Thursday, October 19, 2017

Creating False Intimacy

"When we come together to share authentic hope joy, hope, and pain, we melt the pervasive cynicism that often cloaks our better human nature. When we come together under the false flag of common enemy intimacy, we amplify cynicism and diminish our collective worth." 

In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.

What is common enemy intimacy? First of all, the picture below is my friend stting with me and sharing joy and hope. I use our picture to remind me that I have relationships where talking about others is not the norm. My friend is not a gossip. 

There are times when I have come together with others to rail on a common protagonist. Ar first it feels juicy and affirming but it leaves me feeling like a betrayer. Since we have trashed someone together would she do the same to me with someone else? Would I do the same to her? 

If building belonging is a goal then creating false intimacy is not going to get me there. If talking about others in a negative degrading way is on the table, then maybe feeling "out of place" is a better feeling, even if it means being a kill-joy.

"Common enemy intimacy is counterfeit connection and the opposite of true-belonging. " 

Click here to go back to my table of contents to see the other posts from earlier dates.


  1. So true- it can be hard to avoid being drawn into gossip and complaining at times but it is better to steer clear of it. If I hear someone gossiping about someone else I always have that same question of what they say about me when I'm not there and I don't want people to worry that I will do that to them.


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