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  1. #1
    Senior Member LindseyLadybug's Avatar
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    Default Need for Human Contact/Touch

    I've discovered that I have a huge need for touch (as in non-sexual touch like hugs, etc). The problem is, I don't like being touched by just anyone. If I'm not close to a person, I don't necessarily want them touching me. But when it's a friend I'm close to, it means the world. I have a couple of friends who recognize this and occasionally hug me, etc. But sometimes when I'm sad, I just want someone to hold me (as childish as that sounds). I don't know how to ask for that. I have enough trouble asking for things like that because I was raised to believe that emotional needs aren't important. The friends who will do this are already always doing for others so I feel like I'm burdening them if I ask. I do things for them to give them a break and make them feel loved. There are so many times when I feel so alone but can't bring myself to ask for support without sounding like a whiny and needy person. It's not like I don't like being alone. I enjoy it and consider myself fairly independent. I had a friend tell me that because I don't ask for hardly anything from others because I'm afraid of their rejection, that my life is kind of bleak. I guess my question is, can anyone else relate to this dilemma? Or has anyone figured out the solution?
    "Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes...I fancy myself to be a 64-color box...I can only meet the 8-color boxes...I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation...so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type... I'm like, "Hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "Oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "No - I want magenta!" -John Mayer

  2. #2
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    I can definitely relate to this, so you're not alone on this. I haven't figured out a solution other than completely supressing this need in myself. Don't try this at home, kids, it's not pretty.

    I guess the solution I can see for this is that you become a little selfish when you really do need this. Getting over that initial thought of sounding too whiny and needy and feeling that you're being a burden is the hardest part. Because, in reality, you're nothing like that, everybody gets that way sometimes and especially when they feel alone and physical touch seems like something that really helps. Once you start doing that, it will get better.

    I have a friend who is always very huggy and all and I actually had a huge problem with it initially because it felt like an awful invasion of my space as I wasn't the one initiating it. But I understood that it was her way of showing affection and that it was important to her and she expressed that.

    So, I think the solution is to ask...even if it feels awkward at first, you'll get more comfortable with asking once you start doing that. Good luck with everything.

  3. #3
    A passer by yvonne's Avatar
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    aww...

    ask your friends. i don't think they will mind holding you at all! i wouldn't. it's not like it's too much to ask.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by yvonne View Post
    aww...

    ask your friends. i don't think they will mind holding you at all! i wouldn't. it's not like it's too much to ask.
    I agree that friends wouldn't actually mind it at all. However, sometimes it does seem that it's too much to ask...for anything. So, I can understand the OP in this.

  5. #5
    Pose! Salt n' pepper's Avatar
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    i neeeeeeeed that rush of oxytocin! wish i didn't need people to provide it though.

    my mind will go to dark places if my partner does not touch me for a whole day. i will bite his hands off, and justify if it by saying: what! you don't seem like you need them anyway!

  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    This might be a dumb suggestion (and also because also I've never had a dog or cat or anything, so I don't know if it can feel the same), but... pets?

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    Pose! Salt n' pepper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    This might be a dumb suggestion (and also because also I've never had a dog or cat or anything, so I don't know if it can feel the same), but... pets?
    it's not dumb at all. pets can provide that same effect of touching another human being.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    This might be a dumb suggestion (and also because also I've never had a dog or cat or anything, so I don't know if it can feel the same), but... pets?
    It's not a dumb suggestion, not at all. I can agree that pets can be wonderful and it really does help. However...I don't know...there's still something missing, something that is very important and only another close human being can provide.

  9. #9
    A passer by yvonne's Avatar
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    really? i do get it, though... it's sad that sometimes our feelings get ignored, but there's a bigger chance that they will, if we don't open up... misunderstandings are sometimes sad, too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Congratulations on being that perceptive about yourself.

    One part of the solution might be to make sure you have more than one friend with whom you are mutually supportive, so that no one person ever does start to feel you as a burden. That way, you can relax more about asking for what you need.

    EDIT: I know you did mention having more than one friend! I just mean this as a reminder to you or to anyone that it can work well to spread out among several very close friends (I had to pay attention to that while going through some difficult times a year ago and needing more in the way of listening or support than usual).

    salt and pepper's comment, "i neeeeeeeed that rush of oxytocin!" reminded me:

    It's surprised me that you can actually get that by mutually 'pretending' over the telephone to hug someone. As in, "Come here, let me give you a hug, just put your head on my shoulder." "Yeah, that's what I need, just someone to hold me for a minute." The feeling can get pretty darn close to the real thing.

    Also, having older people and kids in your life helps in an ongoing or background way. They sometimes are very tuned in and seem to have a higher need for touch.

    Be well!

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