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Old 04-10-2019, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,568 posts, read 14,180,052 times
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https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...-touch/586588/

I enjoyed this article from The Atlantic by James Hamblin. In light of instances we hear of inappropriate touching, this article mentions how we respond to the touch of others.

I wonder how others might respond to this article, and what you consider appropriate touching in the various aspects of your life.

I know I give hugs to women friends. I hold back with men. Iíve decided to use two fingers on the arm if I need to touch someone I do not know well, or a male other than DH. If someone surprises me with a hug, I might have to fight my instincts to pull away, especially if the hugger is a male I donít know well enough to trust. (I certainly do hug my DH and family.)

But, as the article points out, there are several sorts of hugs.

At any rate, how do you feel about everyday human touch? I am out of the workplace, so I wonder if various HR departments have issued edicts about touching. And, if so are things awkward?

The author, Hamblin, is a doctor who writes about various things for the Atlantic. He also posts videos. He is an interesting guy.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
26,811 posts, read 5,726,538 times
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I use to be big on touching just about anyone. Curtailed that and like you am conscious of the way I interact now.

A grocery store bagger grabbed my wrist and held on a few moments after I told him he was a good bagger. I was a little shocked but not insulted as he was older than even I am...

...guess it was a thank you, kinda, for the comment.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:59 PM
 
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Interesting article and interesting subject!


Regarding the benefits...I have a new great-niece, adopted from India. She's been with our family for a year now, and she's 2 yrs old.


When her parents first got her, she was a little thing. She was a year old, and was wearing 9 month clothes, and wasn't walking yet. It's been practically miraculous how much she's grown in a year. Her mama, my niece, recently shared a picture...and she looked like a 3 yr old in the picture. It could've just been the angle of the picture or something...but she looked SO much older.


And she's a happy little spitfire, with SO much personality, who holds her own with her 3 older siblings. She was adopted in to a family that already had two girls and a boy...and the girls adore her. Her brother was used to being the baby of the family, so he's not QUITE as enamored...but the family as a whole is very loving, and this little beauty has just opened up like a flower. It's amazing.


And regarding the negative touch - I appreciated how the article explained the physiological effect of unwanted and unexpected touch. The loss of control.


A while back, there was a thread here about touching. My stance on the topic was...I DON'T want people I don't know coming up to me to touch me for some reason. I DON'T want someone fixing my collar, or fixing the tag on the back of my clothes, etc. I want my boundaries, and I'd like them respected. If someone ASKS if they can fix my tag...maybe I'd be ok with that. If a FRIEND asked me if they could fix my tag, I'd be more receptive.


Now...if there was some kind of horrible tragedy that I was enduring...like...a horrible accident I survived, but say no one else...and a stranger offered physical support or a strong hug...I can see where I would need that hug and appreciate it...so context really matters.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I've never been confused between an inappropriately intentioned touch from a guy and a friendly, jovial, or supportive touch from a guy. The whole body language is different.

Same with women. This is not confusing. I think a lot of people are making stuff up in their heads in the interpretation. Look at all these threads on here about how a woman looked at or cuffed a guy in passing and they want us to interpret if that means she's in love with him.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I've never been confused between an inappropriately intentioned touch from a guy and a friendly, jovial, or supportive touch from a guy. The whole body language is different.

Same with women. This is not confusing. I think a lot of people are making stuff up in their heads in the interpretation. Look at all these threads on here about how a woman looked at or cuffed a guy in passing and they want us to interpret if that means she's in love with him.

Hmmm...I don't know about THAT. But a casual touch from a woman, to a man, unless it's accidental, does signify interest. It CAN be purely platonic...but it's implied familiarity.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Hmmm...I don't know about THAT. But a casual touch from a woman, to a man, unless it's accidental, does signify interest. It CAN be purely platonic...but it's implied familiarity.
Familiarity and affection are not the same thing as romantic/sexual interest.

If guys expect us to understand that re: sexual harassment, they need to understand that as well.

Again, I find it odd that by merely paying attention to body language, spoken language, and context, I have never misinterpreted a gesture of affection for interest and vice versa.

I think most people see what they want to see.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Familiarity and affection are not the same thing as romantic/sexual interest.

If guys expect us to understand that re: sexual harassment, they need to understand that as well.

Again, I find it odd that by merely paying attention to body language, spoken language, and context, I have never misinterpreted a gesture of affection for interest and vice versa.

I think most people see what they want to see.
I am not in total agreement. I do think that women have trouble, sometimes, knowing, or believing, that a touch is NOT a breach. I also think it can be construed as too familiar.

Not everyone is adept at reading body language.

Your experience does not necessarily reflect the full spectrum of othersí experiences.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado
11,628 posts, read 7,195,062 times
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My social community has a rule that you do not touch anyone without permission. Not even hugs among familiar friends. Because we try to recognize that sometimes, a person might not be in the mood to be touched, at all.

Many of us ask, "Hug?" Personally, and what I've advised others who are concerned about this being awkward, is that I will extend my arms and pause, and that nonverbal asking, is a moment in which someone can raise a hand and say, "Not today, but thanks." It's easy to do.

There was one man I had an issue with, who would ask for a friendly hug, and when granted one, would nuzzle my neck, make, "mmm" noises, and press his whole body against me, or kiss my face. That is not cool, and I had to tell him so. It's been a while since we had that conversation, and the last time I saw him, he pushed it with me yet again. It's frustrating, honestly. While he insists that his intentions are purely friendly, his actions say otherwise, and I don't like it.

The only difficulty I have with the "don't touch without asking" rule, is when I need to get someone's attention, I still have an impulse to tap them on the arm or shoulder. While this probably would not bother most people, I do what I can to curb the impulse and just wave my hand off to one side of them instead.

Don't get me wrong, many of us are very physically affectionate to one another, it's just that we want people to have the right and opportunity to opt out of that if they so choose.

What's funny is the full contrast to another set of experiences I have had many times. Being front row at metal concerts. The shows I go to, normally the crowd crushes forward and I'm smooshed against the barricade with who knows whose elbow in my back and people crushing from all around. I'm sure some boys have attempted a grope here and there over the years, but I've been too busy rockin' out and keeping my feet under me to care. Personal space is zero, and not expected. And I'm cool with that, in that context.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:51 PM
 
6,359 posts, read 2,280,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
My social community has a rule that you do not touch anyone without permission. Not even hugs among familiar friends. Because we try to recognize that sometimes, a person might not be in the mood to be touched, at all.

Many of us ask, "Hug?" Personally, and what I've advised others who are concerned about this being awkward, is that I will extend my arms and pause, and that nonverbal asking, is a moment in which someone can raise a hand and say, "Not today, but thanks." It's easy to do.

There was one man I had an issue with, who would ask for a friendly hug, and when granted one, would nuzzle my neck, make, "mmm" noises, and press his whole body against me, or kiss my face. That is not cool, and I had to tell him so. It's been a while since we had that conversation, and the last time I saw him, he pushed it with me yet again. It's frustrating, honestly. While he insists that his intentions are purely friendly, his actions say otherwise, and I don't like it.

The only difficulty I have with the "don't touch without asking" rule, is when I need to get someone's attention, I still have an impulse to tap them on the arm or shoulder. While this probably would not bother most people, I do what I can to curb the impulse and just wave my hand off to one side of them instead.

Don't get me wrong, many of us are very physically affectionate to one another, it's just that we want people to have the right and opportunity to opt out of that if they so choose.

What's funny is the full contrast to another set of experiences I have had many times. Being front row at metal concerts. The shows I go to, normally the crowd crushes forward and I'm smooshed against the barricade with who knows whose elbow in my back and people crushing from all around. I'm sure some boys have attempted a grope here and there over the years, but I've been too busy rockin' out and keeping my feet under me to care. Personal space is zero, and not expected. And I'm cool with that, in that context.

See now...that's when I'd make my knee too familiar with his groin. LOL
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:41 PM
 
5,347 posts, read 2,235,197 times
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I'm not a big hugger. As someone who, in the course of doing business, meets with women, has dinner with women, travels with women, and has forged lasting friendships with women I met through work, I try to be really mindful of personal space. But, fully knowing that I could get crucified for typing this, I think the taboos against that kind of contact is relative, more a function of how attracted the huggee is to the hugger than anything.

My long-time assistant was like that. She was a physically demonstrative person in our relationship. She liked to hug me, but she might as well have had a big "Don't Touch" sign around her neck with other guys in the office. When I finally asked her about that in jest, she replied, "Because you're not a creep." As a matter of fact, when I didn't hug her one Christmas when exchanging gifts, she started to get her feelings hurt. "What? No hug?"

Meanwhile, my brother-in-law worked with a woman for two years and thought he had a good working relationship. But, according to his version of events, he merely suggested dinner with her and--two hours later--he was carrying a box filled with his personal items out the door at the behest of HR.

Let's take it out of the realm of hugging and use something simpler. Let's say you're reading a book at a table in the company breakroom.

Person A strolls up, Louis from IT. This nebbish isn't all that good-looking, is socially awkward, and wears clothes as if tossed on him with a pitchfork. He says, "I loved that book." You say something dismissive and ignore him.

Person B strolls up, Cal from Sales. This guy is an Adonis, has an interesting demeanor, nice as can be, and is a sharp dresser. He says, "I loved that book." You then engage him in a twenty-minute conversation, and then accept his dinner invitation to discuss it further.

Same four words, two completely different outcomes. It's just human nature. No hard and fast rules anywhere. After all, a very large percentage of relationships begin in the workplace. If we were to simply say, "No overtures to colleagues," no one would be getting anywhere with anyone.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 04-11-2019 at 03:51 PM..
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