness, shows human’s almost infinite ability of learning.

    Our neocortex, where the courage comes from, is higher than amygdala, where the fear comes from. Therefore, though fear will come out from amygdala automatically, we can consciously use our neocortex to beat it and have courage to express ourselves!

  • Do not wait - you’ll never be ready

    It’s just like delivering a baby. Maybe your water will break when you are driving a car half a month earlier than the due day. Or maybe you will receive the phone call from the hospital at 2 am in the morning because finally they have a spot for you and you have to deliver the baby when the spot is available.  Also even if you read tons of books about how delivering a baby will be, it will always turn out to be completely different. 

    Even though I would suggest the helpers to tell you, “Whenever you are ready.” You have to know that you’ll never be ready. 

    So DO NOT WAIT until IT’S TOO LATE (click here to read my friend M.S.’s inspiring story)!
  • Try different forms of expression

    • As I wrote in “About this site”, I wrote down all I wanted to say and read it out to him. It really helped. I found peace on my way back because I’ve tried my best.
    • Write it down and read, write a letter, draw a picture, make a special gift. Be creative and try express yourselves step by step.
  • How to deal with Pain when it hurts

    Remember that you can work to be yourself and develop trust and vulnerability in your relationships, but you can’t change your others. It is ok to be rejected. Everybody gets it.  Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. 
    • Wait for 7 months

      Scientific studies show we will feel ok in 7 months no matter what. Give yourself a little time and let time heal you. Notice that usually your heart and body recover slowly than your mind. It’s normal that you think you are ok but you still feel bad.

    • Active forgetfulness

      DO NOT let pain consume you! Nietzsche in his Genealogy of Morals says that we can DIGEST our pain like we digest our food - we don’t feel it but absorb nutrition from it to make us stronger-, which is called Active Forgetfulness

      Read Nietzsche

    • Remember the pain as the resource of your Freedom and Will
      • Nietzsche also talks about memory, the opposite of forgetfulness. Whenever we tries to remember something, we are making a promise to ourselves. In order to be a master of our freedom and will, we need to learn how to make pledges on our own behalf, knowing how much trust, how much fear, and how much respect we create.
      • And how to create a memory? Nietzsche says, “Only something which never ceases to cause pain stays in memory.”
      • Pain may never go away, but we can use it to remember what we’ve learned and make us stronger.Though my mind is totally fine with what happened to me already, my heart still hurts, sometimes still tearful. But I use it to to exercise and distract myself from the physical pain. I’m getting stronger instead :)

        Read Nietzsche

    • If Love can make you open your heart, it certainly can also heal your heart

      Trust your love and yourself. You’ll be surprised to find how stronger you are! I still don’t know what made me book the flights tickets to him but I believe it’s the same power that picked me up!

    • Get your social support

      I was in a completely unfamiliar place with no friends. As soon as I met my own friend after I left there, I felt much better.


      You are never alone. Your family and friends are always there for you. Do not hesitate to seek help from them. Even a hug without words helps!

    • Help others

      Helping others give you reciprocal rewards. I’ve been helping some of my friends with Fear of Self-disclosure and Fear of Intimacy since I picked up myself and I’ve been making this website for helping others - it makes me realize that the confusion, the despair, and the pain I’ve been through is valuable!

  • Never give up and always try

    A successful try depends on many factors such as timing, the right person, the good mood, the right environment and so on. One failure doesn’t mean a rejection of yourself! Always try and you’ll make it right eventually!

    My friend S.M. faced a situation that she kept telling me, “I don’t wanna make myself a fool again.” But I asked her, “So you was once a fool and look at you — you are still awesome now. What are you afraid of?” Now she’s still working on that — she told me she has Plan A, Plan B, Plan C….. Backup, and Backups of Backups!

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