20081213

Shaking Hands and Touching People

Have I ever mentioned how little people touch me? I mean my kids hang all over me, all of the time, but other people? Not so much. In fact when I met Mo, it was strange to me because she kept touching my shoulder. It was nice, don't get me wrong (really, Mo.) But it made me realize that I am extremely stand-offish. I don't do hugs very much. With Will not here, I feel a bit like a leper. He touches me a lot, and it is great. Even if I act like I don't like it- well some of it feel inappropriate at certain times, but mostly it is wanted and needed.

My friend JC hugs me sometimes, and I have on at least one occasion had to keep myself from melting into her shoulder and sobbing because a hug was so what I needed at that point. (but if you know me at all you know I do not cry in front of others, that shows weakness and I am not a weak little girl.)

Haven't doctors done studies that prove that touch helps the infirmed heal from illlness and surgery? I suppose I should do some research on that. Maybe that has been my problem. But how do you fulfill that without it feeling wrong? Like I wouldn't feel comfortable walking around arm in arm with a guy friend. Even if that person was a really good friend, and would I feel more comfortable walking arm in arm with a girl? (I dunno.)

But most of my friends are not touchy feely folks. My family? Not so much either. I think that human touch is important. Babies who are not touched or held do not thrive as well as held children (attachment parenting). As seen by my inability to even put Gwennie down for her first year- I totally prescribe to this philosophy. So why do I not touch people more? Please tell me. Are you a toucher? (That sounds dirty and I do not mean it that way.) Do you shy away from hugs? What about handshakes?

Handshakes are a totally different story. I am a proponent of the FIRM handshake. I dislike the wimpy, barely touching, courtesy shake many women give. This type of handshake really bugs me when it is a man who gives it. Growing up LDS means growing up shaking hands. You shake everyone's hand from a young age. For a long time it felt wrong to meet someone and not shake their hand. I have outgrown this, but not the desire to have a firm handshake. Will has a nice handshake, not the squish your fingers kind, not the frou frou kind, solid. Oh and don't get me started on the pump your arm kind. Bleh. One single pump is good, then let go.

As a teenager I had a female friend who walked around holding hands with everyone. It was kind of nice to have that connection to her. I hold the kids' hands but even when Will is home, he doesn't hold my hand (admittedly we are probably both holding a child's hand.) I miss that connection you feel to people when you walk hand in hand. I wanted to be one of those old married couples who walk hand in hand down the road. I know it isn't too late for that. Maybe that will be part of the many goals I have for when Will gets home. Maybe it will help us reconnect.

9 comments:

Everyday Mom Designs said...

I know what you mean about the touchy feely stuff.. I don't really touch people and not many people touch me.. Honestly, even the smallest things with the hubby are few and far between nowadays with the little one. But it is good to be touched and to touch someone else..

Your goal for when the hubby comes back is a good one. Stick with it. :)

Mo said...

Ha ha Leaner, I have always been a tactile kind of a person. I don't know why but I just am. A touch on the arm for me is just a part of conversation I guess. I am sure that I freak people out at times but I certainly don't mean to. I am often known to hug as well so beware! :):)

leaner said...

LOL, Mo, well maybe you are just the kind of friend I need then! I don't run from hugs, I love them. Its just a rarity in my life.

Amy said...

Like you, Leaner, I'm not an overly touchy-feely kind of person. There are only a small number of people in my life that I feel comfortable hugging - hubbie and kids (naturally), mom and dad, sister, and REALLY good friends (like Mo!).

I hope my girls aren't as shy about giving and recieving affection as I have been (said as I snuggle with Claira). Jeff and I don't hang all over each other like we did while we were dating. I wish we did more because I think it is important for our children to see us communicate love nonverbally (within reason, of course).

Shanking hands - I can take it or leave it. What I most notice about people's hands when I shake them is the temperature (warm or cold) and texture (rough or soft).

purplelurple said...

I know we are very touchy in our family. I like to give and get hugs alot. Garrett always holds my hand or has a hand on my back when we go anywhere, just to let me know he is there and loves me. Somedays I don't feel like being touched by anyone, but I have found this is actually the days I need it most.

leaner said...

Purplelurple,
Garrett is the most affectionate in the family. But I think he also feels like he needs to keep a hand on you lest you disappear from his life again. And Will used to be life that, I love the hand on back thing. It makes me feel safe and protected and loved. I miss it, and have told Will that I would like it back.

bodaat said...

I've become more of a feely person as I've grown older. We didn't grow up doing a lot of hugging, touching, even saying 'I love you'. To this day my family kind of twinges when I tell them that I love them - it's incredibly foreign to us! And ps Leaner - I wanted to hug you last weekend because I feel like I'm getting to know you a bit but something stopped me. I guess I'm not sure what 'meeting bloggers in person' etiquette is! Next time be ready for a nice big hug!

Doulala said...

Ok, we've gotta start hanging out. I am such a cuddly type person. I love giving hugs!

April said...

I am not a touchy feely person but I do know when I need it and then I run around grabbing my husband's hands are forcing him to stand still and hug me. He looks at me like I'm retarded but I need it. I also have a good friend who holds my feet when I'm felling sad. Like I said, she's a good friend. Perhaps you just need someone to hold your feet until Will comes home.

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