I wrote this blog when I was working with primary school children and never dare to post it. In the current circumstances when most of us crave for a hug from a friend or from a relative and have been unable to do so, I just wanted to reinforce the fact that we need to be hugged and that even in the beauty of zoom calls, it does not replace giving a good hug to someone who is in distress. Cant wait to be able to hug my friends!
I am amazed by the way we undermine the power of touch. We are so scared by physical touch in today’s world. But it is quite interesting to see how powerful gentle touch can be.
I was working with a student who constantly became distressed during my class. Perhaps she was over sensitive to what was going on around her, but whatever the reason she was having a difficult day. She became emotional several times. The first time I talked to her and reasoned with her, but that was difficult because she couldn’t explain what the problem was. After the third time in the day, I began to question what I could do to offer comfort and help her through it.
The next time she became distressed I went over to let her talk. I quietly put my arm around her and just held her close to me while she talked. I must have sat like that with her for less than a minute, but when she finished talking she was happy, she laughed with me and went back to her work.
I was interested by the effect my contact with her had on her wellbeing. On another occasion I was working with a student who found it difficult to concentrate and to stay focused. I asked him to come and sit next to me. I sat very close to him so I was just touching him lightly with my leg. Once again, as with the girl, this physical closeness had a calming effect on the student and for a few minutes I was able to hold his attention.
I really think there is a connection between physical proximity and calmness in the right situation if it is comfortable and handled correctly. I was looking at business pages on the internet and a specific picture caught my eye; it was a line of people, in a business setting, massaging the person in front of them. People were laughing and smiling and seemed to be very happy. I think we need to start again and rethink the importance of the power of touch. We need to accept that touching or holding someone could be so beneficial to how they feel and how they cope with what is going on in their day. After all, there’s a lady in America (there may be others here in the UK) making money by giving people hugs.
When we can not express ourselves clearly because we are upset, the closeness of another being is comforting. I remember being told off by my mum less than a year ago, she was annoyed I had not visited or been in touch. I did not want to make a fuss as we were at my cousin’s house and I just bit my lip and quietly raged inside. One of my cousins looked at me and he put his hand over my forearm as if to say, “That is OK, you will be OK, it does not matter”. This little gesture meant so much to me in terms of support and I was grateful for that.
So, when are you going to rethink how you use touch? Especially if you have forgotten how to touch and to be touched. Start with something very small, like holding that person that needs reassurance and comfort.
…and when you feel safe again, give a bear hug to your favourite people !
Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer, a coach, an author, a mother, a daughter. She is passionate about helping others overcome their fears of speaking, in meetings, in social situations, in public and to speak up. She will help you to shape a presentation and to practice so that you can be your authentic self and speak from the heart. She can help you overcome the blocks which prevent you from embracing life fully professionally and personally.
Book a discovery call here.
Buy Helene’s book on: The Power of Outrageous Expression’ here.
Join her online course ‘The 5 Keys to Unlock Public Speaking‘ here.
Join Helene on her next venture ‘6-week Confidence on Camera Membership programme’ going live on the 13th July. Learn more here.
“I really enjoyed the group work and Helene’s style. I like the idea of knowing I work well with a visual cue: anchor. Good to be reminded of the circle of assurance, I did use it after! The group is feeling like we’re all working for each other, great. Like the idea of standing when presenting, will work on this. All very supportive and helping me. I enjoyed connecting with the group, focusing on my ideal client and the breathing exercises. Good to be reminded of ‘making myself bigger’ it helps so much with the confidence. Gill Clark, Gill’s Health Hub – Homeopathy.
See what Tracy has to say here.