what’s your take on the touchy-feely?

@kellys3ps (3731)
United States
December 7, 2008 11:31am CST
Last night we went to the town Christmas tree lighting. While I was there, I started talking to a man (who I don't think I know) and he gave me a great big hug. Now, I am a person who values my personal space - sometimes I don't even let my hubby invade it! Needless to say, I was uncomfortable. What about you? When you first meet people are you a hand-shaker, hugger, kisser, or more standoffish? Are you touchy-feely, or do you need your space?
3 people like this
15 responses
@savak03 (6682)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I am not a big hugger although I endure it from my close friends in moment of extreme stress. But for a complete stranger to hug me I would probably have had a coronary. At the very least I would have stepped back or if I failed to get out of the way fast enough I would have pushed him away. If I am meeting you formally or for business I will shake your hand but for casual meetings I would probably just say hello. The thing is I have always been this standoffish. My parents were not demonstrative so I never got the hugs and kisses as a child that other kids got. When I grew up and started raising my own kids I realized what I had missed so I made myself hug and kiss my own kids frequently so they would not feel the lack as I did. My plan worked because they grew up to be well balanced adults able to show affection.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec 08
Wow, I feel your pain. I really wish more people took the few seconds it takes to gauge a person before they bombard their personal space. A handshake with a brief shoulder squeeze is so much better than the full body assault of a hug. Iused to have a mentor that was big on rubbing my shoulder or my back when she talked to me. I loved her very much and I still had to make myself sit still and endure that contact sometimes. When I allow someone in my personal space I don't think they realize what a HUGE expression of affection that is from me. My mother laugs at me because she says that I am such a nice person and really approachable that people assume that I must be touchy-feely. Not so!
@stinge (808)
• United States
8 Dec 08
I don't mind a hand shake. But a hug is a bit over the top. You see I live in NY. You walk up to someone trying to give them a hug you might get a brick to the forehead! If i don't know you you better be looking to slap hi 5. I don't look for a hug unless it's from a woman. For all you know that guy could have pick pocketed you. If that were me, I would have moved toward him with open arms and knee'd his a$$ right inthe nuts! Then I would've told him "happy holiday mutherf#cker"! And you betta believe aint no man givin me a kiss on the cheek!
@jenshak (42)
• United States
8 Dec 08
To hug or not to hug, that is the question. For me it depends on the person. For example, in the situation you were in last night I would've backed away and extended my hand. Sometimes people just don't realize that their welcoming hug can make another person really uncomfortable. I am a firmly believe that no one enters personal space without permission. So if someone wants to hug me and I don't want to hug them I step back, or stand in a very unwelcoming or uninviting way. I don't think that anyone should every allow someone to make them uncomfortable just to be nice. If someone is touching you and you don't like it or don't want them to the best thing is to say, "I would really prefer that you don't do that." Don't torture yourself, and make yourself endure unwanted contact. Believe it or not, the person making the contact just doesn't realize that it makes you uncomfortable.
• Philippines
8 Dec 08
I don't usually hug people I barely know that's for sure! I guess you have a right to be uneasy about what he did. To be fair he might just be reall friendly!
@celticeagle (114343)
• Boise, Idaho
8 Dec 08
I am standoffish. Ofcourse I have social anxiety too. Had the guy been drinking? I think one thing that makes the world an interesting place is the different types of people you will meet along your way. But, I also think there is alot of abusing of people's personal space. Everyone has the right to their space.
• United States
8 Dec 08
It depends on the person :) I'm very conscious of the other person's bubble. Some people have bigger bubbles than others. There are some people that I meet and right off are like touchy-feely but I have other friends, whom I've know for 10+ years that I still don't hug/touch. Personally I love hugs :) But again, it really does depend on the person.
@Amberina (1542)
• United States
8 Dec 08
I am a stand offish until I get to know a person. I would not have wanted to get a hug from a complete stranger it would have made me uncomfortable.
@anneshirley (1517)
• Philippines
8 Dec 08
Maybe the man you met is just extremely happy. I do hug people when I am extremely happy but I do not hug a stranger. Whenever I meet a stranger for the first time, a simple hand - shake is fine. Hand shaking is one way of acknowledging the person but hugs, for me, should be done only when you are comfortable with each other already.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
8 Dec 08
I am so glad you posted this, I though I was alone in the world. Where I work people are like that, it is one thing if there is an event or a celebration going on but this is on a daily basis, I see it as a lawsuit waiting to happen. Any my management does not seem to care, they just write it off as that is the way people are. There seems to be no regard for the feeling of people who like their own personal space.
• United States
7 Dec 08
I hate touchy-feely people with a passion. Especially if I've never met them before. My family is close, but we're not the kind of people that hug each other everytime we come in contact with each other, so when people I've just met for the first time hug me, it makes me real uncomfortable. A lot of people think that I'm mean because I don't like hugging people, but it's just how I was brought up.
@Gesusdid (1683)
• United States
7 Dec 08
if i know a person i will just give them a hand shake and thats about it , im not the type to make a BIGG HUG and all that ,either man or women , now women ill just give them a slight hug other than that its really causal and understandin i wont , squeez the heck outta them or grope em like that ...thats to get them know them better lol
@missybear (11396)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I'm the same way, unless it's my friends or family i don't like to be hugged on. People at work always hug on each other like they haven't seen each other in years and they work together all the time.
• United States
7 Dec 08
I've always disliked physical contact with people, especially if I don't know them very well. It wasn't until I learned that I have Asperger's that I understood why. The only person I ever felt comfortable hugging and holding hands was my husband. The whole idea of being hugged by strangers or casual acquantances freaks me out. I understand, on a purely intellectual level, that most people do like that kind of thing, but I don't understand it emotionally. And even if you're not a non-touchy person, for a complete stranger to hug you without permission is just plain rude.
@kdhartford (1152)
• United States
7 Dec 08
All that touchy-feely stuff just makes me uncomfortable. I don't want to hug, kiss cheeks, hold hands with anyone except my wife and my daughter. Having been in the military for so long, public display of affection has been drilled into my head. Perhaps that is why I don't like that.