November 20, 2008 10:47 AM Subscribe
I feel like I might be a closeted touchy-feely person. When I don't get frequent hugs/cuddles/human contact, I definitely feel the loss. Yet I find myself almost completely unable to initiate friendly contact with people unless we're intimately accquainted. How do I go about avoiding feeling physically isolated? Longer explanation, examples, etc. inside.
posted by coppermoss to Human Relations (21 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
So, I'm recently single. My previous relationship was full of hugs and cuddles and lots and lots of physical contact, so I never craved touch. Prior to that, I was in an arts high school, where hugs were the standard greeting, and would often occur for no other reason than to express appreciation for something said in idle conversation. At the very beginning of college, before I met the ex, I felt very isolated and strange, and now it's happening again.
My roommate and I don't have a physical relationship, save the occasional hug when disaster strikes. His hugs barely qualify as such, since they're so flimsy. My best friend who is a good hugger is in Europe for the quarter. I'm making a bunch of new friends, and would like to make these relationships similarly touchy to the ones I had in high school, but run into some problems: I find myself almost entirely unable to initiate physical contact, and since all of these new friends are men, I don't want to give the wrong impression.
How do I fix this? How do I make touching people (and I'm talking anywhere from a high five to a hug) as unawkward as possible? I'm not looking to become one of those people who have no respect for others' personal space, but I'd like to do something to keep myself from feeling so isolated.