The Power of Touch

Ok, the fact that you find that title a little sketchy is really the whole point. Why have we become so weird when it comes to real contact with people?

I recently read an article that described that way that human babies develop in the womb. Because the skin develops early, touch is one of the first sensations that humans feel. After they are born, the physical contact between babies and their parents stimulate psychological and neurological responses that help them fully develop. Interesting huh? Just wait.

Even more interesting than this is the fact that as we grow our need for contact with people doesn’t diminish. We remain, even as adults, in great need of loving, personal contact.

In this age of computer screens, media-driven relationships and crazy stories on the news (and there are plenty of them), there aren’t many people vying for a heathy culture of contact. Well, here it goes: don’t be a weirdo, but don’t underestimate the power of a handshake, hug, or simple pat on the back. People need to feel a real sense of care from those that actually care about them.

One of my best friends and mentors taught me that whenever he passes his wife in the kitchen or in public, he puts his hand on her shoulder as he walks by. He told me, “I don’t even have to say anything to her. This simple touch communicates that I’m thinking of her, that I care and that she matters to me.” I think he’s right.

Don’t let all your relationships be facilitated by electronic devices. Go to lunch. Try actually talking to people and see what it does. People used to do it all the time. Sometimes the best thing you could get is a hug. 

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