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Paj!

Touching

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This has come up recently.

 

Touch is an incredibly powerful and emotive sense. It's how we interact with the world, as much as with sight and hearing, etc.

 

Touch between people can mean many different things. Intimacy of varying degrees, hugs, fighting/ aggression etc...

 

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What do people feel about strangers or rather, recent acquantances touching you?

 

That sounds like I'm talking about innapropriate touching, but I mean more like just being "overfriendly".

 

This is in relation to a guy in my project group/on my course. He's incredibly tactile with everyone. He pats their head if they're sitting down, squeezes shoulders, rubs backs, rubs chests (on one hilarious occasion) etc. It's not "weird" - he's a very confident, affected (? not quite camp) guy, but it's thrown everyone off completely. Because nowadays it seems we have sortof of unspoken boundaries of how we interact with new people.

 

It is certainly disporientating, and other people (he does it to everyone) have mixed reactions/are very suprised by it. Some of my friends actively hate it.

 

But I wonder why.

 

Do you think the world would be a better place we all got more touchy-feely with each other?

 

Are we all repressed, longing for the touch of another, but shirking away if it isn't on our terms??

 

Touch is so much about control. Our body is our own...is it about lack of control?

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Us men would just fondle all the women...

 

There was this guy who started at argos a few months after me who was very similar - when I introduced myself he treated me as if I was his BFF (turns out we had met at a club once before). He pretty much did everything you said. It was totally inoffensive and actually quite endearing - the chap was just genuinely a really nice guy.

 

What gets me is what do you do when you meet someone? In general, a firm handshake and a howdoyoudo suffices, but there are some people who are very huggy, which leads to a whole new area of uncertainty. How long do you hug? Where do you put your hands? Do you pat? Rub? Squeeze? Is it bad face to break the hug first?

 

No contact at all is just simpler. Even with handshakes you can accidentally grab their fingers or their wrist and it becomes a ridiculous handshake.

 

I think it's just me being british.

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I prefer a minimalistic approach, while I size them up to see what I can get away with. The first meeting is almost pure recon.

Touching the hearts of people is what I desire.

But you don't get that far and hit the back of their throat instead :hehe:

 

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As I mentioned in the National Pride thread, one thing I hate about Denmark is how closed we can be to strangers and socially in general. It seems like in today's society, getting too close to someone - both literally and figuratively - with whom you're not dear friends is a sign that you're weird or even downright creepy. It bothers me. Why make socialising harder than it already is?

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I'm going to go touch people today. I'll report back with my findings.

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Am I the only one who finds seeing on the forum home part the thread "Touching" by -insert last person to post in thread- quite funny?

 

 

Just me :red: I'll go..

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I think we have it right in this country, or at least the circles in which I mix. It's nice when a girl touches you (highlight of my year!), but touching is intimate, and we instinctively know when it's inappropriate. Take Paj's aquaintance... he sounds like a bit of a nuisance, to be honest.

 

It's funny, if I feel a man touch my arm, I become furious (assuming it's a stranger), then turn round and see it's one of my best friends who I've known for 27 years. I then laugh with relief and lock hands with him. If he was a stranger, the action would be the same, but context is everything.

 

Friends know when they are familiar enough to hug and touch. If you never touch anyone or are not comfortable enough to let anyone touch you (or like it), you are probably repressed, but anyone who makes themselves overfamiliar too soon is the one who is out of step.

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Whilst I'm generally fine with a hand shake upon meeting people, just wanted to say WTF is with 'The Hand Crushers'?

 

When I shake hands I pretty much just clasp hands with someone, placing my hand into theirs because I see it as a friendly exchange, I cannot for the life of me understand those who must see it as the equivalent of an arm wrestle, some sort of power contest, and proceed to crush you hand!

Edited by Retro_Link

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I think we have it right in this country, or at least the circles in which I mix. It's nice when a girl touches you (highlight of my year!), but touching is intimate, and we instinctively know when it's inappropriate. Take Paj's aquaintance... he sounds like a bit of a nuisance, to be honest.

 

It's funny, if I feel a man touch my arm, I become furious (assuming it's a stranger), then turn round and see it's one of my best friends who I've known for 27 years. I then laugh with relief and lock hands with him. If he was a stranger, the action would be the same, but context is everything.

 

Friends know when they are familiar enough to hug and touch. If you never touch anyone or are not comfortable enough to let anyone touch you (or like it), you are probably repressed, but anyone who makes themselves overfamiliar too soon is the one who is out of step.

But I believe our judgement of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate is shaped by society. And frankly, where I'm from, I think society is waaay too afraid of contact with strangers, both physically and generally.

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Nice :D

 

But I believe our judgement of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate is shaped by society. And frankly, where I'm from, I think society is waaay too afraid of contact with strangers, both physically and generally.

 

Yep...and once again, Finland mirrors Denmark. Touching, i.e. hugging, seems to be especially problematic among men. Hugging female friends etc is a bit more appropriate, but other men...haven't seen much of that. Always just handshakes. Young boys do get their share of contact via playful wrestling etc, but as they get older, this also diminishes. My mother once told my father to hug me when they were leaving, to which he replied "real men don't hug". Partly humour, partly not...My mom also said that she can't remember her own father ever hugging her...Might be related to the issue of not showing emotions or talking about them...And the traditional solution to this? Alcohol...

 

Do you think the world would be a better place we all got more touchy-feely with each other?

 

Yes. Like you said, touch is a powerful sense...which can be used to bring comfort and pleasure. Hugging would be a good start, at least it makes me feel good...

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i actually prefer a quick 'hand crusher' hand shake, over a soft clammy one. Shaking hands is a rather disgusting custom in and of itself though

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Im a serial hugger but not to complete strangers.

 

Maybe I should stop :heh:

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i actually prefer a quick 'hand crusher' hand shake, over a soft clammy one. Shaking hands is a rather disgusting custom in and of itself though

 

That's probably how high fives evolved.

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Depends really.

 

With blokes, i only accept a hand-shake and/or hand on shoulder*. Females is a completly different kettle of fish, that is when i hug.

 

*Only accept if i'm mates with them, return the favour as well.

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Handshake/hand-on-shoulder combo? The hug for the man too manly for hugs? Can't say I've ever done that.

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Depends who it is. Some people I'm comfortable touching, others I'd rather die (be it because they're disgusting to me, or they intimidate me, or they make me feel awkward etc etc).

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Hand shake or high five is about as far as I go with most people. Close female friends get a hug and for some reason... drunkenness encourages unnecessary man hugging.

 

Fist pound is also appropriate. Let us not forget that wonderful gesture.

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I will hug most people.

 

But I won't hug close family (mum, dad, brother, sister).

 

Yes I know I have issues (though to be fair the issues are for the whole family).

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This topic reminds me of a time where I was in an Irish pub with Ine, in Belgium. (The Irish are everywhere!)

 

We spotted one of her friends there. Then, shortly afterwards we decided we were going home, so I went to hug her friend goodbye. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ine motioning "noooo" so I stopped halfway and tried my best to turn my lunging hug into a handshake.

 

I like hugging girls goodbye and handshaking the blokes. That's the way eet should be. I'm used to that over here. Although, on first impressions, it doesn't seem like that is the way things are done in other countries.

 

When I'm teaching and the kid goes a good piece of work, I do the hand over the shoulder/on the back "heeeey you did really well" thing. I think in general, I'm fine with contact. I don't get weirded out when girls touch my arm or stuff, or with giving handshakes.

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I never initiate any handshakes or hugs etc but they dont really bother me. Only a few of my friends are handshakers anyway and a couple of female friends are huggers.

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I will hug most people.

 

But I won't hug close family (mum, dad, brother, sister).

 

Yes I know I have issues (though to be fair the issues are for the whole family).

 

Wait, I'm with you on this one. I've hardly ever hugged my Mum or Dad, and I've neeeever done it to my brothers or sister.

 

Hmm. We have issues. :(

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I loooooove hugs, but no one really gives them here. Never hugged my sisters or parents (apart from maybe when I was really little, I don't remember). And like Jim said in his story, we don't really hug here. At least me and my friends don't, some people might do it.

 

I only really hug Jim and one of my cousins (she has a special place in my life and heart). But yeah I like hugs, I'd like more of them. =P

Though it did feel a bit weird when Jim's friends hugged me, when I had just met them heh.

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