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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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. ^_^