Having intimacy with respect means that you can trust the other person to respect your emotional needs!
We are all people in development, with our own issues that can sometimes hurt others...not out of malice, but ignorance and lack of skills at containing each other.
Relationships are the schools that teach us how to be with each other in a loving and nurturing way...
Having intimacy with respect means that you can trust the other person not to hurt you.
What to do, then, when people hurt your feelings by projecting on you their own issues? or what to do, when you want to get near, but doing so you hurt others with your unwise demands or comments that are blind to other people's feelings?
I want to share this lovely video by Elizabeth Gilbert, where she is answering the question: how can porcupines get near without stabbing each other with their quills? this metaphor about how can two porcupines get near each other is perfect!
The final message is very clear: develop your self-esteem, contain yourself and nurture yourself as the first task...and then you can regulate the distance, as to get near without being hurt by the other person's underdeveloped aspects...like ignorance, selfishness or emotional blindness. If you are secure of yourself, then you can watch other people's behaviors from the distance and tell yourself: "it is not coming from being evil, this poor person is still ignorant on how to take care of others..."
Did I say that you need to give up the illusion that the other person will understand you better than you understand yourself? Just look at his quills, will you? and ask yourself: has this person learned how to moderate his anger, his frustrated needs as to be with me in peace? This is a great question!!!