First responders serve in stressful, sometimes overwhelming situations which can impose heavy emotional burdens on themselves and their relationships. The first responder culture has tended to stigmatize the need for acknowledging these painful emotions and releasing them. First responders may feel that they must stay in control at all times and avoid the vulnerability necessary for resolving their emotions. When they see vulnerability as a weakness or threat, their relationships will then be compromised by their inability to tolerate intimacy.

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