cultivating closeness



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1. MEETINGS: Set up events.

a. Much of the work of getting closer with people is setting up events: Time to spend together. If you want to become closer to someone, the first and most basic step is to increase the amount of time you spend communicating with them.

b. Set and setting. To get closer, create circumstances and states of mind conducive to opening up to each other.

c. Think beforehand about what you want to share and what you want to learn about them


2. INTENTION: Stay clear on your intention to cultivate closeness.

a. your intention is not to manipulate them or to convince them or persuade them

b. your intention is not "being right"

c. you aren't trying to be liked

d. you will slip into these intentions; when you do, remind yourself of your intention to simply increase closeness


3. FEELINGS: Keep returning to feelings. Focus on feelings — yours and theirs.

a. the central core of closeness is what the other feels and what you feel


4. LISTENING: Listen well. Help the other open up to you.

a. make it safe for them

1) don't make them wrong

2) don't get self-righteous (if you do, catch yourself, remind yourself of your intention to cultivate closeness and admit your mistake openly and apologize)

b. ask questions out of curiosity and love and without a sense of interrogation

c. really listen

1) without judgment

2) letting them say whatever they want

3) letting them feel whatever they feel

4) letting them finish without interrupting

5) really trying to be there paying attention and being interested and caring and trying to get what they're saying

6) letting them really be heard and understood as completely as possible

7) not trying to seem interested, but truly taking an interest


5. DIVULGENCE: Share yourself openly.

a. talk about what's happening in your life and your feelings about it

b. express your feelings honestly, but with consideration for their feelings

c. telling about your hopes and plans

d. don't try to impress or hide things from them; be open

e. admit your mistakes and apologize


Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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