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dizzywater
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07 Mar 2012, 11:25 am

I wasn't sure whether this should go in social skills or in workplace issues but I don't like people touching me yet they do it in work. One is a man who feels the need to briefly rub my back in greeting. I hate it, but I don't want to make a fuss because he's not actually doing anything wrong and he is prone to depression, so I don't want to upset him. But it makes me go "fight or flight" instantly and takes me ages to calm down again.

Then today an older woman I work with turned and walked right into me, stepping on my foot. She just hadn't noticed me, that was OK, but then she put her hand on my hip as way of apology/comfort or something and I froze, a second or two later it was still there and she was talking but I don't know what she said, I couldn't take it, grabbed her hand, flung it off and went on with what I had been doing while trying not to say or do anything to make it worse than it already was. My space was invaded, I could still feel her hand long after it was gone and I was really struggling not to do anything weird or cry. As it was, I kept wiping the part she touched to take the feel of it away.

I know she will have been offended and likely will tell them all how bad tempered I was for her bumping into me, but it wasn't the bumping that I minded and it wasn't anger I was feeling. Even if I accidentally touch someones fingers while giving them something, I am frantic to rub it off, as secretly as possible. It is just how it feels, I'm not afraid of germs or anything, just can't stand the rubbery tickle of fingers, it lingers. She has put her hand on me often before, but unless its touching of an "inappropriate" nature then I can't say anything without confirming that I am too odd to be liked. I am getting away with being considered just a bit quiet in work, I don't want to point out that I am more different than they see.

I feel like I want a perimeter fence around me in work, I can handle people being around, just wish they would not deliberately touch me unexpectedly.

Has anyone any ideas or experience of similar problems?



Thom_Fuleri
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07 Mar 2012, 6:16 pm

Tell them you have scabies. No more touching. Indeed, you'll generally have a lot more personal space. :twisted: :D :twisted:



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07 Mar 2012, 6:17 pm

People don't generally like touching me. 'Appen it's because you're a woman? People like touching friendly women. :)



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07 Mar 2012, 7:23 pm

Honestly, rubbing your back or putting a hand on your hip are both bordering on inappropriate for workplace contact. I think most people would be uncomfortable with that lol. If it happens again I would recommend "strongly recoiling" when they try to touch you...I assure you they'll understand completely. And if they don't get the message, tell them straight up, something like : "I'm sorry but I really would prefer if you didn't rub my back". Its important to assert yourself but also to try not to come across as mean or uptight.

I had one job where a few of my coworkers used to greet me by either slapping my back or grabbing my shoulders. Once I made it clear that I really didn't like that, they stopped it. We were still all friendly with each other, but once they knew my boundaries they were more than happy to respect them.



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07 Mar 2012, 8:05 pm

File harassment charges against them for "Unwanted Bodily Contact".

Option: Add "... of a Sexual Nature" if you think you can make it stick.



ShelfInTheRoom
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07 Mar 2012, 8:47 pm

I don't mind being touched, other than my head. I absolutely hate it when people touch my head (unless it is necessary/wanted attention). I also hate it when I'm getting a haircut and the barber is rough with my head. The last time I was getting a haircut, the lady was combing my hair and was being a little rough and the comb was scraping my face and forehead. It didn't even hurt, it was just the sensation of the comb rubbing against my face/forehead that I couldn't stand. It was hell; I almost cussed her out. Luckily I restrained myself and just told her to be careful and that she was hurting me.



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08 Mar 2012, 1:27 pm

I had the same problem when i still went to school, people bumping into me while we were getting ingredients *i attended bakery school* I always shut my mouth about it, but now i just tell people and if they ask why i just tell them it feels horrible when people touch me, because it does :o I think that even when you're enviroment doesn't understand they should just deal with it when you tell them not to touch you, i mean its better to make a fuss in the end then feeling bad for getting touched right :O?



Tequila
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08 Mar 2012, 1:32 pm

Fnord wrote:
File harassment charges against them for "Unwanted Bodily Contact".


Has the OP thought of maybe asking him to stop? If not, then definitely proceed with this.



dizzywater
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08 Mar 2012, 2:24 pm

Thanks for the ideas,

I like the "recoil strongly" one best, although telling them all I've scabies is tempting.

I've been public enemy no.1 before and didn't like it, so I'll not file harassment claims, although that might be entertaining for a short while. The people I work with are mostly harmless, I even like some of them. :wink:

They all steered clear of me today anyway, I think my reaction was discussed, they usually do gossip about anything and everything. In this case it might actually have been useful. 8)



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13 Mar 2012, 1:08 pm

Say "Go wash your hands right now! I have ringworm. I volunteer at an animal shelter and I catch it frequently from dogs and cats there."

It will spread, and your problem will be over with. You also won't be looked at as 'dirty' for having it, but as 'noble' because you get it from volunteering.


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13 Mar 2012, 2:46 pm

I'm pretty sensitive to touch myself. I love it from a woman my age (even an ugly one) and in fact have to be careful not to take it as more than it really is! I'll tolerate most touch from older women, but absolutely HATE anything more than a handshake from any man. Which makes me wonder what would happen with someone of unknown gender...


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Rai27
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18 Mar 2012, 4:26 pm

I have a friend who hates being touched, she will squeal and jerk away if you so much as poke her. Some of my friends find this entertaining and poke her repeatedly which I find is quite mean. So don't overreact if someone touches you because your colleagues may then have some fun at your expense (although I am still a teenager and so my friends and I arent as mature as adults yet) but make it clear that you don't like it by politely asking them to stop and maybe explaining why as well if you want to.


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CrazyStarlightRedux
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18 Mar 2012, 4:33 pm

Tell them you'll break their arm off if they do it again.


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GHB
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18 Mar 2012, 4:55 pm

Im the same way, not a germs thing i just get really uncomfortable by other people touching me. Especially anywhere near my torso or head/neck. I worked with some guys that were really touch feely and i always kinda squirmed away and jokingly made fun of the situation. But after a while everyone picked up on the fact that i didn't like being touched. I know i try to have something in my head based on the situation to say if somone touches me. "Oh Joe, this is going to be wierd but i don't feel that way about you...Sorry" (we are both straight guys lol)

If someone said "hey you have something on your shirt" i would be receptive to them but i always react when someone touches me without giving any warning.

I also try to assert myself in most situations as the person that requires respect. Most of the time people touch you because they feel like they can based on being an equal or superior to you.

On a similar theme anyone read about KENO and the act of touching in relationships. I have the hardest time touching other people women especially. I treat everyone how i would want to be treated and its so hard to touch someone if its unprovoked.



dizzywater
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20 Mar 2012, 3:26 am

Rai27 wrote:
I have a friend who hates being touched, she will squeal and jerk away if you so much as poke her. Some of my friends find this entertaining and poke her repeatedly which I find is quite mean.


OMG :shaking:

I would go ballistic if people started poking me, then collapse in tears after hitting all round me. In my book a poke in the back of the arm is equivelent to a punch in the face, if not worse, so I would respond in that appropriate way if they persisted.

Not sure if thats the most mature reaction :lol:

Even the thought of it makes a gagging lump in my throat.

If your friend is like that then it is bullying, if she is putting it on a bit for attention then that is not.



Rai27
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20 Mar 2012, 4:02 pm

I think she's just like that, she won't shake hands or anything and it seems quite extreme for someone to just be putting it on, but I guess my other friends don't really understand, I would get them to stop but they just ignore me most of the time. I've never thought of it as bullying - she gets much worse from other people at school, I guess this just got sort of overshadowed in my mind by everything else she goes through. I suppose it is though.

(PS - this is the same friend who is being mean to me, btw, if you've read my post about that - I think it's in the haven?)


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