The 10 Rejections of Intimacy



We embrace the trappings of intimacy because we know this is what you expect when our relationship commences. You want to touch us; you want to be touched. You want to gaze into one another’s eyes and revel in what you see there. The tenderness of the kiss, the tingling sensation that arises from the briefest of brushing touches and the safety and security of a hand being held.

We endure all of this in order to maintain the illusion of our perfect love and to provide you with that which you have been conditioned to expect as denoting love, affection and passion. Such intimacy repeatedly hints at a place we would rather not go but the necessity of your seduction means that we focus on the task in hand and dispel those occasional thoughts of what that intimacy means and signifies.

Those considerations are banished as we press on with our crusade and complete our quest. Once our tendrils are wrapped around you, our fangs sunk deep into your emotional jugular and the fuel flows, then the provision of such intimacy can finally and thankfully be turned to a better application, namely conveying rejection to you and in turn bring about despondency, humiliation and confusion.

Whilst we prefer words to do our work, these rejections work marvellously well because of the effect that they have on you and the economy of effort that comes with them. Provision takes effort. Denial comes easily. Here are ten rejections of intimacy.

  1. No eye contact

I don’t want to mirror you any longer but I don’t want you seeing the lurking darkness in my eyes, not just yet. Instead I will settle for evading looking at you, creating the sensation that I cannot bear to look upon you, which is rather accurate because now you are reminding me too much of what I despise and I would rather look elsewhere.

  1. Kissing the top of your head

We know you want to be kissed on the mouth but that isn’t going to happen. Not today and not for a while until I decide I can stomach doing so in order to get something from you that I want. I will kiss you on the head, tilting your head down, making you lower yourself in front of me as I place the patronising light kiss on the top of your head. You are a child to me, someone who knows no better and has to be guided by me. You are bowing, showing fealty through this gesture for I am your ruler and your liege.

  1. Shuddering if you touch us

You cannot place boundaries for me. I go where I want. You however have no entitlement to me. You require my permission and especially so when it means violating my space. If you catch me unawares and touch me, no matter how lightly, I will give a violent shudder as if have been touched by something unpleasant so you are left in no doubt as to what I think about you.

  1. Turning our back on you in bed

This is done as soon as we climb into bed on the occasion we have deigned to provide you with our presence or not banished you from the bedroom with a well-timed bout of aggression. You have your hopes raised of sexual union or at least the heart-warming pleasantry of cuddling up together. Instead you receive a glacial wall that is our back and if you think this is an invitation to “spoon” with us you will be sharply elbowed or back heeled away from us.

  1. Avoiding taking your hand

Once upon a time we always took your hand as we walked along the road, through a museum or around the shops, making you feel loved and showing the world that we were together. There was a time when we wanted everyone to know that you were ours. No longer. We will ignore the proffered hand, driving our own into our pockets or shaking off your hand if you happen to grab ours. You don’t decide to show others we are together; don’t you realise that one of my new prospects might see?

  1. Awkward Evasion

You try to place an arm around us and we suddenly jump up as if we have sat on a tack. You attempt to hug us and we move around you like a rugby player evading a tackle, often contorting ourselves into a move which would be more often seen in a gymnastics contortion. Our desire to wriggle away, duck under, escape and move apart suggests that your very touch might burn us. The exaggerated movement can leave you in no doubt that this was deliberate.

  1. One-sided hug

You have taken us by surprise and launched a hug at us, be it from the front, sides or rear. You will not have it reciprocated. There will be no return gesture, no warming and intimate response. We will stand like a block of ice, arms down by our sides, back stiff and stare straight ahead willing this uncomfortable moment to end.

  1. No longer naked

We once paraded around naked in front of you, letting it all hang out, without a care in the world. Truth be told we wanted you to look on our naked form and admire and it was also done to signal to you that we were entirely comfortable around one another in the buff. Now we behave like a coy virgin. We wear pyjamas in bed rather than sleep naked, we lock the bathroom door when we are in there so you cannot walk in on us and we always wrap a towel around us in order to cover-up our intimate areas so you cannot see us. If you happen to walk in unexpectedly when we are naked we will grab the nearest shirt, sombrero or fruit bowl to cover our modesty or dive behind a door, under a bed or out of the window. You don’t get to look any more.

  1. Proffering a cheek

You wait to kiss us and want to plant a tender kiss on our mouth. Others are looking and we must have consideration for the façade. An awkward evasion move now would be unwise and might invite unwanted speculation and comment. Instead we turn our head so you are left with no option but to plant that kiss on our cheek. We will not hold the cheek there either but pull away as soon as you embrace it. You are being given advance warning of your demotion from intimate partner to outer circle friend with this rejection tactic.

  1. Moving if you lean against us

You want to cuddle up next to us on the expansive sofa. If you do, we will get up and move to an armchair as soon as you begin to lean onto us. If you try and then sit in my lap, I will tip you up and deposit you on the floor as I leave the room and give you a silent treatment for pushing the matter too far. If I am lying down watching television and you try and climb on me, you may as well be trying to wrestle a crocodile as I will resist your advance and push you away before moving into a position which is easier to fend you off and send you a clear signal to sit elsewhere.

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29 thoughts on “The 10 Rejections of Intimacy

  1. Chihuahuamum says:

    This one and the cold article i really find triggering, but every once in awhile i reread them to remind myself what I’ve dealt with. What i can say is for me I’ve experienced them from a non narc and from a narcissist. Rejection is so deeply painful and especially when it’s intimacy because it hits you to the core of who you are. Your self worth is damaged and you feel unlovable. Then there’s wondering if your’e still desirable and attractive. So many aspects factor in to being rejected in this manner. It makes you really self doubt yourself. This was something i had to overcome and now realize it had nothing to do with me. With the non narc he had issues and i suspect is asexual and with the narc it was a tactic to chip away my self worth in order to control me. He would use intermittent validation. When i didn’t confirm to what he wanted or i stood up for myself he would take away intimacy. It ended up backfiring tho because i eventually stopped caring and didn’t need his intimacy. We’re still companion friends, but i never initiate intimacy only he does now and many times i make excuses to avoid it. It really helps knowing why he did this so i no longer had to feel bad about myself and my worth.

  2. Truthseeker6157 says:

    “If you think this is an invitation to ‘spoon’ with us”

    That tickles me. I can feel the distaste. Probably comes under the hugs / cuddles category.
    Cuddles are better than hugs but I ‘snuggle in’. I can’t imagine HG even saying that without wincing.

  3. smarinucci1970 says:


    1. A Victor says:

      Hi Smarinucci1970, I am sorry you lived with this for so long. It is good that you found HG. And I am glad you are free now even though you loved him and that had to make his death difficult. I hope your health is better now.

    2. Truthseeker6157 says:

      S Marinucci,

      Hello you x . It’s good to see you. Are you staying well? Still blogging?

  4. Asp Emp says:

    A very interesting article for me to read. The points and explanations listed are very similar to how I have felt in the past – towards mother, Lesser & MR. After dishing out their abuse on me, resulting in my responses because I was hurt, upset, protecting my ‘inner’ self.

    Some of these behaviours are probably indirectly and unconsciously how some ‘unaware’ ACONs may respond / react. Some of these behaviours are also apparent in those who have Aspergers. Maybe those with Alexithymia also respond in a similar way.

    Because of what I have learned (especially, about myself) in the last year, I am more aware and will be less likely to ‘assume’ (judge) others as quickly as I used to.

    Having said that, at # 8. Lesser always shut the bathroom door when using the room, MR didn’t.

    This article would be really useful to show others who have little understanding about people with ‘conditions’ that I have listed as above. And it would also be useful as part of ‘diagnostic’ purposes. (So, HG’s work goes beyond narcissism and empath awareness).

    It is one that would have supported me when I was at school, so that my friends would have understood me as an individual. It would have also helped me understand some aspects of myself. Would mother have ‘heeded’ this? No. Because of her narcissism.

    I am not adverse to hugs, holding hands or getting close to somebody within my ‘inner circle’. Special people.

  5. Mary says:

    Experience that as well.

  6. leelasfuelstinks says:

    All narcissist hugs were robotic. No matter who! They gave me a robotic hug and quickly got away, including Patri Narc.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      LFS, Your comment made me think (what’s new? 😉 ). All these years, I had noticed some, not all people hugging others in a way seemed as if they were uncomfortable in doing so and appearing to ‘make sure’ their ‘privates’ did not touch and left a big gap away from the other person in that area – almost like an ‘A’ shape, if you can understand. I had wrongly assumed, or maybe I haven’t – that it was aspies hug like this. Hmmm, very interesting indeed.

      1. leelasfuelstinks says:

        I have no idea what an Aspie-hug is like 🙂 but I just know that narcs hug exactly like this.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          LFS, made me giggle ‘Aspie-hug’. Yeah, I think it’s the social-interaction awkwardness for aspies, especially if they are not aware of being an aspie – like I didn’t know. Then adding the ACON on top of that…..’double-the-trouble’ sort of difficulty if you can understand (I am laughing as I type this). 🙂

          1. leelasfuelstinks says:

            Yes I get it. I only once met a self-aware Aspie. She was my mentor and she did a great job. She doesn´t like getting too close to people either.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            LFS, I recall you saying something about this. Yes, I had helped people understand more about themselves when they were newly diagnosed with Aspergers. I’m picky about who I allow in my ‘inner circle’ and when it comes to hugs. Are you still in contact with this mentor?

          3. leelasfuelstinks says:

            No, that´s long time ago. But she taught me very important and valuable lessons. She “faked” some emotions too, she learned how to behave in a social environment. She did that very well. And she was very open about her Aspergers right from the beginning. It was impressive! A smart and brave woman!

          4. Asp Emp says:

            LFS, I had always been open with my Aspergers because meeting others, I did not want them to start off with the wrong ‘perception’ about me. Most of the time they do not know what it is. Good to read your words about her. It is more difficult to distinguish Aspergers in females. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    2. A Victor says:

      Hi Leela, I’ve had the opposite experience with hugs. My mother swallowed you in it, it was so horrible, claustrophobic, it felt like you couldn’t breath. And then she also forced it on whoever she wanted within the family, outside the family she would not hug anyone. That is super weird to me. My dad didn’t hug except at the end, when his mind started to go. My ex loved hugs and did the full body thing. I didn’t mind until it was over between us, the last year, when I was giving him the cold shoulder waiting to see what he would do on his own. We hugged once that year, it was like he was using the hug to gauge the level of control he had on me and when he realized there was nothing there he left a month or two later. Not until all my money was gone though. So, no hugs for me, or from me. Except virtual ones, those are ok. 🙂

      1. leelasfuelstinks says:

        For some narcs the hugs seem to be fuel and control so that the fuel outweighs their horror of intimacy? 🤷‍♀️

        1. A Victor says:

          I think that is it. I do hug my kids and grandkids but I never initiate. And I do enjoy hugging them.

        2. JB says:

          Leelasfuelstinks, I agree! My dad uses hugs like this. Pre-covid, he used them as a headfuck, being horrible and then wanting a hug (which would make me feel guilty because I wouldn’t want to, and then he could pity play to my mum about it. Now, in the current climate of covid/social distancing etc, he has suddenly become extra obsessed with hugging me and my kids, whereas before he was quite happy to (metaphorically speaking) pick them up and put them down again when he got bored. He likes to cross boundaries by grinning and saying things like “I bet you’d like a hug from your Grandad, wouldn’t you?”, when I have already made clear what we are and aren’t prepared to do at the moment. Suddenly it’s like because someone has told him to not do it, he wants to. And it’s driving him nuts! He just can’t stand the fact that someone else is controlling the situation instead of him!

          1. leelasfuelstinks says:

            My Patri Narc doesn´t like hugs at all. He hugs me quickly and then very quickly lets go and goes away like “eeeeeew” 😂 Just a brief robotic hug and then “eeew intimacy” 🙄

          2. NarcAngel says:

            This discussion of the manipulation of forced affection by a narc reminds me of a particular incident when I was a child.

            I presented myself during a particularly savage beating of my mother by StepNarc. He knew he’d been seen and tried to convince me that because I’d been asleep previously that I’d misunderstood their “play acting” (fuck me he was an idiot) and that everything was fine. He ordered my mother to tell me she was fine and then pursed for a kiss telling me everything was okay. I did not respond. He then continued to smile but hissed through his teeth: just give me a kiss and all be be okay. I understood instinctively that if I didn’t things would get much worse (I now understand that rejection would be wounding), so although I was forced to, and he could see that I was visibly disgusted, I understand now that he saw our lips as touching as winning by regaining control. I saw it only as necessary sacrifice to stop the violence.

            So yes, they will overcome aversion in using “affection” as manipulation to gain control – but there is no “feeling” of affection or contrition behind it.

          3. JB says:

            Gosh, NA, that’s awful. Sorry you went through that x

          4. JB says:

            Leelasfuelstinks, I guess they use it when they get something out of it! I don’t know how my dad actually feels about anything, hugs included, because he changes according to who his audience is!

    3. Truthseeker6157 says:

      Hey Leela,

      You made me think. The MMRB hugged me so tightly as we were leaving that my bones cracked and he jumped back at the sound. Long story but shortly after, I interpreted the hug as an apology for what he was about to do. Silent Treatment / disengagement ( not sure which). My romantic interpretation of a hug that actually simply demonstrated lack of emotion.

  7. BC30 says:

    Oh god, I read articles like this and am so grateful I was never going to be “elevated” to IPPS.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      BC30, that what happens when you have an exorcism carried out 😉

      1. BC30 says:

        😂 so true, so true

        1. Asp Emp says:


  8. A Victor says:

    I had !, 4, and 8 from my ex. I think I will know real intimacy when I see it now, after reading this article in addition to other things I have been learning. This is making me very happy. First thing of course is to ensure that the person is not a narcissist! That does away with many concerns from the start!

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