I like to think of myself as a tactile person. Touch after all is one of the love languages. However, there are many times that I find touch is not necessary. I was sat next to an acquaintance a while back when his hand suddenly went onto my face, and I froze, afraid I may say something cruel and unfair. Apparently there was something on my face that needed to be removed; but why didn’t he just say that. I was upset and certainly annoyed at his actions, I felt uncomfortable and the voice in my head started screaming ‘get out of here now before his hands migrate.’ That’s not the kind of touch I mean though, and I don’t mean the various sexual types either. I simply mean the encouraging pat on the back, a gentle hand when you’re sad, or a hug at all times of the day.
I like hugs, absolutely love them. If I’m happy, I want a hug. When I’m sad, I want a hug. If I’m crying you better hug me. Bear hugs are called such because when a bear finds a victim, it literarily hugs it to death. I don’t mean a death hug; I just want a non-homicidal bear hug. My last great hug was a few months ago; I’d met up with one of my best friends. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year; we were separated by oceans and enormous time difference. Skype, WhatsApp and phone calls are great, but personal contact exceeds them all. Once we met up, we screamed and did the customary I’ve not seen you in ages dance, that kind of looks like the wobbly Hawaiian dash board Hula doll. And then we hugged each other, so tight and for so long; it was a much-needed embrace. The embrace that made up for the ones we had missed giving each other; following bad days, and good days, celebrations, and I’m sorry’s, break ups and hook ups. It was a much needed tactile moment, and I like to think that we all have those moments.
However, there are some hugs that I don’t like; some people give bad hugs. Like weak and limp handshakes, hugs can say a lot about a person. I prefer an overflowing embrace, one that lingers, arms wrapped around me, as wide and as tight and your palms do when holding a rugby ball. And it has to linger, if it doesn’t linger, I feel as though it was a futile exercise. I don’t know many people who give good hugs, but when I find friends who do, I always keep them close. When I was a teenager, I’d hold my huge teddy bears super tight before going to bed, I often slept well. Now a decade later, I feel strange doing that, and my teddy bears have been relegated to the living room. Instead on bad days when I need a hug, and no one is around, I reach for the ice-cream and hug calories instead.
Many neuroscientists have postulated that hugging releases small amounts of the hormone ‘oxytocin’. This hormone is coined the ‘intimacy hormone’ as its levels increase in a variety of intimate and bonding interactions. As a result, it can create a sense of calm, increase feelings of trust and repel anxiety. And it feels great too! That’s why when my friends are upset I often say; “let’s hug it out.” Do you now see why I just love a good hug? Other tactile expressions I enjoy include a forehead kiss, a neck massage and interlinked arms; I’m not good with hand holding. So tell me, what tactile expressions of love do you enjoy? And why do you enjoy these? Is there a kind of touch you don’t like? And is there anyone you’d rather not get touched by?
Do share your thoughts below! You know Dami loves to chat.
Until next time