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MMJ

Touch Aversion

35 posts in this topic

Hello again,

I'm fairly new to AVEN and recently discovered that I fall on the Grey spectrum. I have also recently come to terms with the fact that I am touch averse, which was a huge surprise for me (at least cognitively). I'm content with a very small number of people touching me most of the time, I tolerate a few others touching me sometimes, but for the vast majority of people I know, I really, really don't like it. For the people I don't know at all-- just forget it. Sometimes I'm not ok with anyone touching me at all, it depends.

I know how to "play nice in the sandbox" and so I will shake hands and that sort of thing if the social situation I am in requires it, but now that I have realized this about myself, it seems more difficult. Maybe I'm just realizing and coming to accept the internal (and sometimes external) cringing that occurs anytime I have to shake someone's hand or if someone taps me on the shoulder. Who knows? I thought everyone felt this way. I've been given to understand that it's unusual and a little rude to obsessively wipe your hands on your pants after every handshake or to become absolutely irate with someone who has no sense of personal space.

Anyone have any experiences with this or can relate?

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OMG me and another admod and another user were JUST having this conversation on Skype last night! Psychic.

Anyway. I totally have a touch aversion. I don't want to be touched, I don't want to hold your hand, I don't want to cuddle, I don't want you in my bed, I don't want you in my personal bubble. Period. There are a few exceptions; those who I am exceptionally close to. And I tolerate it from family. But otherwise? Just keep a 6 foot distance between myself and yourself and that will make me insanely happy :)

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I understand. I am NOT touchy-feely. I highly value my personal space bubble. And it sucks because my boyfriend's family is Hispanic and they always do that "kiss on the cheek" thing, to everyone, even total strangers, and it weirds me the freak out. >___> I just kinda...find a happy place in my mind and deal with it. I don't think I'm technically "touch-averse" because the occasional hand-holding or hug is fine, but all touching has to be brief, predictable, and on my terms. "Surprise" hugs or kisses or other touching is a big no-no.

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Yeah, I am the same. I HATE being touched by people I don't know well. I don't want to shake your hand, but society forces me to, so I do it. I accidentally offended a guy at a restaurant because we are regular customers and he works there, so he assumed since we see each other and there is some small talk it would be OK to drape his arms over my shoulder and my boyfriends shoulder and stand between us. I naturally tensed up, badly and he could tell. He didn't talk to us for weeks after that. I can't help that my body does that though, I tried to tolerate it, I didn't act rudely. I just HATE being touched. I will avoid it at all costs. Only about three people are allowed to touch me. And I have an urge to wipe my hands off as well after a hand shake. Why are peoples hands so oily, or sweaty, or cold? :(

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I'm sure if I have someone I'm close enough to I wouldn't mind being touched but family and anyone else I don't like touch from. I usually hold out on shaking off a pat on the back ect until the person isn't looking or walks away. So ya I'm the same in that regard, except I'm sure that if I had a person close enough to me ect I would probibly be able to let them and probably like it.

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Hand raised :D

I tolerate touch whenever I know I have to: with relatives and friends. I don't seek it though. Being touched by anyone in my family tree kind of bothers me, but I can't be a jerk and just ask them to stay away. (Well, I could, I just don't do that)

I mind it a lot less when it comes from friends, but I'd rather they just leave my body alone. I'm okay with kisses on the cheek (as a greeting - they're widespread here), pats on the back/shoulders, handshakes, and all that. The only kind of touch I really seek is within a romantic relationship, though, and only when I'm in one.

Aside from the sometimes bothersome unwanted touching, I'm okay with it. I'm never really touch starved this way, since my desire to be physically close with someone entirely depends on the person.

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I don't like touching or being touched either. I'm very sensitive to touch, and it can feel quite uncomfortable. Living in a country where everybody kisses everybody, I have to force myself to not seem rude. The only times where I appreciate being touched are hugs and kisses on the cheek from close friends (but really, really close ones only), but anything else is romantic to me and I like it only with a partner or a serious crush. Everybody else, family (even close family, except children), friends, strangers, don't touch me, please.

I understand. I am NOT touchy-feely. I highly value my personal space bubble. And it sucks because my boyfriend's family is Hispanic and they always do that "kiss on the cheek" thing, to everyone, even total strangers, and it weirds me the freak out. >___> I just kinda...find a happy place in my mind and deal with it. I don't think I'm technically "touch-averse" because the occasional hand-holding or hug is fine, but all touching has to be brief, predictable, and on my terms. "Surprise" hugs or kisses or other touching is a big no-no.

I know how you feel and I sympathize... I'm French.

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I used to be very touch-averse. I was indifferent to it at best, and I didn't really like it from anyone. The problem is that I'm a rather sensitive person, so I'm easily overwhelmed on a sensory level, and touch is one of the things that can set me off. I've mellowed out about this somewhat - I have a higher level of tolerance now, and I've come to realize that I actually enjoy (and desire) touch with people I'm close to. In the right context, I adore hugs, cuddling, holding hands, etc.

Still, sometimes touch with people I'm not so close to elicits the same negative reaction I recall from my more touch-averse days, like a kind of unpleasant buzzing in my head. I can relate to disliking things such as handshakes with strangers. I also don't like that being "family" seems to automatically imply a higher allowed level of touch. Being related to someone by blood doesn't in itself make me feel more comfortable with touch; it's emotional closeness that does. I'm only okay with touch from people in my family that I also feel close to in some way.

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I'm not averse to touch per-se. It's only recently that I started a full time job in a business environment and suddenly started having to shake hands with basically everyone I meet... It feels weird, but I think I can get used to it. The problem is that I also suffer from eczema on my hands - when it's bad my hands are a bit sticky from weeping areas or greasy from having applied creams or ointments so I'm not looking forward to having to explain that every time I don't respond to a handshake... (Also, greasy fingers = nightmare for all this touch screen technology!)

I do like physical contact with friends, despite not naturally being touchy-feely - I love giving big hugs to people I'm comfortable with. :)

What is difficult is because I don't normally touch strangers I find it difficult to know how to respond if they touch me - I generally just allow it as I don't want to offend anyone, but I do feel a bit tense (obviously assuming the touch is in a normal place like on my shoulder or arm, never had otherwise so far).

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Only for short periods of time (Like long hugs and long cuddles I don't like), and usually I'm the one to initiate it (Surprises don't amuse me). Also, if you don't know me, don't touch me, don't come into my bubble, don't bump into me, I don't want to touch you.
Think that basically sums up my thoughts on touching. Also when i'm crying I hate being touched, and when i'm mad at someone. Like i'll be like "Okay I forgive you" then they will try to give me a hug and i'm like "hahaha, NO" Because I still kinda am mad at them, but I just gotta get over it.

Although sometimes I'll get this intense urge to cuddle with someone and it's super annoying. Formally called, the Cuddle Urge. But other than that meh, not a fan.


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I don't really mind being touched by someone I like (actually I tend to like it). But I don't normally have an urge (or reason) to touch other people (even people I like, I don't often initialize it). Unless it's the usual handshake or hugging a family member.

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(Also, greasy fingers = nightmare for all this touch screen technology!)

Off topic, but you can get a wand and carry that around with you when you need to use touch screens. A lot of people use that vs fingers for touch screens anyway since it's easier if you have huge hands. And no greasy screens that way. :)

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Well, I seriously can´t stand being poked on the face, I have a friend that liked to do that just for seeing how my skin got red and returned to white with the poking -_- but I told her to stop it cause I seriously hate it >n< like I feel my face will fill with pimples because of it (I don´t even like touching my face because of that)

I haven´t ran into persons that are that kinestesic but I figured out with that female friend who is that I really dislike that kind of personal space invading when I seriously don´t have much knowing the person, I´m used to cheek greeting since they all do it here (though I seriously would rather wave from some distance away) and well, I do stand hugs from close friends (cause also they don´t do it that much either) but like ugh no, I can stand the touching but I don´t like it.

A really odd case from Touch aversion is with my mother, I totally hate her touching me in any way, she can´t touch my arm or anything and I can´t stand her being too close either, I can relate to those that have written here that tense up horribly and I always like try make my skin sink so it avoids the contact.

So yes I can somehow relate.

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There are very few people I am ok with touching me (hugging at most)

I can not stand to be in a crowd of people, for example, my best guy friend took me to my first anime convention this summer, I was so excited and loved it, but when he wanted to go to some kind of concert later, one that had only standing room, I was petrified standing in the middle of the group and nearly passed out when someone brushed against my arm, my friend ended up having to drag me out while I was crying/hyperventilating :blush:

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I hate being touched too, to the point where unexpected casual contact can cause a pain response. For example, a tap on the shoulder would get an involuntary "Ow!" I mentioned in another thread, when I got an unexpected hug from someone I didn't know very well, I "looked like the most awkward thing ever."

I don't handle crowds very well either, at least a crowd of moving people. I am ok in a room full of people sitting down, since they are all fairly static. I will still pick the seat with the least number of people around it, but, I can handle a crowded auditorium filled with seated people. A crowd of standing people is a lot worse... My brain tries to plot the course of every moving person in the room and avoid a collision with them, and that gets overwhelming. Followed by panic and fleeing. Needless to say, I never went to parties or school dances.

Nowadays, at least I have gotten my self to a place to tolerate handshakes, and other social convention minor contacts (high fives, fist bumps, etc), but still don't do well with hugs, and still try to actively avoid kisses.

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I do not like being touched by some of my family members. For anyone else, I generally do not mind given it is appropriate.

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I definitely have touch aversion, very few people have succeeded in touching me without me having an internal/external panic attack. I am highly sensitive to touch, and unfortunately some peoples' touch is just unbearable. When people try to shake hands with me, it is very much awkward for a few seconds before I hype myself up to just do it to get it over with.

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I have the same problem! I'm in therapy because of OCD, but now my therapist is trying to figure out why I wouldn't let people touch me. I'll shake hands and I might hug you if you signal that in advance, but otherwise no. I wouldn't kiss or hug or touch anybody besides maybe messing around with people I've known for a while. I really, really hate being touched. I'm rather hypersensitive anyway (I get awful migraines from the tiniest smell).

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Nope, touch is not my thing at all. I'm extremely touch sensitive and ticklish as well as germaphobic, and generally just don't like people.

I hate hugs, but my friends and sister are all for them, so we usually end up with the 'L hug phenomenon' where if I hug or allow it, it's either a birthday or they really need it.

Don't get within a foot of me, do not for any reason stand behind me or tickle me, you will receive a haymaker to whatever vital organ I can reach. People are prone to messing with my hair, and I generally discourage it, but it's not the worst. My face, ears and neck are off limits touch-wise, as is my back torso and waist, etc. Pretty much everything. You accidentally touch my chest or butt, you die a painful death before I look to see who you are.

Other people's hair shouldn't touch me. I don't even let my hair grow past my ears. I don't want their skin or bodily fluids near me. My blood is fine if I see it leaking from my latest cut, somebody else's, nope. I don't want their saliva germs either, so no eating/drinking after them.

Kissing is a nope. Just gross. Don't touch my face with your face. Or better yet, just don't touch my face. I don't like animals licking or laying on me either...

'Cuddling' is the only touch I allow, and by that I mean using another person's shoulder, arm or torso as a pillow while laying down or having my arms around their shoulders and laying on one while walking.

Also, don't hug me when we say bye unless you're my parent or sibling. I don't care if you're my second cousin, I don't know you. I'd much prefer a firm handshake.

Don't pat my back or kiss my hand, and never try to dance with me, because that hand isn't going anywhere near my waist.

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now my therapist is trying to figure out why I wouldn't let people touch me.

From what you say, as you're sensitive to smells too, you're surely just naturally hypersensitive and I suppose that many touch-averse people are just born that way. Why therapists always want to find a psychological cause for something which can be sometimes just natural ?

Even if I've been traumatized when I was younger and I know that it has surely made my sensitivity to touch worse, but I'm pretty sure that I had it all my life, because I'm also hypersensitive to some sounds, intense light, some smells or tastes... And if somebody or something (anything) touches me by surprise, it can be more than uncomfortable, it can even feel painful (especially in some areas like my back, my shoulders or my abdomen). Not to say tickling is really painful and even makes me scream.

One day, I discovered sensory processing disorder (SPD), and the description and symptoms fit me very well. Hypersensitivity to touch is one of the most important symptoms.

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now my therapist is trying to figure out why I wouldn't let people touch me.

From what you say, as you're sensitive to smells too, you're surely just naturally hypersensitive and I suppose that many touch-averse people are just born that way. Why therapists always want to find a psychological cause for something which can be sometimes just natural ?

Even if I've been traumatized when I was younger and I know that it has surely made my sensitivity to touch worse, but I'm pretty sure that I had it all my life, because I'm also hypersensitive to some sounds, intense light, some smells or tastes... And if somebody or something (anything) touches me by surprise, it can be more than uncomfortable, it can even feel painful (especially in some areas like my back, my shoulders or my abdomen). Not to say tickling is really painful and even makes me scream.

One day, I discovered sensory processing disorder (SPD), and the description and symptoms fit me very well. Hypersensitivity to touch is one of the most important symptoms.

We're trying to figure out what's "wrong" with me right now. He says it's anxiety, but I have a lot of traits that match with SPD and along with social stuff could also be something on the autism spectrum. No matter, I really just don't like being touched and unfortunately I'm in a very physically affectionate family who think I'm strange for not liking to be touched. Their solution to this is to touch me even more. >.<

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Touch aversion is often a part of autism, and that touch aversion has been successfully treated by therapy. Usually the hard way with a lot of touching of said averse person until they get used to it and stop freaking out about it.

Personally, this sounds like my own private version of hell, and I am happy the way I am, and don't want to undergo the treatment. Remember, it is not pathological unless it is causing you distress, so, if you are touch averse, but it doesn't bother you, don't change.

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Like many of you have noted about yourselves, I am also touch averse and hypersensitive to sound, light, smells, etc. (SPD probably plays a role, but I've never been officially diagnosed.)

However, I just started a romantic relationship--my first ever--and I am finding myself not only becoming less averse to touch, but actually desiring touch. I'm not sure what to make of it yet since it's all very new, but I just thought I'd throw my experience out into the ring.

Interesting discussion!

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I really don't like to be touched. Unless it's a pet. Their fur is just so fuzzy.

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I've always hated being touched >.< but recently, I've started getting a desire to cuddle people, even though the last arranged cuddle ended up with me trying to avoid the subject at all cost because the thought of it made me feel ill :/ and I had perhaps the strongest emotional attachment that I've ever had to her as well :( The whole contradictory-ness of it frustrates me >:|

I'm ok with hugs- provided I have some sort of emotional attachment to the person in question :unsure: which is kinda weird since, back in high school, I used to hate ANY form of contact... I suppose the constant attempts to hug me eventually got me to like it :) That said, I haven't been hugged in a while, so that may have changed.

I like poking people too, but I only do that with people I have some sort of attraction to

To sum it up, I only like, and seek, contact from people I have an attraction to. As for anyone else, as long as they stay at least a rulers length away from me I'll be fine. I don't like surprise touching either :/ I've gotten used to hand shakes, but I really wish I didn't have to

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I don't care if people touch me, but I don't reciprocate (or feel very awkward when I do force myself to). I am EXTREMELY aware of the touching, however, and can still feel it even after it has stopped. There are a few exceptions, like with relatives (my family is pretty touchy-feely, but only within ourselves) and quick hugs with friends, (and I have spent a lot of time in very crowded mosh pits, so unintended generic touching isn't a huge deal to me) but even my leg being against someone else's on the bus is like "I KNOW YOUR LEG IS TOUCHING MINE!!!! I KNOW YOU CAN FEEL IT TOO!!!! WHY?!?!?!?!" and if I'm in a bad mood or grumpy, I can get annoyed about it.

A group of people I knew at uni once had this conversation and about 1/3 of us were extremely aware of being touched. So awareness, at least, is common enough (though not sure how accurate a sample size that is, bc everyone at my school tended to be not quite average socially), and I know quite a few people who are only comfortable being touched by certain people. Actually, a friend of mine in HS could ONLY be touched by his best friend and his girlfriend. He once (while drinking) knocked over a plant trying to avoid letting someone touch him. Not a small plant. Like, a 3 foot tall indoor tree-thing. We actually had to go get his gf to calm him down.

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Yeah, I rather hate being touched. In relationships in the past, I really disliked things like cuddling, holding hands or kissing unless it was very brief. I remember in high school, my first "real" boyfriend and I were sitting on his couch talking or watching TV, and he grabbed my hand and just held it, and I just hated that. But I didn't want to upset him by yelling and grabbing my hand back from him, either.

That being said, I tolerate shaking hands. If a relative or friend I haven't seen in a while decides to go in for a hug, I will hug them. I mean, I'm not gonna be a jerk and run away if my grandma tries to give me a hug. But I won't initiate hugs with anyone, either.

I don't even like sitting close to people, I am very attached to my personal space and the idea of it not being invaded, even by well-meaning people. I hated it when I used to ride the bus to work and it was crowded.

I really don't like to be touched. Unless it's a pet. Their fur is just so fuzzy.

Pets are different somehow, yes

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I'm alright with my friends and family but, beyond shaking hands and the occasional shoulder tap I try to not initate nor receive touch (not always successful). However what really bothers me is when I'm surrounded by people I don't know. I can usually deal with it when I can move in and out of the way but, blocked on all sides really stresses me out.

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I am extremely touch averse with most people. When I am ok with it I can be quite cuddly and I am very sensitive to touch. There were a few years where I strongly suspected that I was repressing some abuse or trauma, as I would refuse to shake hands. Now I see there are other people who just feel that way. It was really alienating, particularly since my family ignored my right not to touch people, and my parents would actually be angry with me for not shaking hands with adults.

One curious thing is that if it's someone who doesn't know me yet, or someone who obviously enjoys touching and being touched (in a platonic way, like a child or a friendly peer) I am usually fine with whatever that person considers normal. I am fine with animals. And I love social dancing, which gives me an outlet to touch/interact with people in a controlled environment, to a tempo.

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I really don't like to be touched. Unless it's a pet. Their fur is just so fuzzy.

Pets are cute. People are not.

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