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Jiggling and gesticulation
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Shezzer · 06/08/2022 10:34

I really need to know whether anyone else has this problem. I knew my partner in a social context long before we got together and I never noticed anything odd about his behaviour. But his private persona seems so very different from the public persona.

The problem I have found most hard to cope with has been his jiggling and gesticulation. If he is sitting in an armchair (or at the table) his leg is constantly bouncing and if he is asked to stop, then the hand starts strumming. We have got over this to an extent as I emphasised to him how disturbing this was to me. It seemed really to do my head in, and made me not want to be any place where he was.

But although the jiggling is now less, a problem of gesticulation remains, which most particularly affects me when he is absolutely close up to my peripheral vision, driving the car, or in bed.

When driving a car he uses his right hand on the steering wheel whilst the left hand waves around pretty randomly with every point he is making - always close to my vision and often truly flashing across my face.

Lying bed beside me, much the same happens, although this is extra weird because, whichever side he is on, he always uses the arm and hand closest to me to make his gesticulations.

I have tried to get him to stop. It sounds like 'nagging' to him, of course, and I haven't felt able to tell him how serious this is for me. I've always known it's a real relationship killer. I just can't stay with someone who does this, but I feel if I actually said that, it would sound like a threat and I don't want to do that. So far he simply hasn't got the message and does this waving as much as he ever did

But now I am at my wits end. I feel really traumatised by this persistent flashing movement in the side of my vision. In a long recent trip on holiday it was especially relentless.

Right now, the waving and flashing keeps going on and on through my head and I can't stop it taking over any other thoughts. I was driving home on my own yesterday and the whole thing was going round and round in circles in my head - what can I do, how can I stop this happening etc. Several times I even found my hand waving by the side of my eye in the same way, as my mind rehearsed all the happenings and all the possible solutions.

In all other ways I'm a really stable person. I never thought I would have so-called 'mental health' problems. But with this trauma taking over my head it's clear that something is going badly wrong. I'm pretty desperate to know whether anyone else has experienced this sort of thing, how it affected you, and what you did about it.

Thank you for reading my long message.

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Topgub · 06/08/2022 10:41

Tbh that sounds like a completely over the top reaction

Someone jiggling or talking with their hands isn't traumatic and shouldn't cause this much distress

I dount he can stop so it's probably best you end it.

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Cantbeliveyoufakeit · 06/08/2022 11:03

Lying bed beside me, much the same happens, although this is extra weird because, whichever side he is on, he always uses the arm and hand closest to me to make his gesticulations

Do you think/feel like he's doing it on purpose because he knows it upsets you OP?

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AgentJohnson · 06/08/2022 11:14

It really doesn’t matter why he does it, it’s triggering for you, to the extent that he doesn’t need to be physically present. Your choices are; understand and try to get past the trigger or to avoid the source.

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BeautyGoesToBenidorm · 06/08/2022 11:21

Please, PLEASE stop calling this trauma. It isn't.

Because you find this behaviour alarming/intensely annoying, your mind has geared itself up to be vigilant over the behaviour happening again. I had an ex who jiggled his leg relentlessly, it drove me to distraction and I could feel myself tense up as soon as he sat down. I'd automatically shift myself so his leg was out of my line of vision, without really thinking about it, because instinctively I knew it'd make me feel uncomfortable.

Is that similar to how it is for you?

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Juii · 06/08/2022 11:37

Sounds like he has restless leg syndrome? my husband has this, I used to joke he made me seasick sometimes but it rarely bothered me (I can totally understand how annoying it could get though, I am like this with other things) I think in some cases it can get better, my husband moves a lot less since starting exercise. The gesticulation sounds different though, he should be able to keep out of your personal space (I always think of dirty dancing when I think of personal space), he shouldn't be gesticulating very close to your face. Have you asked him about this specifically?

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Shezzer · 06/08/2022 11:39

OK thanks, so I would never have called this traumatising a few weeks/months ago - it was just annoying - but the impact seems to grow.

Like you I would try to keep his leg out of my line of sight, but you can't do that with a hand waving beside your eye.

You're right about the increased vigilance, but this doesn't need vigilance as it's so much 'in my face'.

Was this a factor in your break-up?

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SteveHarringtonsChestHair · 06/08/2022 11:44

My XP was like this. His leg was always bouncing and if ever I tried to stop it by putting my hand on his leg (gently) he would be mortally offended.

Even in bed he was bouncing around, flip flopping in his sleep - he used to joke himself that he was like a landed salmon. It was so bad that I bought two beds for my room and couldn’t ever share a hotel bed with him, which made holidays expensive and awkward having to find rooms with 2 x double beds!

Again, even though he knew he did it, he was offended when I did this, but I spent years sleeping poorly because of it and I tried to find practical solutions. It was all part of his ego being bruised when pointed out that he wasn’t perfect.

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SteveHarringtonsChestHair · 06/08/2022 11:46

I also do the over thinking thing, replaying scenarios in my head when I’m alone, although its usually verbal arguments for me, but I can see how you would end up replaying the hand waving stuff if that is the trigger for your discomfort.

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ScattyHattie · 06/08/2022 12:37

Leg bouncing can be common outlet of hyperactivy with ADHD as is restless legs at night and other neurodiverse conditions also can have movement element stims/tics. Have they always done it or is it new?

It's a little unfair asking him to control something he clearly can't, given when tried to stop leg the movement goes to his hand. Perhaps he could try modify the hand waving into a more subtle movement or try a fidget toy to see if that gives a more focused outlet.

Equally it can be hard to not find things annoying or upsetting if you happen to be sensitive in that way, like many are with noises. I think can only work together to find solutions that may help ease issues or accept aren't very compatible.

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User0610134049 · 06/08/2022 12:39

Sounds like you’ve got the ick….

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Prokupatuscrakedatus · 06/08/2022 12:47

Another reason why I keep myself to myself - my behaviour is called stimming and helps concentration and focus (to follow a conversation, movie, lecture) and reaching some semblance of inner calm.
But, of course, it is so difficult for parents, teachers, partners, friends, work mates to endure. So either I keep a ridgid hold on myself and all aspects (there are others) of the brain I was born with, which is incredibly stressful (+ I am so busy controlling myself that there is little room for anything else) or I keep myself to myself.

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EvenMoreFuriousVexation · 06/08/2022 13:12

I think, op, you just need to accept that you are fundamentally unsuited, and set each other free.

Other people will be able to tolerate his tics better than you.

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PunishmentRoundupWithJoon · 06/08/2022 13:13

I totally understand why this is getting to you so much. I hate leg jiggling with a pasion and it's always men who do it. I will move tables in a cafe if a man starts doing it within my line of sight - can't imagine how stressful it must having to live with it! It may be, as someone suggested, it's to do with ADHD, and he can't help it, but that would indicate that you aren't a good match for each other.

If you've told him how distressing it is for you when he gesticulates right into your field of view and he's still doing it, it means he's not listening, or not taking you seriously.

I can't stand any repetititve movements in my line of sight - the female equivalent of leg jiggling is fiddling with hair. Again, if a women is doing this, constantly smoothing or twirling her her, I have to move, it gives me the rage.

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IncompleteSenten · 06/08/2022 13:15

He does something you can't be happy with him doing. 🤷

He may be stimming or have tics or it's simply habit. It doesn't really matter.

He isnt doing anything wrong.

He's simply doing something that irritates you so much you can't be with him.

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Dahliasrule · 06/08/2022 13:20

Oh dear, as I was reading this I realised I was jiggling. My family have learned to live with it though I often get the seasick comment. Outsider sometimes ask me if I am cold. I am totally unaware that I am doing it unless my attention is brought to it, as by this post!

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Haffiana · 06/08/2022 13:43

Yeah, you have got the ick. This is him, whatever the reason he does it. If you find it unbearable then you need to leave.

I cannot believe you think that 'changing' him is an option. Could you change how it makes you feel? Would it be fair to ask you to do that?

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ImJustMadAboutSaffron · 06/08/2022 13:59

Prokupatuscrakedatus · 06/08/2022 12:47

Another reason why I keep myself to myself - my behaviour is called stimming and helps concentration and focus (to follow a conversation, movie, lecture) and reaching some semblance of inner calm.
But, of course, it is so difficult for parents, teachers, partners, friends, work mates to endure. So either I keep a ridgid hold on myself and all aspects (there are others) of the brain I was born with, which is incredibly stressful (+ I am so busy controlling myself that there is little room for anything else) or I keep myself to myself.

Masking.

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Mischance · 06/08/2022 14:09

It is like having a child with a tic - the more you draw attention to it, the more they do it - not deliberately of course. I do not think you will achieve anything at all by commenting about or objecting to this. He may be on the autistic spectrum, or have low level ADHD or Tourettes, or it may simply be who he is; but basically none of these things will go away, so you need to decide what you want to do about it.

To be honest I think you are over-reacting - I have a relative who does this and everyone ignores it. For you to be thinking about it when he is not there, to be re-living it and posting on here does seem a bit OTT.

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IheartJKRowling · 06/08/2022 14:27

My ex did this and it drove me insane, he would not keep still. He would bounce his leg all the time, constantly run his thumb over his fingers, tap his fingers, repetitive endless fidgeting and it was so distracting and annoying.

I would be trying to read or relax only to be disturbed by his endless twiddling, it got to the point where I wanted to scream "just fucking keep still" at him. It was like living with an unattractive, irritating fish that had to keep moving or it would die.

He was not ND, he had no physical issues he was just a dick. In his case he knew he was doing it and could stop it but chose not to. If he started it when we went to his mother's she would glare at him and say "what have I told you about that?" and he would stop instantly and not start again until we got home.

I don't think people realise how annoying it is to be on the receiving end of this constant movement, repetitive fidgeting that you can always pick up on, you see it from the corner of your eye or hear rustling, again and again and again, every day, all day, no matter what he was doing it went on and on and on. I have enormous sympathy for you OP and I could not tolerate it again in a relationship. I would leave because he will not stop and it will get more and more irritating.

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Biggestjulie · 06/08/2022 14:41

Well, if you can’t manage it, you can’t manage it, and that’s the end of your relationship, full stop. Because I can assure you that he can’t help it, and it won’t stop however much you explain your feelings or nag your partner.

I jiggle my legs pretty much constantly (and I also do it in bed before I go to sleep) so the PP who said only men do this doesn’t know what she is talking about.

I know it drives people crazy, and I can stop if I am asked, but only as long as I focus all the time on NOT jiggling, which takes up so much headspace that it is difficult for me to enjoy or contribute to the conversation and fun. As soon as I go back to enjoying myself and engaging in a social event, etc., I go back to jiggling.

I know it is an issue at the theatre, at concerts, on airplanes and other public transportation, so I really try focus on keeping still in those circumstances, but it takes a lot of energy and mental effort and that means there is not much left over for anything else.

Speaking from the other side of this issue, I would not be able to maintain a relationship with someone who constantly demanded that I stop jiggling because of the amount of focus and mental energy it takes just to stop.

My close friends and family do sometimes draw attention to my jiggling, and ask me to stop (I am never aware of it until someone mentions it). This happens when I am driving them particularly crazy, and I do try (and usually succeed for a while). But basically people who care about me decide to live with it, as apparently my better qualities are enough compensation. You need to make a similar decision about your current “partner”.

BTW my brother does it too and we have other ND characteristics in common - left handed and probable ADHD, so I guess that is how we are made. Maybe you would be more sympathetic if you could think of it as a very minor disability, like an eye squint. If not, move on. It’s not helpful to nag him and, except occasionally, when it is particularly awkward, and he would probably appreciate a reminder and a heads up, it’s useless and unkind to try to challenge and change him.

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BeautyGoesToBenidorm · 06/08/2022 17:14

Shezzer · 06/08/2022 11:39

OK thanks, so I would never have called this traumatising a few weeks/months ago - it was just annoying - but the impact seems to grow.

Like you I would try to keep his leg out of my line of sight, but you can't do that with a hand waving beside your eye.

You're right about the increased vigilance, but this doesn't need vigilance as it's so much 'in my face'.

Was this a factor in your break-up?

We broke up because he was highly abusive, but he did use things like the leg jiggling and chewing with his mouth open as part of the abuse, believe it or not - he knew both things drove me insane, so did them constantly, and if I left the room or turned away it'd be "Don't you dare look away, if you don't like it you know where the door is" 🙄🙄

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TheWayoftheLeaf · 07/08/2022 02:00

Lots of people do the leg shake thing. It's a form of self soothing I think. I'm surprised you're 'disturbed' by it.

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JustKittenAround · 07/08/2022 02:25

User0610134049 · 06/08/2022 12:39

Sounds like you’ve got the ick….

Gonna have to agree…

it would’ve very off if this was not happening around other people. If he truly only does it in private then it’s because he’s trying to annoy you.

if you react in ANY way then it gets him his annoying you fix. If you’re able to ignore it then he will find something even worse.Because there is a goal, the delight of upsetting you. Even trying to talk with someone, share your feelings, isn’t going to work because only someone with a dark heart towards you would ever have this goal.

If you truly have witnessed him controlling it in social situations and saving it for just you then I suggest you take full stock of your relationship because if that’s true that man is straight up crazy malicious.

You will also areas you go over things that there are a great many other things he does that upsets you very much. Perhaps they aren’t as physical?

on the other side the ick can make you very attuned to small crap that irks you. You will notice every weird snort and every bad habit to a huge degree.

OP I think you know deep down if it’s the ick or if he is doing this to cut you down. I also think you can see if he does this around others or if it’s an act. Usually someone malicious will need to try different things to get their desired result… Are there other issues?

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JustKittenAround · 07/08/2022 02:33

Biggestjulie · 06/08/2022 14:41

Well, if you can’t manage it, you can’t manage it, and that’s the end of your relationship, full stop. Because I can assure you that he can’t help it, and it won’t stop however much you explain your feelings or nag your partner.

I jiggle my legs pretty much constantly (and I also do it in bed before I go to sleep) so the PP who said only men do this doesn’t know what she is talking about.

I know it drives people crazy, and I can stop if I am asked, but only as long as I focus all the time on NOT jiggling, which takes up so much headspace that it is difficult for me to enjoy or contribute to the conversation and fun. As soon as I go back to enjoying myself and engaging in a social event, etc., I go back to jiggling.

I know it is an issue at the theatre, at concerts, on airplanes and other public transportation, so I really try focus on keeping still in those circumstances, but it takes a lot of energy and mental effort and that means there is not much left over for anything else.

Speaking from the other side of this issue, I would not be able to maintain a relationship with someone who constantly demanded that I stop jiggling because of the amount of focus and mental energy it takes just to stop.

My close friends and family do sometimes draw attention to my jiggling, and ask me to stop (I am never aware of it until someone mentions it). This happens when I am driving them particularly crazy, and I do try (and usually succeed for a while). But basically people who care about me decide to live with it, as apparently my better qualities are enough compensation. You need to make a similar decision about your current “partner”.

BTW my brother does it too and we have other ND characteristics in common - left handed and probable ADHD, so I guess that is how we are made. Maybe you would be more sympathetic if you could think of it as a very minor disability, like an eye squint. If not, move on. It’s not helpful to nag him and, except occasionally, when it is particularly awkward, and he would probably appreciate a reminder and a heads up, it’s useless and unkind to try to challenge and change him.

I have ADHD and do some of this as well but it doesn’t change from public to private and I have learned not to fling my hands too much. ADHD doesn’t rob a person from controlling themselves and becoming aware of actions that need work because it hurts someone else.

im not having a go at you but it seems there is a mentality that those hurting from the actions need to bend to accommodate the one with the problem. ADHD is a problem but it’s also something that the person being affected needs to work in. Life’s not fair.

ADHD means extra work to make sure you show up for your partner. A huge part of ADHD treatment is behavioral therapy.

again not coming at you but ADHD isn’t this. It is not wildly gesturing in someone’s face as they drive.

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MiauzenKatzenjammer · 07/08/2022 02:52

I couldn't be doing with this. Even if he were exceptional in every other respect, which I doubt.

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