You are the only person who gets to decide when your body is or is not touched. No one else
It doesn’t always seem like our bodies belong to us. People often invade our personal space and make us feel uncomfortable. Because of this, it’s important to learn how to create your own boundaries and know what to do when you feel uneasy.
Some people love holding hands, kissing, and hugging their loved ones. Human touch can make us feel closer and more intimate with others.
But we are all different, and not everyone likes this level of intimacy. Some people like physical intimacy at certain times and don’t like it in other circumstances.
All of this is completely normal. Just because you don’t like physical intimacy doesn’t mean you don’t value and love other people. It just means you express your love for others in different ways.
Although we don’t have to be physically intimate with people, sometimes we feel pressurized to do it. There are so many instances when people intrude upon our bodies, and it’s totally not okay.
Your parents may force you to kiss your relatives. Some friends are insistent on hugging you. Strangers may stand too close to you in a queue.
Our bodies belong to us. We are not objects, and nobody else owns our bodies. This means it’s completely acceptable to tell someone you don’t want them to touch you if it makes you feel weird or uncomfortable.
So, how exactly do you create these boundaries and make sure other people respect them?:
Communication is key. If you feel uncomfortable with physical intimacy, make sure you speak up. Before someone tries to hug you, tell them it makes you feel awkward and explain why. People are more likely to respect your wishes if they know why you don’t like hugs or kisses. Otherwise they may be confused, and force that awkward hug.
Offer an alternative
Tell people what you would prefer to do instead of hug or kiss. Maybe you could wave, give a high-five, or simply just say hello. It may be a different technique for different people or scenarios. You decide what works for you.
Respect other people’s decisions
Make sure you respect other people’s choices when it comes to physical intimacy. Don’t force a hug or kiss on someone who doesn’t like it.
If someone is disrespecting your personal boundaries without your consent and making you feel uncomfortable, speak to someone you trust about it or you can contact safeline for confidential support.
You own your body, no-one else. Don’t feel weird about being honest with people about what you like and don’t like. If they don’t respect your wishes, you may want to reconsider your relationship.