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The Dance of Intimacy

Harriet Lerner

“Intimacy means that we can be who we are in a relationship, and allow the other person to do the same. ‘Being who we are’ requires that we can talk openly about things that are important to us, that we take a clear position on where we stand on important emotional issues, and that we clarify the limits of what is acceptable and tolerable to us in a relationship. ‘Allowing the other person to do the same’ means that we can stay emotionally connected to that other party who thinks, feels, and believes differently without needing to change, convince, or fix the other.

An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way.”

—Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Intimacy


Nice to meet you! I'm a writer, reader, and aspiring hermit. I love books and food and plants and theater and I'm fascinated by the beauty and terror of being alive on this planet.

In my past life, I was a founder at various times and a CEO at various times, and I now make a living as co-founder and chief of staff at a web3 startup. I do some coaching and consulting on organizational alignment & leadership occasionally (if that's something you need, you can email me; I have loads of empathy for anyone trying to make a business work).

I invented a celebratory day called Post Day that happens from time to time. Anyone can celebrate! I write letters to books I have loved. I also talk to my books on Twitter, and sometimes they talk back.

I have a mailing list, where I share the occasional update about new things I'm making/trying. If you're interested in digital gardening, I share what I'm reading in my public Roam. I am on Twitter sometimes, or you can email me.

If you like reading about thoughtful business topics, you can read my first book, Gather the People, originally released in 2015 and updated in 2020. It was the book I needed as a bootstrapping business owner with the heart of an artist, and if that's you, I hope it helps.

Last updated: July 26, 2022