I have a few quirks about me. I’m awkward, I have a weird sense of humour, I struggle with double meanings and take things literally which can cause me to say inappropriate things without even realising it..
I’m a bit of an odd ball, I think.
One thing that makes me particularly odd, according to other people, is that I don’t like being touched.
I was going to make this a funny post, but after I started typing I realised maybe I have something more to say about it. While people do laugh at me for it, to be perfectly honest, there is nothing worse than someone doing something to you that makes you feel physically violated. Which is how this can feel, sometimes.
I had a quick Google, and came up with articles about social anxiety, PTSD and mental illness. And while there is nothing in particular that has triggered this, to my knowledge, it felt important to get a bit serious here.
Because sometimes, being this way doesn’t feel very nice. For many reasons – not only is it uncomfortable for me, but it makes me come across as detached, cold and lacking emotion and empathy – which is not true to my character at all.
If someone stands to close to me, if they go to put their hand on me or hug me, I have an urge to punch them in the face and push them away.
I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember and even with my family. I’m okay with a romantic partner and very very close friends (to an extent) but anyone else needs to stay about 4ft away form me at all times.
I have memories of being younger and being forced to hug family members, or being told I had to kiss my nieces and nephews on the lips and to be honest – it made me feel like I had my personal space violated, that my body wasn’t mine to control and I was under complete control of adults.
If I ever have children, I decided a long time ago that I would never force my child to hug or kiss a family member or friend. That whole ‘why don’t you give Granny a kiss’ thing and then having to force the child to agree just doesn’t sit right with me. Especially with people that child isn’t familiar with. I was brought up to do this and always felt uncomfortable. It’s their body, not mine and I don’t feel it’s fair to put their need for personal space aside just so a friend or family member isn’t offended.
My Mum thinks there is something wrong with me, like, mentally. She has tried to talk to me about it a few times, asking why I don’t like being touched, why I pull away when someone gets close as if I’m anticipating them touching me and to be honest, I don’t know why. But I don’t see what it has to be such a big deal.
It’s a natural reaction I have. I don’t consciously flinch away when someone comes close.
At work, it’s known that I don’t like being touched and every time we have to huddle together for a group photo, the person next to me will know that I don’t want their arm around me in the photo.
A few of them will wind my up sometimes by poking me and say ‘ooooohhh I’m touching you’, others will pretend to pat me on the shoulder when I’m having a bad day, but keep their hands a few inches away from me.
I’m not even sure what the point of this post is, I guess everyone has a different line and different boundaries when it comes to personal space and they should always be respected. Because for someone to go to hug me, or put their hands on my shoulders, or my waist, it causes me stress and anxiety.
I guess what I want to highlight is that even if you’re the type of person that loves physical contact and hugs, it’s important to realise that not everyone is the same and respect someones desire to not be touched. And that just because someone doesn’t want to be touch by you, it doesn’t mean they dislike you or they think you’re dirty, or that they’re a cold, heartless person.
I probably really like you.
I just don’t like it when you touch me.