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  • Rachel Brandwene, LCSW

Opening Up in Relationships

Having meaningful relationships with the people in our lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of life, yet sometimes we struggle to become emotionally available. In order to establish a sense of connectedness and closeness with our loved ones, it’s essential to open ourselves up to them and let them in on our true thoughts and feelings. Becoming emotionally available in all our relationships - romantic, friendships, family and work - can be intimidating at first, but when we are able to cultivate healthy emotional intimacy, the rewards far outweigh the initial effort required. Here’s how you can become more emotionally available:




Be Present – When you’re engaging in any relationship, try to remain as present as possible. Avoid distractions like checking your phone or having other conversations at the same time; instead make eye contact, take deep breaths, and listen closely. Doing so will help foster an environment of understanding where each person feels seen and heard.



Be Honest & Open – Letting go of preconceived notions about how things should be done or how people should behave can create space for honest conversation. Be willing to openly share what is on your mind without being judgmental towards yourself or others; no matter if it is good news or bad news. Letting go of fear and opening yourself up creates an opportunity for connection through vulnerable moments of self-reflection.



Set Boundaries & Take Time – When it comes to emotional availability there needs to be balance between giving and taking time for yourself away from other people too. Acknowledge what your boundaries are before entering into any relationship; then actively honor them while staying mindful that they may change over time as you get closer with another person. Make sure you carve out some alone time regularly where you can process your own thoughts without any input from other people so that you are feeling emotionally refreshed whenever interacting with those around you.



Express Yourself – Taking a step outside your comfort zone by expressing your innermost thoughts and feelings allows others to really understand who you are on a deeper level which helps foster mutual trust. Share your desires, goals and motivations openly with those closest to you - both in words but also nonverbally such as physical touch or body language - as this allows for emotional intimacy that cannot come from just conversational communication alone.



Building emotional availability requires time, effort and patience; but when done properly it can reap long-lasting rewards by deepening all of your relationships regardless of their nature (romantic, friendship, family etc.). Making room for authentic connections takes work but doing so creates fulfilling bonds that serve as the pillars of your support system no matter what life throws at you!


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