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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


I’m a student and teacher of people-first growth. Having spent the major part of the last two decades building weird businesses that tried to be good for humans, I'm now working privately on a few experimental projects and cultivating this little digital space of mine.

If you're new here, I'm working on my second book, People-First Growth (slowly, slowly said the sloth), and I’m sharing what I learn in my newsletter. If you geek out on digital gardening, I share mine publicly on Roam. You can say hi on Twitter or by email.

You can also read my first book, Gather the People, originally released in 2015 and updated in 2020 (what a year for a book release). It's a human approach to marketing for people who would rather make what they love than persuade people to buy it. If that's you, I hope it helps.