Bodies in close proximity

I’m odd about matters of touch. The majority of people I prefer to have a good four feet away from me, and I hate being touched by strangers or touched unexpectedly. Where I have deep bonds with people, I am a very tactile person.

I don’t like fleeting contact with strangers. I find it emotionally disturbing and disorientating and generally not worth it. If I’m going to invest in touching someone, and dropping my defences to do that, I want it to be moving towards deeper, soulful connection. I tend to find that my first physical encounters with other people are awkward and weird. It probably means I am awkward and weird to deal with initially.

I find it takes time. I need to learn how my body relates to the other person’s. There’s simple physical components here – height differences, and establishing what feels right and appropriate and what doesn’t. I may need to talk about it. There’s also the unpredictable body responses – sometimes my body reaction is to want to hug close and tight, and those people are usually really important to me.

There seems to be an assumption out there that we just magically know how to make contact with each other. This is especially true in romantic encounters. So, I’m going to put a hand up and say I really have no idea how to do this, not the first time. Give me a dozen times, a hundred, a thousand, and I will be able to move through your personal space with more grace and poise and touch in ways that work for both parties. For each person I encounter, it’ a process, and usually a slow one. I wish it was normal to talk more about these things, but many people shy away from it. I’m going to change that where I need to.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

18 responses to “Bodies in close proximity

  • Kalo Andari

    Dear Nimue, I’ve read several posts on touch and hugging from you, and keep wondering about how much it can also be a cultural thing. Where I’m from, we hug all the time, even people we hardly know at all. It’s something I’ve grown up with and do not mind in the least. (It could, of course, just be me. There must be people who dislike it around here, too.)

    The people I will not hug, however, are those that I’ve had unpleasant experience with. Perfect strangers — fine. Hurtful acquaintances — not fine.

    I also keep wondering how it would turn out if we two ever managed to meet. I would know about your not liking to be touched, and still feel extremely awkward not to hug a person I’ve come to know a bit, if only through the internet. It could be an interesting experiment with two completely opposite instincts 🙂

    • Argenta

      (Sorry, it’s Argenta up there — the account was on!)

      • Nimue Brown

        Hello, yes I suspect there is a big cultural and familiar aspect. Brits are not that tactile, and my birth family really didn’t go in for touch, so my ‘normal’ is no contact. I’ve been changing that. I probably would hug you, you’ve been in my life virtually for such a long time now.

  • potiapitchford

    I’m glad you write about this because it has helped me to understand personal boundaries and the variation in them much better. I like to hug, I’d learnt that there are places like work where it’s not expected to give hugs. I’d come to expect and give hugs when among other Pagans without really thinking about it, without seeking active consent. Now I’m more careful about asking before hugging because I’ve learnt that there can be many reasons for not being comfortable with hugs.

    • Nimue Brown

      Asking is so good, too, and radical, and makes all sorts of things possible. I’m more likely to say yes to someone who asks, because I feel safer with them, because they have given me chance to say no.

  • eberis

    ‘I’. bother Thee Nimue .°. Lunch of hot dogs and hash browns with a raspberry pomegranate tea bag and loose herbal peppermint in a coffee filter while alight Prosperitty and White Sage ‘votives’ with Nag Champa n Meditation incense after sending away modern devila with Crm • Global Peace Now 🙂 after losing my voice yelling at ‘fracking’ Protestants . My first uninterrupted day invocation .and I recycled today . Adept Geom£ •a Peace Now .[(€)]. Free State iOS may send Character Welcomes new mission intelligence 🙂 Please Recycle £ Save the Planet !! Global Peace ¦ Pax•Now .°. !!*.

  • eberis

    dotted ‘I’ edit . pax 😛 LIVE FREE or D6 !! http://www.twitch.tv/eberis .offline 🙂 ignore the lip mole .°. also http://www.github.com/eberis £Druid serv applications to Free State *. edit t .*. Peace Now !!

    • Nimue Brown

      Hello Eberis, long time no see. Hope all is well with you.

      • eberis

        my mistake 🙂 the author of Blade Runner talked about net4 ‘skins’ going rampant like a DemoGraph of the game Planets Under Attack … not any mention of FEMA [(space bards)] … though the Republican editor likes blog’I’ .°. we say edit . pax to dotted ~ typos . Peace Now !! co-dominant have a problem of Conservation instead of foreign advances of Gen£Tailor which the new druids at Marvel Shift 0 equivalent of mindless ‘act like seveners with toys that make things disappear’ … ‘Rfid wire or fracking You call it .. I get’ . PaxNow

  • eberis

    Personal message to Nimue 🙂 day invocation went alright .°. the zika sorcen were too annoying after a nap . the night foreign powers of false neo•druids with foreign advances .,. gen£ tolerated as usual in fracking .

    When the actual ceremony finished and the ‘ceremony’ started … ‘I’ cast Hecate N B’mGoz~n 😦 some darn heelpull bothered me so I freed up Logistics n the kitty~bait 20 Earth Dis. Yield tried net-cancelling . Peace

    My work at home Communications Directory of Free State Networking2
    FreeStateGroup Anime VM Board 2 new student+ incommon.org noc2*

    … Hoping You and the Druid Order Manna Egala ‘re well also . Druid2 .

    … Will be having fun as gamemaster of topic ~ reply .°. Peace Now !! *.

    • eberis

      Thanks to now on liking my thought on wordpress ..
      I’m crabby today 🙂 some Tm inde protestant set the
      darn database to ‘Ya got a cigarette ?’ um I know uh
      cannabem smokers don’t listen but housing databas
      ing Unitarian see this as ‘quiche fun’ with a terrorina!
      group who ‘re not legibly intelligent about the Brazil£
      Olympics eco-terror in a. game about espionage by*
      TSR, Inc. from a pre Internet mess up of The WEB £
      being The Terrorists .°. so Bush era .,. we had Arab
      War of Crusadis Crasadin with imposters of th£UAE
      being Disney equivalent of Saladin . Nimue n Peace
      ask the Prime Minister mission intelligence of £Doug
      Niles care of american Merle Rasmussen N Grubb *.

      N means and €next like Star N Planet €©* Jeff Grubb

      Peace Now and Good Days . Save the Planet , Really

    • eberis

      ‘I’ hope You got the blog edit like Mary Jan£ before Washington State cannabis legally smoked eco~refurbish 😛 ‘Let the skins complain … but don’t let ’em on SuperMicro•’ ~ Blade Runner 🙂

  • Sheila North

    I’m fairly tactile, but I grew up in America, with an extended Romanian family (Dad’s side) & Tennesee folks (Mom’s) who were always glad to see us.

    At work, we use the “Mental Health Recovery Star” which has 10 points, including “Responsibilities” When discussing with clients, I always talk about respecting people’s personal space. (The star is about rating where you think you are on these point).

    I try & respect people’s space at all times. Sadly I have an acquaintance who is forever reaching out & touching my arms. I actually told her not to do it the last time – not seen her since then.

  • eberis

    itjs time for . non preposit . cannabis caucus …
    I’ll get You network loading if You can get ♻🗺
    refurbish Ageia on data center ssi2 wordpress*
    unendemic disclaimer with Fun Labs path.com
    Gravatar and xmid (X)~Journal MannañGames

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