Why we need touch.
Communication is the key to any relationship and touch is a form of communicating. When we touch someone you can often feel there emotions and energy whether positive or negative. These can include ; fear, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, sadness, compassion, sensitivity and embarrassment to name but few.
It is important that these kind of emotions may be expressed through touch, to literally be held.
Does This sound like you?
I lost my wife (or husband, girlfriend, boyfriend). Since then, simple physical affection hasn’t been in my life. I feel lonely and I miss just being held. But I don’t want to lead anyone on or put myself in an immoral situation.”
I’m a touch-oriented person, and I’m hurting because I’m not getting enough affectionate platonic touch. But I don’t think I can ask for it from the people around me… I don’t want to be awkward or give anyone the wrong idea.”
I’ve endured a traumatic experience that makes it difficult to allow others to be physically close to me. I want to start finding my way back in a safe place where I won’t be judged or have expectations placed on me.”
I have a condition or disability that sometimes makes it hard to get close to others. But I need to be hugged just as much as anyone else.”
I’m stressed out. I need to escape. I just went through something hard. I feel depressed. I need a shoulder to cry on. I know I can talk to a therapist… but right now, more than anything, I NEED A HUG!”
A common misconception in our culture among those who are not touch-oriented is that, after a certain age, being physically close to someone for long enough can only lead to sexual things. This is a symptom of an oversexualized culture. It is untrue and can be vary damaging.
For example: imagine you were a highly outgoing and extroverted child born into a family who believed that “children should be seen and not heard”, and punished you accordingly. Or, imagine you were a woman with lofty business ambitions living in a culture where it is frowned upon for a woman to be anything but submissive.
It’s exactly the same concept. In most regions of the United States, reassuring touch of more than one or two seconds is considered taboo in all but the most intimate relationships; this is simply not the case for much of the rest of the world. In our culture, touch-oriented people who express their unmet need for non-intimate, non-romantic physical contact are often misunderstood to be looking for “something more”, and might be ignored or even ridiculed –even if the recipient of their cry for help secretly understands.
So the touch-starved person learns not to ask. Instead, they suffer in silence. Maybe for the rest of their lives. It shouldn`t be this way!