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To absolutely hate to be touched by strangers?

(33 Posts)
CinnamonBunYou Thu 25-Feb-16 20:31:31

I work in retail and often get people placing their hands on me when asking me something and sometimes it doesn't bother me but most of the time it totally freaks me out. I have to go to the toilet and wash myself and then can feel their hand on me for the rest of the day and it makes me shudder! I have actually thrown up before or I end up gipping! I know my reaction is extreme but I can't help it.

It's mostly older men that bother me and they're not doing it in a pervy way, it's just a hand on the shoulder or a tap but I can't stand it. I always withdraw from them in disgust and distort my body so they can't touch me again and I realise it seems rude but it's a natural reflex and I don't do it on purpose. I spend the rest if the day feeling tense and flinch/cringe when people come near me.

My colleagues joke and take the piss about it and call me a weirdo when it happens. They say they don't particularly like when people do it to them but they just shrug it off and that I over react.

Are other people as funny about this as I am or am I a complete loon?

Mysteryfla Thu 25-Feb-16 20:44:57

You're a complete loon. smile

A bit OTT to be cringing all day, and scurrying off to wash, no wonder they're laughing at you.

MaidOfStars Thu 25-Feb-16 20:46:12


MaidOfStars Thu 25-Feb-16 20:46:47

Throwing up in response to a stranger tapping your arm is not normal.

user7755 Thu 25-Feb-16 20:47:22

Perhaps not complete but definitely on the 'loon' bus

ghostoftheMNchicken Thu 25-Feb-16 20:48:58

Totally unacceptable for your colleagues to be laughing at you, frankly. And no, you're not a loon.

There might be an underlying reason - a sensory issue, perhaps? I don't particularly like being touched by strangers either, although I don't have such an extreme reaction.

sunnydayinmay Thu 25-Feb-16 20:49:18

Have you looked at sensory disorders? More common than you

Lazeedayz Thu 25-Feb-16 20:51:35

You're tactile defensive. I also hate people touching me. I don't react in quite an extreme way but it makes me cringe.
I don't really like anyone touching me even close friends and family.

Lazeedayz Thu 25-Feb-16 20:52:55

Sorry I shouldn't have put, "you're" should have put it seems like you may be.

CaptainKit Thu 25-Feb-16 21:06:09

You're a complete loon. But then so am I - not touch so much, but I have misophonia and get the full on rage at certain sounds, which is just as barmy as your reaction to touch. I don't blame you for taking evasive action when needed.

I think CBT is sometimes beneficial for misophonia, might be worth considering as this is clearly having an impact on your daily life.

CinnamonBunYou Thu 25-Feb-16 21:08:44

My friend thinks it stems from being abused/raped as a young child by my grandfather because it's mainly older men I have an issue with. I don't mind women touching me as much but I still cringe because I don't know where there hands have been.

I just think I'm a weirdo!

BillBrysonsBeard Thu 25-Feb-16 21:09:55

Totally loony and must affect your life so much. Not your fault though, hope there is something you can do apart from avoiding working in retail!

BillBrysonsBeard Thu 25-Feb-16 21:10:45

OP cross post, okay that explains it quite a lot. Sorry for what you went through sad

jeremyisahunt Thu 25-Feb-16 21:11:47

I used to work in retail, I agree that customers shouldn't touch you. It's rude and demeaning!

janethegirl2 Thu 25-Feb-16 21:13:39

You're not a weirdo, I don't like being touched, kissed, cuddled etc unless by immediate family. I absolutely hate this touching, kissing etc by acquaintances. And I have had no such issues as you have had OP with being abused or raped by anyone.

It's not surprising you need your own space flowers

Micah Thu 25-Feb-16 21:13:58

I hate it too. I recoil when people do that touching you on the arm when talking to you. My mil actually steps closer and tugs me.

I dont care if it's not normal. If someone steps away from you when you touch them, dont keep doing it. I actively keep someone between me and them now, and avoid speaking to them on my own.

People laugh at me too.

Queenbean Thu 25-Feb-16 21:15:09

No it's gross. I hate people touching me, for me its on public transport when someone sits right up next to me, I hate the feeling of someone's arm or knee touching mine.

It doesn't make me cringe for the rest of the day but that journey and just after. And I always wash my hands after shaking hands with someone or being on the train (I mean, not directly after, just at the next convenient time).

I don't care if it makes me a weirdo too I hate being touched!

OP, I think you're definitely Stena from the previous abuse. Have you had help about it in the past? Your colleagues should not be laughing at you!

Queenbean Thu 25-Feb-16 21:16:14

*yours definitely stems

FluffyPersian Thu 25-Feb-16 21:28:47

I get it as it's a running joke that I hate people hugging me - I can't stand people invading my personal space and the only person in the world who can cuddle me and not make me feel weird is my partner.

In my case, I think it stems from my childhood... my parents never touched me - no hugs, no cuddles, no touching at all, really... nor did they hug / kiss each other, so I grew up very isolated. I also think that being forcibly held down by Doctors and having 2 lumbar punctures when I was 4 years old have also screwed me up... so add medical professionals + touching and I get very, very upset.

I don't think you're a loon... after all, you can't help how you react, it's not as if you're doing it for 'drama' or attention... I physically freeze when someone hugs me and try and bear it as best I can... If a friend is upset, I'll endeavour to hug them, but it's so hard for me and I imagine most of my friends know it's not something I enjoy, but I try my best for them.

Have you ever thought about talking to a counsellor about it?

CinnamonBunYou Thu 25-Feb-16 21:45:03

It doesn't affect my life to the point of me not being able to work or dreading work or anything. I don't worry about it or avoid people because I have other stuff to worry about and just get on with my job and it doesn't happen all the time but when it does I do freak out.

I also don't do affection well! I do with my DD - I always hug and kiss her but anyone else, apart from my best friend and partners, I just freeze and find it awkward! Although having DD has relaxed me slightly and I aren't as bad as I used to be.

It happened today with an old bloke who put his arm around me and I had to go upstairs wash my arm but then I came back and forgot about it after a while. I was just thinking about it and wondered if anyone else had this issue or if I was just a loon.

The time I threw up was when an old bloke asked me for something and he was so happy I found it for him that he hugged me and really gripped me tight and I had to actually push him off me. He even went into give me a kiss on the cheek which I think is a weird thing to do to a stranger anyway and a normal person would probably feel uncomfortable with that.

I have been to CBT for anxiety/depression and after a few sessions we discussed the abuse and I was referred to a psychiatrist as my therapist said I needed more help than he could offer but I chickened out and cancelled my appointment because bringing it all back up was not what I wanted to do and I preferred to just forget about and kind of pretend it never happened.

TheMaddHugger Thu 25-Feb-16 22:03:12

My friend thinks it stems from being abused/raped as a young child by my grandfather because it's mainly older men I have an issue with.

very soft cyber (((((((((((Hug)))))))))))

not a loon

user7755 Thu 25-Feb-16 22:07:35

In light of your later posts - not a loon.

TheMaddHugger Thu 25-Feb-16 22:26:10

an old bloke who put his arm around me

why would anyone be doing that, I find it weird to put an arm around you in the first place

WonderingAspie Thu 25-Feb-16 22:58:43

I guessed from your OP that you had been abused.

I don't like being touched either. I don't have a reaction like yours but I will recoil when people touch me (apart from some family), I also don't like older men touching me.

You are not weird. Some people don't like others invading their personal space and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Wolfiefan Thu 25-Feb-16 23:04:10

I don't think you are a loon. But it is an extreme reaction. Perhaps you should try and deal with the underlying issue.
Who hugs random strangers though? That's weird! I don't much like people touching me. Close friends and family fine.

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