Do you feel disconnected from your identity? You're not alone. Most people walk through life on auto-pilot moving from one to-do task to the next without thought. The most common reason for this is a lack of personal intimacy.
Spending time with yourself 1:1 isn’t added to many people’s schedules. But today, you'll learn how you can do it and why it’s worth your time.
What is personal intimacy?
Personal intimacy is a sense of closeness, safety, and appreciation that you feel from yourself, for yourself.
Here are a few signs that you have a strong sense of personal intimacy:
- You don't let others' opinions change your opinion of yourself.
- Your identity is solid and reliable regardless of whom you're surrounded by.
- When you get ready, you choose items to wear that make you feel connected to your identity.
- You're not afraid to show your whole self to those close to you.
- While firm in your beliefs, you're still open-minded and curious about other people's perspectives.
All of these indicators of confidence and personal intimacy.
But if none of those resonate with you, we've got the recipe for building a sense of personal intimacy.
The five types of intimacy and how to build it with yourself
You may have read our previous article on the five types of intimacy. The five types are emotional, physical, spiritual, experiential, and intellectual.
You likely have a lot of questions about these, don't worry. We've got a lot of answers.
Emotional personal intimacy
Emotional intimacy is when you feel safe and valued for being your entire self. When you're with someone you're emotionally intimate with, you share secrets, opinions, and let your authentic self shine.
But what happens when you're alone?
How do you actually feel about being alone with yourself?
If you’re inauthentic to yourself even when you’re alone, it might be a sign that you deserve to reconnect.
How to build emotional intimacy with yourself
Enhancing your sense of emotional intimacy is crucial to create a deeper connection to yourself. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start journaling
- Create space to experience your emotions
- Get to know yourself through asking questions
You know yourself better than anyone else in the world. So be patient and curious about yourself to fast-track your sense of personal intimacy.
Physical personal intimacy
Physical intimacy is multi-dimensional. With others, it's about sharing touch. Physical intimacy with yourself involves a few things:
- Your physical health
- Your sexual self and identity
- Your physical self-care
- Your space and home
Physical intimacy with yourself is multifaceted and complex. Much like with a partner. How can you expect someone else to be if you aren't physically intimate with yourself?
How to build physical intimacy with yourself
Since physical intimacy is so complex, you should have a list of ideas for building it! Here are a few jumping-off points if you're overwhelmed:
- Masturbate slowly and with curiosity
- Amp up your self-care
There are countless ways you can improve your sense of personal physical intimacy. Brainstorm some ideas, and then put a few on your calendar!
Spiritual personal intimacy
Spiritual intimacy is a personal thing, and only you can define spirituality for yourself.
For many, that's their connection with their religion or a deity. For others, spirituality is found in nature and the world around them.
Define for yourself what spiritual intimacy looks and feels like. Once you have that definition, you can add moments of spiritual intimacy into your life.
How to build spiritual intimacy with yourself
Building spiritual intimacy with yourself will be an intensely personal experience. Brainstorm what it feels like for you, and then see what comes up. Consider these ideas as a starting point:
- Get lost (safely) by choosing a direction and just driving!
- Make yourself feel small by stargazing or watching a sunset
- Research religions
Your sense of personal spiritual intimacy is essential. Do whatever makes you feel connected to "something bigger." When you make this a priority, it will inevitably bring you closer to your authentic self.
Experiential personal intimacy
Experiential intimacy is about getting closer to yourself through doing new things.
The more experiences you have, the better-rounded you'll be as an individual.
You'll know what you're capable of when you've had many new challenges.
How to build experiential intimacy with yourself
Experiential intimacy is a start-where-you-are kind of thing. So only push yourself if you're ready for it. Here are some ideas to help you build a sense of personal experiential intimacy:
- Try a new recipe or type of cuisine
- Do something that scares you like skydiving or going for a solo-hike
- Go socialize in person or online
Experiential intimacy is often a love language for many. Trying new things can be intoxicating in all the right ways.
Intellectual personal intimacy
Intellectual personal intimacy is one of the easiest to build on. It's all about a sense of knowing and being your nerdiest self. To build intellectual intimacy, you only have to learn about what inspires you!
How to build intellectual intimacy with yourself
This could easily be an endless list. But choose a few things that interest you and note them. Having that note will help you bring some of these ideas to life:
- Watch a documentary
- Join a club or group
- Go to a museum
Intellectual intimacy is all about being your curiosity. So get out there and pursue what calls to you!
Building personal intimacy is what is missing from your happiness equation. While it isn't all done while you're alone, that is often the best way to get started. Start by choosing just one area of intimacy where you can focus your attention. Spend some quality time with yourself and plan a date alone. Do whatever you feel like and build your confidence today!