I read this article the other day.
It's all about the need for positive touch. That is, physical contact, used in a healthy and beneficial way. For example, peer hand/head/neck massages, and reassuring back rubs/arm touches etc. It's been found to help children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, particularly in anger management etc.
For many children at the school the research took place, the only physical contact they received was either restraint from their teachers, or abuse from each other. Since they started focussing on touch in a positive way, the number of physical restraints per day has decreased significantly.
Now, over the past few years, I have developed a certain level of tactile intolerance. I hate it. One time, I practically went into panic when my ballet teacher in Cambridge was moving my arms for me, trying to put them into the right position. I could not deal with it.
Reading this article has made me realise that perhaps I need to embrace positive touch a bit more. So this weekend, I made sure I stroked my old housemate's hair when she needed it, I hugged my other old housemate on leaving (which, to be fair, I would have done anyway), and yesterday gave my mother and sister-niece the massivest squidges I think I have ever given them.
Little by little, I am going to try and introduce more positive touch into my life, to upbuild others in it, and to (perhaps selfishly) make myself feel better too. Already this weekend, I have been feeling less intrinsically cross.
Everyone's a winner.
Except those who are also tactile intolerant, and therefore will hate me imposing my 'positive touch' on them. I will be careful...