Let’s all join together and not touch at all

I think the day before Major National Holiday That Clogs Up All The Malls is a great day for a silly, fun post.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, this blog has impacted my life in various different ways. Here is yet another one.

As of right now, the all-time most popular post I’ve written is Why I don’t like social touch, by a rather significant margin. It got a lot of comments relative to my other posts, and has been shared on facebook over 100 times (that’s a lot for me!). Since posting it, I’ve learned that people are regularly asking google why they don’t like social touch. I’ve learned that it is not just an aspie thing – plenty of neurotypical people experience the same thing as well. I’ve learned that I don’t need to feel strange and alone about this – while the majority of people may be ok with casual social touch, there are still plenty of people out there like me. Who maybe wish there were other ways to build casual social connections with strangers that did not involve getting their sticky on our fingers.

As usual I do not actually have any solutions. However, that does not mean that I cannot speculate! Let’s see what I can come up with on How To Not Touch People.

Warning: no promises that any of these will be good ideas. ^_^

1. Wave instead. Actually, I do this one for real. If I’m not feeling up for touching strangers but am in a situation where I am being introduced to people, I’ll make a point to stand at a sufficient distance that they’ll feel a little awkward thrusting their hand towards me. I also make a point to wave right away, before the usual hand-thrusting part. People are generally willing to wave back instead of grabbing appendages, though I do sometimes get weird looks.

by RedHerring1Up on flickr

You don’t have to wave this much, but you can if you want to.

2. Do the chicken dance. Everyone knows the chicken dance! Surely that would be a great way to connect. Plus, I imagine that it would be challenging to grab someone’s hand while said hand is tucked into their waist and I only have access to elbows.

by soundfromwayout on flickr


3. Thrust your hand at them before they get a chance to thrust their hand at you. (also, am I the only person who thinks that people look really pushy when they’re trying to shake hands?) Yeah, you’ll still end up touching, but you’ll also be more in control.

pic by me


4. Plank. No one will know what to do with you, so hopefully they’ll just leave you alone. Warning: they may decide to poke you instead. Hard to say.

by marcoderksen on flickr

It’s probably ok to plank in more comfortable places

5. Bake cookies ahead of time (if you know you’re going to be meeting people who will want to touch you) and give them to the people you meet. Your hands will be occupied holding the cookie tin, and people will like you because they associate you with cookies. If you want to be as ideal about it as possible, include things like sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan varieties of cookies, so as to not unintentionally leave people out.

by yevgene on flickr


6. Hunch your shoulders and glare at everyone. I used to do this one when I was younger. It’s a good way to avoid touching people, but it works poorly for helping to connect with people or smoothing social interactions. I recommend this idea least of all.

by edwaado on flickr

This cat knows what I’m talking about

7. Borrow a greeting ritual from another culture or time period. Maybe bow, or nod your head, or tip your hat (if you’re wearing one).

by Narith5 on flickr

This one is Cambodian

Ok, I think that’s enough for now. I would love to hear any ideas you have! Silly, serious, or otherwise – they’re all good. ^_^


Filed under ramble

4 responses to “Let’s all join together and not touch at all

  1. Lois

    I like your ideas here, especially 1, 5, and 7 – all effective. Slightly off the subject, I’d like to mention that offering a female a handshake has not always been done, and some older men are still hesitant. In business/professional situations, We were not considered equal, and we often had to initiate a handshake because we weren’t going to get one otherwise. Now, on the other hand, if you don’t want a handshake, that’s a different situation. I don’t suppose you’d want someone kissing your hand either. That could be worse.

  2. Good ideas, all of these. I also thought of a few ideas to avoid touch, most of which are bordering on ridiculous. But here goes:

    1). Three words: the pope mobile. Comes in especially handly when you need to navigate a large city and want to avoid crowded public transit.

    2) Put fake blotches all over your face and claim you work at a leper colony. This may not work so well when visiting people who believe in faith healing.

    3) Hand out fake business cards stating you work for the Montana Militia. This could even get you free drinks at the local VA.

    4) Hand out fake business cards stating you publish a pro communist newspaper. Opposite effect of the Montana Militia cards.

    I will post a few more later. Take care.

  3. Here are some more suggestions to avoid touching.

    1) Have at least two friends act as bodyguards. Any time you want to move through a crowd without getting touched, have the ‘bodyguards’ push through the crowd yelling, “Step aside, we’re with the band.” (Works well at bars and college fraternity parties).

    2) Claim you have some kind of contagious skin fungus. (Works well almost anywhere, especially family reunions where everyone hugs).

    3) If going to a party, take fried garlic rings and limburger cheese dip.

    4) Start reciting lines from Shakespeare plays for no particular reason. Hamlet and Macbeth are especially fun. (British accent for added effect)

    5) Start reciting lines from Monty Python’s ‘Meaning of Life’ as either Marlon Brando or John Wayne.

    6) Someone sits next to you on a bus or plane, call out in mock horror “You just sat on my imaginary friend.”

    7) Start singing Jeff Foxworthy’s “Twelve Days of Redneck Christmas.” (Southern accent for added effect).

    8) Start quoting lines from the movies ‘300’ or ‘Braveheart.’

    9) If someone introduces themselves to you, look them right in the eye and say with all seriousness “I’m Batman.”

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