Touchy feely touchy feely...

My wifes family is big on hugging,even after twentyone years of marrige I am still not used to it.
At big family gatherings sometimes I have to go outside just to get some space.
I know that they are trying to show affection but it is too much for me.
t lion

I guess I’m sort of like TennHippie, where my reaction depends on the situation. My family is Polish and with the Polish there’s always lots of handshaking, patting, cheek kissing and even hand kissing (this custom seems to have died out in the rest of the world). So I don’t mind the physical contact.

On the other hand people in north America don’t usually do these things, so when there is physical contact it is mostly when they’re trying to be overly cute/affectionate/annoying. You can tell because they tend to use the same whiny, high-pitched voice that parents use to fawn over children.

THAT annoys me to the point where people in school would touch me just so they could see my look of disgust. Someone would lay their head on my shoulder and I would look at them as if they were a flea-infested stray dog. Of course this would make everyone laugh really hard and just encourage them to do again…

This stuff is VERY cultural indeed.

I’m Dutch and we usually laugh our butts off over here when e.g. in movies, TV series, etc. people start hugging about REALLY TRIVIAL stuff. Well, trivial to us.
I mean, if my best friend tells me he’s got a job promotion, I’ll react enthusiastically, give him a pat on the shoulder and buy/pour him a beer. No way in HELL would I hug him. Actually, he got married last Friday and I was the best man. Firm handshake, and a good speech. Does more than a hug, I’ll tell you that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to hug. But over here, it’s something you do with your girlfriend, or possibly your family. Although some women (sororities [sp?], etc.) tend to be more “American”, hug-wise.

And by no means am I putting down ANY nation or its inhabitants in this post - just try to see it as a cultural comparison :slight_smile:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Yep, it certainly is sad. Personally I’m getting over it. Sometimes the urge strikes me in a big way, but its rare. I went to NYC and met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 2 years. (this was when I was REALLY tense about hugging) He walked into the restaurant we were meeting in (The City Crab- MAN is that good food!) and I was so overwhelmed with joy that I jumped up out of my seat, ran over to him and we hugged and hugged. It felt great and I was so happy to see him. All I can figure is that very touchy huggy people get that feeling frequently and that’s why they do it. I hope to evolve to that point someday myself :slight_smile:

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

You know, the person who touches the other person first comes out on top in a relationship. I read that somewhere.

People have to touch me a lot because Im deaf & thats how you get my attention. Don’t have much choice in the matter except to look at people’s faces all the time to know when they want my attenshun.

I come from a very touchy, huggy, kissy family. I love it! :slight_smile:

As a result, I tend to hug AND kiss the people I am close to. Strangers don’t have to worry about me, though. :wink:

Sex appeal – Give generously

This thread sounds like an episode of “Seinfeld.”

“He’s a bit of a close-talker”

Coldfire, in real life we are not nearly as huggy-kissy as people are in American movies and TV shows. Hugging has become movie/TV shorthand for almost any emotional catharsis – Happy? Group hug! Sad? Big weepy group hug! Angry? A hug will fix it all right up!

If Americans were really that hug-prone, I don’t think I’d ever leave the house.

Catrandom (hates being hugged)

I have to admit: I am a huggy/touchy person. I grew up in a family that is very affectionate, but I was even moreso as a kid. When I was a little girl, anytime I saw my parents hugging or kissing, I’d launch myself at them and wriggle in to be included. Looking back at it, I’m kinda surprised they were so patient with me.

My brothers, however, are not so huggy/touchy, and I’ve learned from them to be alert to physical cues that tell me whether a person is comfortable with that. Even if I think a person is completely comfortable with hugging, I will offer a hug in such a way that gives them a chance to evade.

My roommate is also extremely huggy/touchy, which is great. We swap backrubs, scalp scratching, body massages . . .

Strangely, though, some people are under the impression that we’re lesbians. I wonder why that is. :wink:

I’m one of those not touchy feely types. Don’t get me wrong - my son and I hug a lot, sometimes he sits in my lap during Pokemon or Power Rangers, and my SO and I cuddle. Family is different.

But at work, we have someone who is the huggy type and I avoid her like the plague. I have been friendly with this person, but NOT to the extent that I want her to HUG me for cryin out loud. Stuff like that isn’t, IMVOHFO, appropriate at work anyway.

The other thing that really drives me nuts is people who have to get right IN your face when they talk to you. I spend half the time talking with these kind of people walking backwards. I’m not a cold, cruel person, I just like my own personal space not to be “invaded” if that makes any sense.

There is a world of difference between a pat on the back or hand on the arm and a great big hug. I personally hate hugging anybody except my kids and husband. I wasn’t raised in a particularly cold or distant household. We were just more likely to show affection through gentle (OK, not-so-gentle) ribbing. It is not sad or weird, its just different.

What does IMVOHFO mean?

I am NOT the touchy feely type. My problem is that I go to an all-girl catholic high school. I don’t know why they feel the need to hug me everytime they me outside of school. Freshman year I put up with it, but when it didn’t stop last year, I started backing away and holding out my hand when they reached out to hug me. I might have offended some people, but I couldn’t stand it anymore. Now they know I don’t like it and everything’s cool. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting them know, or they’ll never stop.

White Wolf

“Death is the only inescapable, unavoidable, sure thing. We are sentenced to die the day we’re born.” -Gary Mark Gilmore


“In my very own humble f*cking opinion”.

It’s origin is a very long, boring story, which, because I like you all so much, I won’t drag out for everyone’s listening pleasure. :wink:

My boss only comes into town every few months. He’s so creepy. He looks like a derranged Jimmy Swaggart, and he will creep around me all afternoon, wait until my back is turned and slowly rub my shoulders. It never fails to give me chills. Worst part is, he won’t leave until he’s done it. Once, I kept him at bay for * hours *. Finally, I sat down at my desk, and he commenced with his rubbing. Five minutes later, he glanced at his watch, and said he really must be going. He does this to every woman that works here.

Slightly off topic (yes, I’m hijacking the thread, but not all the way to Havana, only to Howard Street Terminal) but what’s up with people who get all huffy and snappish (love that word) if you step on their toes, bump into them, or even just touch them, on a crowded bus or train? They get their drawers in an uproar even if you apologize to them. Geez! It’s the subway at rush hour, not a tea party; stuff happens. If the person didn’t obviously do it on purpose, deal with it!

I am one of those that didn’t grow up with a lot of physical contact around (both parents worked, yadda yadda…) and I absolutly can’t stand being touched by others, with an exception given if I happen to be dating someone (and even then, they’d better let me see it coming). But, I have no problem touching someone… if I see they need a hug or and arm around their shoulder, I’m good at that.

What surprised me when I thought about this is how violently I react when someone does invade my space… if someone lays a hand on my shoulder I’m around and ready to fight before I can really think about it. Odd that, I’m usually a really calm guy.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I’m a fairly huggy person, with friends and family. With strangers I’ll shake their hand if they offer, but I won’t initiate it.

I was raised by my mom who doesn’t hug or kiss (and has never even said she loved me, to my recollection) which probably has something to do with it.

O p a l C a t