11/05/ · A state of extreme interpersonal emotional closeness such that each party's personal space can be entered without causing discomfort and by any of the other parties to intimacy n. an interpersonal state of extreme emotional closeness such that each party’s personal space can be entered by any of the other parties without causing discomfort Intimacy refers to a spectrum of emotional and physical closeness between individuals. Colloquially used it generally refers to a sexual relationship although in a broader sense it can Kids Definition of intimacy. 1: a state marked by emotional closeness the intimacy of old friends. 2: a quality suggesting closeness or warmth the cafe's intimacy. 3: something that is 14/05/ · Intimacy usually denotes mutual vulnerability, openness, and sharing. It is often present in close, loving relationships such as marriages and friendships. The term is also ... read more
Get help. Psychology Dictionary. Home Anxiety Disorders INTIMACY. Inti-mate mn INTIMACY: "Intimacy is affectionate or loving personal relationship and have a deep understanding of each other. Cite this page: N. RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM AUTHOR. PMDD: Can It Be Cured? LEAVE A REPLY. Of course, in the real-time ebb and flow of conversation, these exchanges are rapid, spontaneous, and complex, suggesting that there is considerable subjectivity in how self-disclosures and responses are interpreted. Another important consideration is that the intimacy process is both recursive and reciprocal. Typically, disclosers and responders swap roles back and forth, often repeatedly in the same conversation. These principles illustrate the fundamentally interactive and interdependent nature of intimacy. Ever since Erik Erikson, one of the most influential psychoanalytic psychologists of the 20th century, described the successful attainment of a primary intimate relationship as the fundamental life task of early adulthood, researchers have been interested in identifying factors that predispose some people to achieve higher levels of intimacy in their close relationships and others lower levels.
Although some researchers see this difference as mainly being the result of biological differences between men and women, evidence for this position is sparse and in fact contradicted by certain studies: For example, studies showing that same-sex friendships in non-Western cultures tend to find small, if any, sex differences in intimacy. The best supported conclusion appears to be the developmental one: that in Western culture, men learn to be more reluctant about the vulnerabilities inherent in intimate interaction. Another important avenue for research has viewed intimacy as a motive, emphasizing determinants from personality including both genetically determined and learned qualities and from past experiences in close relationships.
According to John Bowlby, the propensity to establish intimate connections to particular individuals is a basic component of human nature; it is present before birth and continues through adult life into old age. The intimate connections that people establish are an important source of meaning in their lives, and the level and quality of intimacy in these connections is directly related to their physical and psychological well-being. Intimacy has been defined in many ways. Yet, there is no single definition on which all agree. There are, however, a number of characteristics on which there is consensus.
First, intimacy is interpersonal. It takes place between two or more persons. Second, intimacy is reciprocal—generated not by unilateral desire but by mutual consent. Third, intimacy has cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Intimates are willing to reveal themselves to one another, care deeply about one another, and are comfortable in close proximity. Self-disclosure, the sharing of private thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and emotionally meaningful experiences, is often viewed as synonymous with intimacy. Yet, recent formulations emphasize that self-disclosure is only half of the process; the other half is partner responsiveness.
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology. Intimacy versus isolation is the sixth stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development , which happens after the fifth stage of identity vs role confusion. This stage takes place during young adulthood between the ages of approximately 19 and The major conflict at this stage of life centers on forming intimate, loving relationships with other people. Success at this stage leads to fulfilling relationships. Struggling at this stage, on the other hand, can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Erikson believed that it was vital to develop close, committed relationships with other people. As people enter adulthood, these emotionally intimate relationships play a critical role in a person's emotional well-being.
While the word intimacy is closely associated with sex for many, it encompasses much more than that. Erikson described intimate relationships as those characterized by closeness, honesty, and love. Romantic and sexual relationships can be an important part of this stage of life, but intimacy is more about having close, loving relationships. It includes romantic partners, but it can also encompass close, enduring friendships with people outside of your family. People who are successful in resolving the conflict of the intimacy versus isolation stage have:. People who navigate this period of life successfully are able to forge fulfilling relationships with other people.
This plays an important role in creating supportive social networks that are important for both physical and mental health throughout life. Intimacy requires being able to share parts of yourself with others, as well as the ability to listen to and support other people. These relationships are reciprocal —you are sharing parts of yourself, and others are sharing with you. When this happens successfully, you gain the support, intimacy, and companionship of another person. But sometimes things don't go so smoothly. You might experience rejection or other responses that cause you to withdraw. It might harm your confidence and self-esteem, making you warier of putting yourself out there again in the future.
Isolation can happen for a number of reasons. Factors that may increase your risk of becoming lonely or isolated include:. No matter what the cause, it can have a detrimental impact on your life. It may lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression. Struggling in this stage of life can result in loneliness and isolation. Adults who struggle with this stage experience:. They might never share deep intimacy with their partners or might even struggle to develop any relationships at all. This can be particularly difficult as these individuals watch friends and acquaintances fall in love, get married, and start families.
Loneliness can affect overall health in other ways. For example, socially isolated people tend to have unhealthier diets, exercise less, experience greater daytime fatigue, and have poorer sleep. Loneliness and isolation can lead to a wide range of negative health consequences including: . If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Learning to be open and sharing with others is an important part of the intimacy versus isolation stage.
Some of the other important tasks that can play a role in succeeding or struggling at this point of development include:. Things learned during earlier stages of development also play a role in being able to have healthy adult relationships. For example, Erikson believed that having a fully formed sense of self established during the previous identity versus role confusion stage was essential to being able to form intimate relationships. People with a poor sense of self tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to experience emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression. Such findings suggest that having a strong sense of who you are is important for developing lasting future relationships. This self-awareness can play a role in the type of relationships you forge as well as the strength and durability of those social connections.
If you are struggling with feelings of isolation, there are things that you can do to form closer relationships with other people:. The things we tell ourselves can have an impact on our ability to be confident in relationships, particularly if those thoughts are negative. When you catch yourself having this type of inner dialogue, focus on replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones. Sometimes practicing social skills can be helpful when you are working toward creating new relationships. Consider taking a course in social skill development or try practicing your skills in different situations each day. Research suggests that factors such as mutual interests and personality similarity play important roles in friendships.
If you enjoy sports, for example, you might consider joining a local community sports team. What are your needs? What type of relationship are you seeking? Figuring out what you are looking for in a partner or friend can help you determine how you should go about looking for new relationships. Being able to share aspects of yourself can be difficult, but you can get better at it through practice. Consider things you would be willing to share about yourself with others, then practice. Remember that listening to others is an essential part of this interaction as well. Healthy relationships are important for both your physical and emotional well-being. The sixth stage of Erikson's psychosocial theory of development focuses on how these critical relationships are forged.
Those who are successful at this stage are able to forge deep relationships and social connections with other people. If you are struggling with forming healthy, intimate relationships, talking to a therapist can be helpful. A mental health professional can help you determine why you have problems forming or maintaining relationships and develop new habits that will help your forge these important connections. Schrempft S, Jackowska M, Hamer M, Steptoe A. Associations between social isolation, loneliness, and objective physical activity in older men and women. BMC Public Health. Hämmig O. Health risks associated with social isolation in general and in young, middle and old age [published correction appears in PLoS One. PLoS One.
Mushtaq R, Shoib S, Shah T, Mushtaq S. Relationship between loneliness, psychiatric disorders and physical health? A review on the psychological aspects of loneliness. J Clin Diagn Res. Campbell K, Holderness N, Riggs M. Friendship chemistry: An examination of underlying factors. Soc Sci J. Erikson EH. Childhood and Society. By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology. Psychosocial Psychology. Psychosocial Development Guide Psychosocial Development Guide. Overview Trust vs. Mistrust Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Initiative vs. Guilt Industry vs. Inferiority Identity vs. Confusion Intimacy vs. Isolation Generativity vs. Stagnation Integrity vs. By Kendra Cherry. Kendra Cherry. Learn about our editorial process. Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals.
Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. David Susman, PhD. Medically reviewed by David Susman, PhD. David Susman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience providing treatment to individuals with mental illness and substance use concerns. Learn about our Medical Review Board. Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents.
26/01/ · The Oxford English Dictionary defines intimacy as the "inmost thoughts or feelings; proceeding from, concerning, or affecting one’s inmost self: closely personal." While intimacy 14/09/ · Intimacy is not a flight from the self but a celebration of the self in concert with another person. Appreciation of separateness makes both partners feel more important, Intimacy is a process that develops, fluctuates and changes over time and is never completed or fully accomplished. Yet intimacy is an important component of human intimacy n. an interpersonal state of extreme emotional closeness such that each party’s personal space can be entered by any of the other parties without causing discomfort 11/05/ · A state of extreme interpersonal emotional closeness such that each party's personal space can be entered without causing discomfort and by any of the other parties to Kids Definition of intimacy. 1: a state marked by emotional closeness the intimacy of old friends. 2: a quality suggesting closeness or warmth the cafe's intimacy. 3: something that is ... read more
Development and Validation of the Emotional Intimacy Scale. Struggling at this stage, on the other hand, can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Are You In a Healthy Relationship? For example, self-esteem, openness, comfort with closeness, empathic concern for others, trust, extraversion, parental warmth, and prior intimacy tend to be associated with higher levels of intimacy and intimacy motivation, whereas social anxiety, fears about exploitation, vulnerability, dependence, social avoidance, conflict and distance with parents, and prior dysfunctional relationships tend to be associated with lower levels of intimacy and intimacy motivation. People with a poor sense of self tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to experience emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression. The sixth stage of Erikson's psychosocial theory of development focuses on how these critical relationships are forged.How Important Are Our Sexual Needs? Development and Validation of the Emotional Intimacy Intimacy definition psychology. Inferiority Identity vs. Supportive responses encourage the growth of intimacy, whereas disinterested or critical responses are likely to inhibit its development. Brittany is a health and lifestyle writer and former staffer at TODAY on NBC and CBS News.