My mother has a theory. She took the allowable 6 weeks after I was born and then went back to work leaving infant Cara with a babysitter who, from what I’m told, watched tv all day and left me in my crib. She blames this as the starting point as to why I’m not what I like to call a “Toucher.”
A “Toucher” is simply someone who touches other people usually by hugging, patting, etc. I am not one of these people. Others have their own theories as to why this is and they may be right but I’m going to give you my reasons.
Reason #1: Self-consciousness and Insecurity
Like most women, I have insecurities with my body whether it be my weight, how much I sweat (which has thankfully slowed as I’ve aged), unbecoming hair issues, whatever. Closeness and touching brings those issues forward even if unintentionally. Whether is bouncing bellies with someone attempting an awkward frontal hug or not knowing where to put arms and faces. The touching of places I’m less than comfortable with inevitably happens.
Now, this may not bother anyone else but it’s a concern for me. Of course, then a whole other slew of questions and insecurities fill my mind. How do I smell? How is my breath? Was my skin soft or dry? Are these clothes clean or did I get them off the floor? Is there something in my ear? Are my boobs too pressed against them? All this is going on in my head whilst I’m touching someone. It’s exhausting.
Reason #2: Initiative and Social Comfort
I am pretty funny. I have quick wit and use humor to make social situations less daunting. Inside, though, I’m way shy and terrified most of the time. What will people think of me? If they really knew me, would they like me? Are they just nice to me because they’re nice people?
I hide all this pretty well but hugging and touching complicates this situation even more. Do I initiate the hug? What if they’re not “touchers?” Is this the type of place you hug someone?
On a side note, this doesn’t happen at school. In my classroom, with my kids, my social anxiety isn’t present. It’s glorious. I think my school kids may know me better than most adults because they get to see awkward me. I love children. They’re so accepting.
It’s the adults I have issues with, especially my peers.
Reason #3: Emotion
Does touching make any one else emotional? Maybe it’s because I do it so infrequently? I don’t know but I can’t hold it in once the touching begins. I had to leave orchestra rehearsal holding back tears after a quick side-hug from the director.
It doesn’t help that I’ve been excessively weepy for about 2 years now…..ever since my dad got sick. I never use to cry this much but now its almost a daily occurrence.
Well, there you have it. Like I said, others have their theories about my lack of touching but those are mine.
The sad thing is I crave physical contact. Not in a dirty way, just a comforting way. I think I took for granted how good of a hugger my dad was. He was 6’2 and a big guy so his hugs were all consuming. I felt safe and protected. I miss that now. I joke about wanting to find someone to hug and looking for a hugger but my awkwardness and said insecurities usually keep that from happening.
Oh well, I always have my dog and the kindergartners at schools.
Thanks for reading. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting my craftiness lately. Truth be told, I haven’t made much with rehearsals and school stuff going on. I’ll get back to it after Easter. : )