The Operating Manual for the Self tm


We naturally seek to give and receive love.  In order to be loving we must do specific activities and seek to produce certain results/feelings for the person we love. We also seek to create intimacy with the people in our life.  The activities we do to establish intimacy are the same as to create love. However, the intended results are different. There is also some overlap between love and intimacy.

In order to feel loved we must open ourselves to receiving love from others. Receiving involves accepting a gift, allowing it into ourselves and experiencing the feelings that the gift produces.

Besides loving and being intimate with another, we are loving and intimate with ourselves.  The activities and results are the same, but we are the object of love and intimacy.

Listed below are the  actions we take and the desired results.  Any behavior in the first column can produce any of the results in the love or intimacy columns.  For example, we can give to our loved one in order to create the feeling of security or closeness. Or we can seek to know who our loved one is in order to produce feeling of being cared about or the  feeling of trust.  The number of combinations of activities and results is vast.  Remember the activity is performed with a desired result in mind.

What we do: Love: Intimacy
Give Security Closeness
Respond Pleasure Tenderness
Respect Vulnerability/Honesty Vulnerability
Know Trust Trust
Care Caring Loving
Have the willingness to be interested Reduced fear of loss Reduced fear of humiliation
Have the courage to be committed and connected Knowing Understanding

Vulnerability is knowing our weaknesses and strengths, and how we can be hurt. We selectively tell or show those we love or who love us about our vulnerability.