Hugging, holding hands, or kissing to express affection is not for everyone. Some people are uncomfortable with these types of touching and may prefer to express their love for their loved ones in other ways. Fortunately, there are several approaches you can take. Begin by identifying your touching needs, and then share this information with anyone who may want physical contact with you. You can also show affection for others through your words and actions, letting them know that you care.
Method 1: Recognize and Communicate Your Needs
1. Consider whether you enjoy any particular types of touching. This information may assist you in determining whether you are comfortable touching your significant other, friends, or family members in specific ways, such as holding their hand or patting them on the back. Try jotting down any types of touching that don’t bother you.
Remember that it’s perfectly fine if you’re not at all comfortable with touching. If this is the case, it is critical to be open and honest with yourself and your loved ones about your preferences.
2. Determine which types of touching make you the most uncomfortable. If there are certain types of touching that you despise, it is critical that you communicate this to others. You are not required to touch people in ways that make you feel uneasy. Write down any types of touching that you absolutely cannot tolerate, and be as specific as possible about the types of touching you dislike.
For example, if the sensation of intertwining fingers while holding hands bothers you, this is important information to share with anyone who wants to hold hands with you.
Alternatively, if you dislike the sensation of being hugged, anyone who attempts to hug you should be aware of this in order to avoid causing you any discomfort.
3. Determine whether or not certain situations make touching more or less comfortable. Because of the circumstances or location, some people are more bothered by touching, such as when it occurs in a public setting or in front of other people. Tell your significant other, friends, and family members if you are bothered by public displays of affection in general, or if certain types of PDA bother you more than others.
For example, if you are not comfortable kissing or hugging in public or in front of other people, you should inform your significant other.
4. Share your touch preferences with anyone who needs to know. It is critical to discuss your preferences with your significant other and any other loved ones who may be interested. Choose a time when you will be alone to speak with the person. Inform them that touching makes you feel uncomfortable and that you would prefer not to show physical affection. If you’ve identified any types of touching with which you’re comfortable, you can specify what you consider acceptable.
For example, you could say, “I am not comfortable with hugging.” It’s not a personal attack. It just makes me feel uneasy, so I’d rather shake hands when we see each other.”
You could also say something like, “I know you like to hold hands when we go for walks together, but I don’t like the sensation of holding hands.” As an alternative, I am fine with linking arms.”
Method 2: Displaying Affection Verbally
1. Inform the person of your feelings for them. It’s perfectly fine if you dislike displaying physical affection! You could always tell the person how you feel about them instead. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or your significant other, they’ll appreciate it if you say something that shows you care about them.
Try something like, “Hey, Jared. I know I’m not always affectionate, but I want you to know how much I adore you.”
Alternatively, you could say something like, “Hey mom. I adore you despite the fact that I dislike hugs. Just thought I’d let you know!”
2. Compliment the individual on their positive characteristics or appearance. Compliments are a traditional way to express affection for someone without touching them. When you see them, try telling them what you like best about them or noticing something new about their appearance. Make sure to give genuine compliments and explain why you like that particular aspect of the person.
Try something like, “You’re so funny!” I’m so happy because of the stories you tell.”
You could also say, “That dress looks amazing on you!” I really admire your sense of style.”
3. Send them loving messages. Texting and direct messaging on social media platforms are also effective ways to express affection without touching. On days when you don’t see them, send them a text or a direct message to let them know you’re thinking about them. You could also include a smiley face, heart, or other friendly emoji to show your affection for them.
To show how much you care about your significant other, you could send them a text that says, “I miss you!” followed by a heart.
Alternatively, you could simply text a loved one, “I love you!” You could also include a heart or hug emoji, but in a text like this, there will be no doubt that you are showing affection for them.
4. Write them a love letter in which you tell them what you admire about them. If you like to write, this could be a fun way to express your feelings for a loved one. Write a love letter to a significant other, a parent or other family member, or even your best friend to show them how much you care. Take at least an hour to write your letter to the person and consider what you admire most about them.
Make it a point to write your letter as if you were speaking directly to the recipient. For example, you could begin by writing, “Dear John, I adore everything about you, but my favourite feature is…”
If you don’t like writing, try drawing them a picture, making them a mix tape, or knitting them a scarf.
5. Pay close attention to what they say and remember specifics. Being a good listener can help you show how much you care about the person. Pay close attention to what they say and try to remember specifics that you can bring up later. This will demonstrate to them that you truly listen to them and care about the information they share with you.
For instance, if a friend tells you about a problem they’re having with a family member one day, you could inquire about it the next time you see them.
Alternatively, if your significant other tells you about a short storey idea they had, you could ask them about their progress on it the next time you see them.
Method 3: Make Use of Your Actions
1. Every day, do something nice and thoughtful for the person. Look for small ways to brighten the person’s day; this will show them that you care about them. You are not required to buy them gifts or make grand gestures. Simply think of small, thoughtful things you can do for them.
For example, you could make them their favourite cup of coffee, put on their favourite TV show or movie when you’re relaxing together, or scrape their windshield if it’s icy.
2. Even if you’re pressed for time, make room for them in your schedule. Making time in your busy schedule for someone special to you is another great way to express your love for them. They will know where they stand with you if you make spending time with them a priority. You could even tell them that you value spending time with them so much that you are rearranging your schedule or are willing to forego something else in order to see them.
For example, you could say, “Jenny, I love spending time with you so much that I’m going to the 5:30 a.m. spin class instead of the 6:00 p.m.”
You could also say something like, “I have a crazy busy week, but I would never survive it if I didn’t spend some quality time with you.”
3. When they have a problem, assist them. If a friend, family member, or significant other approaches you for assistance, let them know you are there for them and ask what you can do to assist. This could be as simple as listening to them and being available to them if they require it, or it could be something more specific.
For example, if a friend calls or texts you to say their car broke down, you could offer to drive them to school or work.
If your significant other has misplaced something important to them, you could stop what you’re doing and assist them in their search.
Remember that you don’t have to drop everything every time a loved one needs your assistance to show them you care. If you are unable to assist them right away, such as because you are at work or dealing with an issue of your own, simply inform them that you will be there for them as soon as possible.
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