Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Don’t be close injunction

With this injunction the young child perceives the parents to be telling it that for some reason closeness is not OK, dangerous or for some unstated reason not a good thing. This can include both physical and psychological closeness. In particular these people have trouble with emotional intimacy, emotional closeness and so forth.

If this is one of the person’s core injunctions as they are sometimes called then their life will be such they end up alone. As their life script plays out slowly and surely they will have less and less contact or at least meaningful contact with others and basically end up a loner as Eric Berne would say.

This is usually achieved in one of two ways. Firstly the person will continually find reasons to withdraw from others and relationships. This can be done because they feel they are not worthy or that the other person is in some way not acceptable or worthy and thus they withdraw from the relationship. This happens over and over such that eventually there are not many relationships left in the person’s life.

The other way to end up alone is to use anger. Anger separates people psychologically and often geographically as well. If one is angry then others will tend to drift away, if not leave directly. When a couple presents for counselling and report ongoing angry conflict the first thing one looks for is the intimacy between them.

If one or both of them have a Don’t be close injunction then they will feel uncomfortable about closeness and intimacy and showing love and so forth. One good way to avoid such things is to be angry at each other. Anger is a great way to avoid emotional intimacy.

Can someone have a Don’t be close

injunction and get knocked up?

Do I have a Don’t be close injunction

Relationships are very much a half glass full or a half glass empty type of thing, it depends on how you look at them. There is always some problem in any relationship so do you look at relationships in a way where you are looking for solutions or looking for reasons why it wont work.

Do you accumulate others or tend to repel them. Do you tend to be an inclusive type of person like this:

Or tend to do this with relationships:

What happens to your relationships with others? Do they tend to fade away or does there tend to be a disagreement or bust up of some kind.

How many people do you dislike and would seek to avoid if you could. Is the list long or short? Can you forgive and forget in relationships and again be friends with someone whom you felt mistreated you in some way in the past.



  1. Hmm, interesting (see! I told you I'd be interested). I'll be back

  2. Tony,
    I don't understand your "me and other's" diagrams. I am with others how ever i am with otheres. The questions you've asked are so bland. Mostly my answers are 'yes and no' simply because it all depends on the people, environment, situation.

    I would like to see you answer the questions you've asked first. I just don't understand them.

    There are many people with whom I stand back and keep very much at arms length but there are others who i allow to be intimate and love.

    I will re read the post and give it another go. I'll be back (again!).

  3. I'm sorry Tony,
    This time i must object. The behaviour that you are describing could be for any number of reasons and not simply put into the basket of the "Don't be close" injunction.

    But it was an interesting post none-the-less.

    Hope your weekend treats you well and you're keeping cool in this hot weather.

  4. OK OK Roses.

    I wasn't specifically talking about you in this post although of course I had mentioned it before about you.

    The me and others diagrams are meant to mean, over time do you generally tend to accumulate relationships and people or is there a tendency to push people away. that is all.



  5. So, both the 'others and me' diagrams should have the arrows flowing in the opposite direction?

    I have a question though... i read in a blog about a person who had a friend that they didn't know very well. Is that possible?

    For some reason I would call that an aquaintance because an aquaintance is a person i recognise and have a relationship with but don't know them (and vice versa) well enough to call them a friend.

    I remember saying that to a bunch of ladies that i meet regularly but only in a light relationship way. These people are the kind of people that i would drop everything to help or what ever is needed if they called.

    My friends are the ones that are close to me. I have a few friend relationships, lots and lots of aquaintance relationships but there are also a few people that i would attach the word 'love' to.

    Then there are the people i know - a couple of friends and my sisters who don't need to call. I generally know if things are not quite right.

    For our kids, I find it necessary to keep our distance. I have to keep reminding myself that its their turn to live their lives, make their own good and bad decisions and have the sense to come to us for comfort or help. I keep verbalizing the distance and seeming lack of attention toward them from me; and why, and now after a couple of years they are mentioning how much they are appreciating the space. That's nice.

    Relationships are such hard work aren't they? I think i am having difficulty translating words and their meanings as usual.

    It's as hot as over here today, we're about to go down to the other house and scrub walls. Eww! Keep cool mate. It's important.

  6. Oh no! The first diagram has the arrows in the wrong direction. The second one is me repelling the others. Yes?

    Yes, i think so.

  7. Oh no! I see now. The arrows on the first one are like arms and i'm pulling 'others' in like a hug. Is that what you meant?

    Yeah, i think that's what you meant.

    Don't worry Tony, i'll either 'get' it one day or not. *Shrugs*