Physical Touch (Part Two) By Dr. Michael Brooks
In different cultures, hugging is very important it shows friendship and caring, kind of like men shaking hands in the US. I’ll bet if you were to have an American male greeted by a male from the Middle East, where hugging and kissing is howmen greet each other that would make many of us feel very uncomfortable. Touching is a very important way of communicating many different feelings.
When you buy a car, a salesman will shake your hand when the deal is completed. When a kid hits a home run, he will get a bunch of teammates slapping him on the back in celebrating his home run. A woman gets engaged, and her girlfriends are all jumping up and down when she shows them her engagement ring, then they all begin hugging each other in excitement, laughing and carrying on. Watch when someone begins to cry, how people will go over to that person and put an arm around them to comfort them. It’s an instinct we all share; we touch to comfort the hurting among us.
There are touches during times of crisis, I’m sure we can remember how those felt and were needed. When I got the call about my dad’s passing, I wept hard, and was in a lot of pain. My daughter was 5 years old at the time, walked over to where I was sitting, crawled up into my lap and began to cry with me, telling me everything was going to be alright. That made a big impact on my life; I will never forget that touch and her encouraging words. We all have tragedies throughout our lives, the death of loved ones through accidents, cancer, heart attacks, old age. The breakup of marriages, the ending of friendships, can be a strain on us.
How important is a hug from your spouse at that time of a personal crisis? It’s very important. Words don’t have to be spoken, but holding your spouse and just listening to what they have to say or not say, will mean so much to them. Your physical touch will show that you care, mush beyond what you have to say. Touching during a crisis will leave a lasting impression that will show how much you cared enough just to hold them. I remember watching kids at a funeral who had a friend that was killed in a car accident. The kids hung on to each other, they wept together, and they held hands as they mourned their loss of a dear friend. Touch is what helped them through a crisis. When words can’t be spoken, a hug, an arm around a shoulder, can go a long way in supporting someone who needs a physical touch. Keep that in mind.
When you’re married, a rub on the arm, a love pat on the backside or a caress on the face, may last only a moment, but says plenty throughout the day. Your partner will know that you are reaching out to them in a non-sexual way. Ask your spouse in what ways they liked to be touched in a non-sexual way. Here are some ways to show your spouse you love them through physical touch.
- While your out to dinner, rub your spouses hand, gently touch them on their knee or thigh.
- Hold their hand as you walk into the store or go to dinner.
When you drive, take their hand and hold it.
- When watching TV interlock your legs and enjoy touching while watching your TV program.
If you have some of your ideas try them. Physical touch shouldn’t be that hard, it’s a matter of making it happen. In closing, remember that physical touch can go a long way (if that’s one of your spouses love languages) in healing a relationship.
Are you having a difficult time figuring out what non-sexual touch is with your spouse and need help? Is it difficult for you to figure out what physical touches your spouse needs during the day without them thinking you have other ideas? Do you need help in discovering your love language of physical touch? If you answered yes to any of these questions, call Dr. Mike and set up an appointment to speak with him.
If you want to read past articles you can go to Mike’s blog at https://applicablecoaching.com/blog/ feel free to post your comments and or questions.
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