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genin
07-27-2011, 03:25 PM
I've had some recent issues with people, specifically women, invading my personal space. This outwardly might seem silly, but the problem is that they are touching or "play hitting" me in a way that I am not comfortable with. For instance, one girl at work came up behind me and pinched the side of my face really hard out of the blue. It actually hurt and was completely uncalled for and not funny. Then the other day, I was with a 63 y/o female friend and I was facing away from her looking out into her yard. For a reason known only to her, she decides to walk behind me and slap me hard on my ribs and said "Hey Rodg!" First of all, I'm thin and I have some skeletal/back problems. When people slap me in the back when I'm not looking, it not only startles me, but it causes me pain. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I can't help that I'm one of millions of people with chronic back pain.

I've had to send some of the girls at work an official email warning them not to touch me ever again, and I'm about to have to do it to yet another girl who did something today. I really don't know what the problem is. I think it's just plain rude and disrespectful. Particularly at work, you don't put your hands on people. And just in general, you shouldn't be touching people or invading their personal space unless you know they want you to. Anyone have any similar experiences? Is there a better way to handle or pre-empt this stupidity?

Janet Rosen
07-27-2011, 03:59 PM
Within work context, stickier....you could start with a direct, neutral tone statement (talking to her, or via email you can edit to really get it neutral and creates a record of the encounter) that personal contact made you uncomfortable and you do not wish it ever repeated or you will have to report it. And if it is repeated, report it.
In a social context, shouldn't be any big deal - a smiling Hey, Mary (or Mrs Doe, or whatever), I know you didn't mean anything by it, but I have some aches and pains and would really appreciate it if you didn't come up and slap me again!

genin
07-27-2011, 04:18 PM
Within work context, stickier....you could start with a direct, neutral tone statement (talking to her, or via email you can edit to really get it neutral and creates a record of the encounter) that personal contact made you uncomfortable and you do not wish it ever repeated or you will have to report it. And if it is repeated, report it.
In a social context, shouldn't be any big deal - a smiling Hey, Mary (or Mrs Doe, or whatever), I know you didn't mean anything by it, but I have some aches and pains and would really appreciate it if you didn't come up and slap me again!

That's the problem I have. It's hard for me to politely tell a grown adult something that even a school kid should know. I recal in fifth grade the teacher always saying "Keep your hands to yourselves!" What next, are these women going to forget to look both ways when crossing the road?!

Also, yes, I can tell them after the fact not to do it again. But if it's one person after the other, telling them after they've basically already assualted me doesn't do me much good. Just ticks me off even more knowing that this is the umpteenth person I'm now having the same third grade conversation with.

The one girl who pinched me I actually lashed out at, and I grabbed her hand and sunk my nails into her flesh. You could tell it got serious for her really fast. It's amazing, when I start getting physical with people it's not as entertaining and funny.

Marc Abrams
07-27-2011, 04:24 PM
That's the problem I have. It's hard for me to politely tell a grown adult something that even a school kid should know. I recal in fifth grade the teacher always saying "Keep your hands to yourselves!" What next, are these women going to forget to look both ways when crossing the road?!

Also, yes, I can tell them after the fact not to do it again. But if it's one person after the other, telling them after they've basically already assualted me doesn't do me much good. Just ticks me off even more knowing that this is the umpteenth person I'm now having the same third grade conversation with.

The one girl who pinched me I actually lashed out at, and I grabbed her hand and sunk my nails into her flesh. You could tell it got serious for her really fast. It's amazing, when I start getting physical with people it's not as entertaining and funny.

Roger:

Have you ever heard the expression that we create our own reality? I would suggest group psychotherapy as a means of exploring the interpersonal reality that you seem to find yourself frequently in. Training in martial arts will not necessarily be the best venue to pursue change in, based on what you are describing.

Marc Abrams

genin
07-27-2011, 04:38 PM
Roger:

Have you ever heard the expression that we create our own reality? I would suggest group psychotherapy as a means of exploring the interpersonal reality that you seem to find yourself frequently in. Training in martial arts will not necessarily be the best venue to pursue change in, based on what you are describing.

Marc Abrams

Yeah, and I've also heard the saying "We teach others how to treat us." Since group therapy is slightly out of my budget, then I guess I'll have to start teaching others how I wish to be treated. I think after one or two Kote Gaeshi's, people will start treating me with a little more respect.

Marc Abrams
07-27-2011, 04:47 PM
Yeah, and I've also heard the saying "We teach others how to treat us." Since group therapy is slightly out of my budget, then I guess I'll have to start teaching others how I wish to be treated. I think after one or two Kote Gaeshi's, people will start treating me with a little more respect.

Roger:

Community mental health centers and a lot of therapist have affordable sliding scales. Your idea of trying to "teach" people with a kote gaeshi is dangerous to both yourself and to others. Your "plan" is likely to result in an altercation that would likely get you tossed from a dojo.

If I take your quote "We teach others how to treat us" and look at what you have been describing so far and what you propose to do, you will be a lot happier with yourself addressing these issues in a therapeutic environment. A dojo is a place to train civilly together as opposed to a place to act-out interpersonal issues.

Here is a good resource for you to start with:

http://www.agpa.org/need/index.html

If you would like, you can PM me and I can help you to find appropriate resources in your community.

Marc Abrams

genin
07-27-2011, 05:37 PM
Thanks Marc, but I've always beleived that therapy is for people who have more money than they do problems.

Btw, I don't train in a dojo. This stuff occurred at work and at home. What I said about putting people in wrist locks was mainly said in jest. I wouldn't actually do that to a woman over a minor problem. The point I was making is that if it came down to me having to actually physically show people what messing with me entails, bad things would happen.

I figured someone might attempt to identify why these people are doing this stuff. Like maybe the girl secretly "liked" me. Or maybe they have a habbit of doing that stuff to others and assumed it's okay to do on me too.

Marc Abrams
07-27-2011, 05:56 PM
Thanks Marc, but I've always beleived that therapy is for people who have more money than they do problems.

Btw, I don't train in a dojo. This stuff occurred at work and at home. What I said about putting people in wrist locks was mainly said in jest. I wouldn't actually do that to a woman over a minor problem. The point I was making is that if it came down to me having to actually physically show people what messing with me entails, bad things would happen.

I figured someone might attempt to identify why these people are doing this stuff. Like maybe the girl secretly "liked" me. Or maybe they have a habbit of doing that stuff to others and assumed it's okay to do on me too.

Roger:

Therapy is a place where people discover the courage within them to make meaningful changes in their lives. Your beliefs about therapy are simply wrong and contribute to the societal stigmas that make people ashamed to seek the help that they need.

Your point was a disaster waiting to happen. Physical altercations do not typically end up well and can result in people being killed.

You will have more success in trying to figure out what is going on with you that creates the atmosphere for people to do what they do, rather than trying to figure out the motives of other people. It is far easier to figure out yourself and change yourself rather than figuring out other people and changing them.

Marc Abrams

genin
07-27-2011, 06:09 PM
Roger:

Therapy is a place where people discover the courage within them to make meaningful changes in their lives. Your beliefs about therapy are simply wrong and contribute to the societal stigmas that make people ashamed to seek the help that they need.

Your point was a disaster waiting to happen. Physical altercations do not typically end up well and can result in people being killed.

You will have more success in trying to figure out what is going on with you that creates the atmosphere for people to do what they do, rather than trying to figure out the motives of other people. It is far easier to figure out yourself and change yourself rather than figuring out other people and changing them.

Marc Abrams

Not to be facetious, but what is the therapist going to tell me? "How does that make you feel Roger?" "Does that hurt your inner child?" The best a therapist could ever hope to do is find out something about me I already know, and then tell me how to fix it by doing something I already know I should be doing. I'm an introspective person and I know more about my faults than any therapist could ever learn about me. I know what I need to do to change, but like most, I am unwilling or unable to do it. Not that this has anything to do with why others don't adhere to social mores related to personal space.

Janet Rosen
07-27-2011, 06:26 PM
Btw, I don't train in a dojo.

You have chronic pain to the extent that you can't be slapped on the back and you don't train in a dojo, yet on another thread you are giving me s*** because you think your ability to train like a "regular student" would be hampered if a blind student showed up? I don't know if you are for real or a troll, but as of now I will not respond to your posts on any thread.

Shadowfax
07-27-2011, 09:19 PM
I used to have some major issues with personal space and people being too close or touching me. I still have them but to a much lesser extent. I just keep working on being ok with being touched. I really had to come to terms with the reasons I have these issues, even to the point of discussing them with my sensei. Since aikido is a very intimate art it has pretty much forced me to confront and deal with my discomfort. This in a safe environment where I knew things would be under control.

It does not hurt that the more I train the more I come to be aware that I can defend myself if I need to so I feel less like I need to be on the defense all the time.

Roger trust me when I tell you this. It is you that you need to confront and deal with not these other people. Counseling is not a bad idea. Training can help. Look up the articles on this website I have found them immensely helpful.
http://being-in-movement.com/articles.htm

Mary Eastland
07-27-2011, 09:29 PM
I know it is beating a dead horse but I will say it anyway. Women are not girls.

lbb
07-28-2011, 07:48 AM
Not to be facetious, but what is the therapist going to tell me? "How does that make you feel Roger?" "Does that hurt your inner child?" The best a therapist could ever hope to do is find out something about me I already know, and then tell me how to fix it by doing something I already know I should be doing. I'm an introspective person and I know more about my faults than any therapist could ever learn about me. I know what I need to do to change, but like most, I am unwilling or unable to do it. Not that this has anything to do with why others don't adhere to social mores related to personal space.

Mm. Well, you know, if you are convinced that something won't work, it won't. Someone who is so convinced will find ways to sabotage a perfectly functional solution, just because solving the problem that way (or any way) doesn't conform to their view of reality. As a wise woman (who, imagine this, was a therapist) once said to me, "Do you want to be happy, or do you want to be right?" Everyone wants to be confirmed in their view of the world, because that's what we're used to and we always feel more comfortable in a familiar place...but we need to ask ourselves if this momentary "don't ask me to change" comfort is the way to lasting happiness. Aikido gives us a lot of metaphors about staying with your center, but what if your center is located in a bad place?

The other thing about being unable and unwilling to change...as I said, that's human nature. But reality moves whether you move with it or not. You can say "I can't" or "I won't" to change, but then circumstances force change upon you. "I can't" take the bus to work; then your car dies and you can't afford to replace it. "I won't" eat rice and beans; then you can't afford anything else. Choices that you find unacceptable or impossible now, may be forced on you in the future. If you feel like you're being pushed to change, and so far you're successfully resisting, it's always worth asking yourself if you'll always be able to maintain the status quo. If it looks like the answer is no, it seems like changing gracefully, by your own choice and at least somewhat on your terms, rather than going kicking and screaming.

None of this has anything particularly to do with this situation of being touched, btw. I have no idea what's up with that, but...it's weird. The only thing I can think to do in such a situation is to look at the whole incident and ask myself, "What just happened here?"

genin
07-28-2011, 08:21 AM
You have chronic pain to the extent that you can't be slapped on the back and you don't train in a dojo, yet on another thread you are giving me s*** because you think your ability to train like a "regular student" would be hampered if a blind student showed up? I don't know if you are for real or a troll, but as of now I will not respond to your posts on any thread.

I never said I was worried about "MY" ability to train hard. You are projecting that onto me for whatever reason. I merely stated that a blind student could impede a non-blind student in the dojo. Also, I have trained in martial arts for over a 20 year period, inside and outside of the dojo, if you must know.

I thought about something I could do about the women touching me. I could immediately do to them exactly what they do to me. Lady hits me on the back, I turn around and walk behind her and slap her on the back and go "HI LADY!" Girl pinches my cheek, I turn around and grab her face and squeeze with all my might. I've found that the faster a negative result occurs, the more apt people will be to avoid it.

Mark Gibbons
07-28-2011, 08:30 AM
As long as you are ok with unemployment. Go for it.

hughrbeyer
07-28-2011, 08:37 AM
Because it's way too hard to say, "Would you not do that? I don't like it."

Narda
07-28-2011, 09:25 AM
Sorry, but this is workplace harrassment...whether the women understand it or not. Your Human Resources department needs to get with the times, and be proactive in educating the workforce.

lbb
07-28-2011, 09:29 AM
I
I thought about something I could do about the women touching me. I could immediately do to them exactly what they do to me. Lady hits me on the back, I turn around and walk behind her and slap her on the back and go "HI LADY!" Girl pinches my cheek, I turn around and grab her face and squeeze with all my might. I've found that the faster a negative result occurs, the more apt people will be to avoid it.

I can't imagine a good outcome from that. Even when someone else has failed to act with restraint, or has violated boundaries, an adult is expected to modulate his/her response, not engage in a childish form of retaliation (which, it seems to me, is how this is almost certain to be viewed). Maybe the best thing to do is ask yourself what outcome you want for the situation, and then evaluate your possible responses by questioning whether they bring you closer to that desired outcome, or take you further away from it.

genin
07-28-2011, 09:57 AM
I can't imagine a good outcome from that. Even when someone else has failed to act with restraint, or has violated boundaries, an adult is expected to modulate his/her response, not engage in a childish form of retaliation (which, it seems to me, is how this is almost certain to be viewed). Maybe the best thing to do is ask yourself what outcome you want for the situation, and then evaluate your possible responses by questioning whether they bring you closer to that desired outcome, or take you further away from it.

That's a sensible thing to do, sure. This whole thing reminds me of road rage incidents. You can't prevent people from driving stupid or road raging you, but sometimes you have to make a stand when you are violated or threatened. I knew chasing down the guy who cut me off and confronting him in a parking lot was not going to have a beneficial outcome, but I still chose to do that because I felt he needed the lesson. Sometimes, you just have to pick a person and make an example of them, otherwise one person after the next will continue to victimize you.

lbb
07-28-2011, 10:30 AM
Sometimes, you just have to pick a person and make an example of them, otherwise one person after the next will continue to victimize you.

Heh, that's silly. They're not all part of some conspiracy, are they? One guy cuts you off on the road, and at the next gas station he stops to fill up, and says to the person at the next pump, "Hey, that guy in the blue Honda, license plate KICK-ME, you want to go right out and victimize him because he won't do anything" -- is that how it works? Or maybe you believe that your friends and co-workers all get together and say, "Hey, listen, go out of your way to touch Roger, he's got personal space issues and he really hates it and it's so much fun to wind him up!" Do you honestly believe that that is going on? Isn't it much more likely that you're simply getting your signals crossed with these people, and that if you were to communicate to them in a straightforward, clear, non-confrontational way, that they would honor your wishes?

Any time I hear someone talk about how they "just have to" follow some course of action -- particularly when that course of action involves confrontation, violence, or any behavior that could harm others and/or land you in a world of shit -- that sets off the alarm bells. Little children believe that they "have to" retaliate to every perceived slight. Adults need to get beyond that, if for no other reason than that we face more serious consequences for our lack of restraint. If a child is bumped into while standing in line in kindergarten, and the child retaliates by shoving the other child so hard that he/she falls down, the child may get a scolding, but that's about it. If an adult behaves in the same way, the adult is going to be in serious trouble.

Fred Little
07-28-2011, 10:36 AM
It seems to me that there's an uncanny similarity between the writing style of "genin" and the writing style of a poster some time back who wanted to teach children wrist locks to help them deal with their anger issues. But maybe that's just me.

FL

genin
07-28-2011, 10:39 AM
Heh, that's silly. They're not all part of some conspiracy, are they? One guy cuts you off on the road, and at the next gas station he stops to fill up, and says to the person at the next pump, "Hey, that guy in the blue Honda, license plate KICK-ME, you want to go right out and victimize him because he won't do anything" -- is that how it works? Or maybe you believe that your friends and co-workers all get together and say, "Hey, listen, go out of your way to touch Roger, he's got personal space issues and he really hates it and it's so much fun to wind him up!" Do you honestly believe that that is going on? Isn't it much more likely that you're simply getting your signals crossed with these people, and that if you were to communicate to them in a straightforward, clear, non-confrontational way, that they would honor your wishes?

Any time I hear someone talk about how they "just have to" follow some course of action -- particularly when that course of action involves confrontation, violence, or any behavior that could harm others and/or land you in a world of shit -- that sets off the alarm bells. Little children believe that they "have to" retaliate to every perceived slight. Adults need to get beyond that, if for no other reason than that we face more serious consequences for our lack of restraint. If a child is bumped into while standing in line in kindergarten, and the child retaliates by shoving the other child so hard that he/she falls down, the child may get a scolding, but that's about it. If an adult behaves in the same way, the adult is going to be in serious trouble.

It's a good point about overreacting. And no, I don't think there is a conspiracy. But what I'm saying is that you can ignore this stuff and continue to be stepped on, or you can stand up for yourself. Sometimes sticking up for yourself isn't about physically defending yourself, but it's a matter of protecting your pride and dignity. I suppose drawing attention to this issue might prevent people from doing this to others. Because obviously if it is happening that much to me, it happens to others as well.

Marc Abrams
07-28-2011, 10:54 AM
It seems to me that there's an uncanny similarity between the writing style of "genin" and the writing style of a poster some time back who wanted to teach children wrist locks to help them deal with their anger issues. But maybe that's just me.

FL

Fred:

I just pm'ed somebody pondering the possibility of this being the re-incarnation of Buck. What do you think? Maybe we should all just walk away from the crash site and stop gawking.....

Marc Abrams

genin
07-28-2011, 11:12 AM
Fred:

I just pm'ed somebody pondering the possibility of this being the re-incarnation of Buck. What do you think? Maybe we should all just walk away from the crash site and stop gawking.....

Marc Abrams

I'm not Buck or any reincarnation of any former poster here. I've been reincarnated on other forums before, and I've seen how people react to those suspicions and the ensuing witchhunts, and I'll just pre-empt you and let you know none of that applies in this case.

phitruong
07-28-2011, 11:29 AM
question, are these lady latino? latino is a touching, slapping culture. just want to know some of the cultural context.

genin
07-28-2011, 11:43 AM
question, are these lady latino? latino is a touching, slapping culture. just want to know some of the cultural context.

Black, white, and latina, interestingly enough.

Basia Halliop
07-28-2011, 11:45 AM
That's the problem I have. It's hard for me to politely tell a grown adult something that even a school kid should know. I recal in fifth grade the teacher always saying "Keep your hands to yourselves!" What next, are these women going to forget to look both ways when crossing the road?!

The thing is, 'keep your hands to yourself' is an artificial rule made up by adults in schools to make it easier to control groups of other people's kids... it's not really a general rule of society.

In real life when interacting with others, adults touch each other all the time, for all kinds of different reasons and in all different ways and contexts. Some ways can be disrespectful, other ways can be very friendly and are common and appropriate in the right context.

Of course anyone has the right to say 'no thanks' to people touching them, but it's often something people normally do all the time to each other without thinking much of it. So IMO it might help to consider different things that each of these people might actually mean by their touching.

They may be doing it to annoy you or you may both be misunderstanding each other and they may mean it in a more friendly playful way.

Either way, talking to them or to someone else at work about it calmly is more likely to help (and to keep things from getting worse or losing you your job) than retaliating.

James Davis
07-28-2011, 11:46 AM
If somebody is an honest threat to your life or well being then, by all means, do what you have to do to get home alive.

Pinches are not life threatening, and escalating to a wrist lock for the purpose of "teaching them a lesson" is just plain silly. It sounds like someone in the workplace needs to have some self control and behave like an adult; if they can't, then you should.

Imagine standing in front of a judge and explaining your actions after chasing down someone that cut you off and confronting them in a parking lot, or applying a painful wrist lock or sinking your fingernails into their flesh after someone slaps you on the back.

Will your actions sound reasonable?

Basia Halliop
07-28-2011, 11:54 AM
Regarding therapy, there are different kinds of therapists with different kinds of approaches.

Some are more practically oriented and might be able to help you learn strategies or tricks or things to do or say in different situations.

lbb
07-28-2011, 11:58 AM
It's a good point about overreacting. And no, I don't think there is a conspiracy. But what I'm saying is that you can ignore this stuff and continue to be stepped on, or you can stand up for yourself.

But you're not making any distinction here between who's "stepping on" you. It sounds like to you, it's all one big "they", and the "they" who stepped on you this morning is the same "they" who stepped on you this afternoon. You need to understand that "they" are not all one person; if you don't, that sounds like a serious mental illness.

And, since "they" are different people, it doesn't make sense to believe that your history with one person somehow determines your future interactions with a different person. Therefore, if you ignore one instance of being "stepped on" by one person, how can that possibly affect how a different person treats you in the future? It makes no sens

Sometimes sticking up for yourself isn't about physically defending yourself, but it's a matter of protecting your pride and dignity. I suppose drawing attention to this issue might prevent people from doing this to others. Because obviously if it is happening that much to me, it happens to others as well.

It may be happening to others, or it may not be. Even in the same situation, two people can experience different things. What's more important, we have choices in the matter. There are ways that you can make your mind more flexible, more resilient, less irritable, less susceptible to being annoyed by a situation or perceiving it as a threat.

I work for a company that is located in downtown Boston. This means that I experience some of the most frustrating traffic in North America on a regular basis. In addition, I put up with a very overcrowded public transit system that's prone to breaking down, sidewalks that have too many people on them, and weather that is frequently miserable. And that's just getting to work! Now, I don't mention that situation as a way of saying, "Look at me and my saintly patience." I use it as an example of a really annoying situation where I, and the other people who are in the situation with me, simply cannot afford to fly off the handle. Lashing out will only make the situation worse, possibly dangerously so. But there are other choices besides either lashing out or quietly fuming. Having a sense of humor about the situation helps. Understanding that you're not all that special helps, too. Look around at the other people in the traffic jam or the un-air-conditioned bus or the broken down subway car and remind yourself that they don't want to be here either...that they also have places to be, just as urgently as you do...that you're all in it together and nobody's having any fun. I'll tell you what makes it worse, is when you have people in the car who have no patience with the situation and who start whining: "Oh, this is intolerable, it's SO crowded, I can't BELIEVE this..." It makes the situation harder on themselves and on everyone around them.

genin
07-28-2011, 12:41 PM
Let's talk about appropriate touching between adults then. A good example is proper handshaking. I can't tell you how many men have shaken my hand and either grabed me by the fingers (which is wrong), or just plain squeezed way too hard (also wrong). People talk about a "firm handshake", but it's not necessary to constrict the bones in someones hand when shaking it. That's great that some guy wants to show off by gripping my hand with all his might, but again, if I put all my might into kote gaeshi'ing his hand it wouldn't seem as cool to him I'm sure.

I suppose at this point it's not as much about finding a way for me to rectify or prevent this from happening. Instead, it's about identifying this behavior and discussing why it occurs. That's more interesting of a topic than simply telling people to "knock it off", which is the obvious thing I should be doing.

Basia Halliop
07-28-2011, 01:55 PM
I don't believe there are many universal 'rules' about something like handshakes, that cross cultures and that everyone basically agrees on.

These things vary enormously depending on what country you came from, where you grew up, what kind of jobs you've had or people you've hung around with.

sakumeikan
07-29-2011, 12:20 AM
Let's talk about appropriate touching between adults then. A good example is proper handshaking. I can't tell you how many men have shaken my hand and either grabed me by the fingers (which is wrong), or just plain squeezed way too hard (also wrong). People talk about a "firm handshake", but it's not necessary to constrict the bones in someones hand when shaking it. That's great that some guy wants to show off by gripping my hand with all his might, but again, if I put all my might into kote gaeshi'ing his hand it wouldn't seem as cool to him I'm sure.

I suppose at this point it's not as much about finding a way for me to rectify or prevent this from happening. Instead, it's about identifying this behavior and discussing why it occurs. That's more interesting of a topic than simply telling people to "knock it off", which is the obvious thing I should be doing.
Roger,
Where do you hang out ?Guys crushing your hand?I just cannot believe anybody would have any problems this issue.Are you mates with King Kong /Arnold S Sylvester Stallone?As for you doing Kote Gaeshi on 'these guys with the strong finger crushing handshake' the mind boggles.
Roger, why not stay indoors at home and avoid contact with anyone? I am beginning to think your just pulling our leg with this topic.
Cheers

genin
07-29-2011, 08:05 AM
Roger,
Where do you hang out ?Guys crushing your hand?I just cannot believe anybody would have any problems this issue.Are you mates with King Kong /Arnold S Sylvester Stallone?As for you doing Kote Gaeshi on 'these guys with the strong finger crushing handshake' the mind boggles.
Roger, why not stay indoors at home and avoid contact with anyone? I am beginning to think your just pulling our leg with this topic.
Cheers

It's a figure of speech, man. I think you over-embelished it way more than I did. Maybe you don't shake people's hands or something, I dunno. But I think most guys have either come across the blow-hard-type aggressive hand-squeezer, or they are one themselves.

Diana Frese
07-29-2011, 08:09 AM
I just looked through the posts quickly and feel that it is a valid topic. Briefly, I don't think you should do anything physical about the situation while at the workplace. There are things you could say, and it would be worth it to evaluate options suggested by others and those you think of yourself. I wouldn't recommend anything that would be confrontational, super-cool but not sarcastic would be best, in my opinion, if you can manage it, I'm not sure I could.

I'm posting at this point because one of my teachers, for a fairly short period of time, though was the late Terry Dobson when he was teaching in New York. He taught seminars on conflict resolution and they often were taught in a workplace setting, for people who had no experience in martial arts.

Anyway, I will reread the posts with interest, and my thanks to everyone for their sincere opinions.

Helle Buvik
07-29-2011, 03:45 PM
I suppose at this point it's not as much about finding a way for me to rectify or prevent this from happening. Instead, it's about identifying this behavior and discussing why it occurs. That's more interesting of a topic than simply telling people to "knock it off", which is the obvious thing I should be doing.

After reading this thread it seems to me (and I may be entierly mistaken if so feel free to ignore me) that you consider all or most of physical contact (outsides a very close personal relationship) to be unwanted or unwarranted. and I belive that this may be what colours your view on the contact that happens. If you strongly dislike something, then your brain will tell you that THAT thing is worse than it really is.
An example, I dont like children being noisy around me, so if a child is crying or chatty when I'm unable/unwilling to leave the area say, on a buss or plane, I'll get irrtated. the more irritated I am the more i focus on the kid and the louder I will Percivethe chatter as. the key words being my perception.
As it seems to be with you and touching. An unwanted touch that would not really be all that "hard/painfull" if it didnt happen to you as a rude suprice, is percived as painfull and threatening, more because it's unwanted, and a suprice, than because it's actualy painfull or damageing to you physicaly. The way to deal with this is for you to work with yourself and your own reactions to other people.
The world will always seem to prove what we belive in. If I belive all children are noisy brats, I'll notice the loud kids more, and never notice the polite and quiet and happy kids that dont annoy me. and so I'll feel justified in my belief. Just like you seem to feel justified in your belief that there is some sinister/disrespectfull reason people touch you. or even that "People touch me ALL the time! GRRRRR! must make them all stop! now!" (wich is how you come off to me here).
to make it stop? Stop leting it get to you. People are not nessesarily trying to victimise you or walk all over you and disrespect you. And when you can talk about it calmly, tell everyone that touch you that "it make you uncomfertable, so please dont touch."
If you tell people they are disrespectfull twits for touching you, then the problem is in THEM and they become defensive and start defending their actions and even their RIGHT to their actions. Justification.
if you tell people that they make YOU uncomfertable, in a way that make the weakness/problem YOURS, 99% of all people (atleast of those I've met) will try to accomodate you. they may seem supriced or confused, or even find it utterly silly and weak of you to be that way, BUT they will try to remeber to not touch you again. And they will, since they see it as YOUR problem and not as personal critisism, try to help out rather than feel atacked/victimized in turn.

Good luck in solving the problem you have (weter it is with being touched, or other people being inconsiderate idiots, or any combination of those two)

Helle

genin
07-29-2011, 05:40 PM
It gets more interesting. The one girl I was about to warn, all of a sudden put a printout on her desk yesterday of "Ok" and "Not Ok" ways to touch people. Apparently she is tired of people coming up and touching her while she's sitting at her desk. I'd previously witnessed another girl scratch her on the back as she walked by, which apparently caused her a lot of pain. She called the girl out and made a big deal of it at the time....then of course turned around and did the same crap to me. Go figure.

Another woman next to me had a coworker walk up to her today and start getting handsy with her, touching all over her back as he asked a question. The woman is not attractive and he is a married man, so it's not a sexual thing at all.This brings us back to my original issue...

I believe some posters have already shed some insight into why this occurs. There are some people who have different notions of what appropriate touch is. I'm sure parents with lots of kids and big families are probably more comfortable touching people. I live alone, and rarely do I ever get touched by others except when training. Helle Buvik is right, some people are just overly-sensitive to personal space invasions, whereas others are seem to be desensitized to it.

lbb
07-30-2011, 05:51 AM
It gets more interesting. The one girl I was about to warn, all of a sudden put a printout on her desk yesterday of "Ok" and "Not Ok" ways to touch people. Apparently she is tired of people coming up and touching her while she's sitting at her desk. I'd previously witnessed another girl scratch her on the back as she walked by, which apparently caused her a lot of pain. She called the girl out and made a big deal of it at the time....then of course turned around and did the same crap to me. Go figure.

I guess if other people violate your boundaries (and particularly if they do it persistently), it's going to mess with your sense of what appropriate boundaries are...which may explain the behavior somewhat.

Helle Buvik is right, some people are just overly-sensitive to personal space invasions, whereas others are seem to be desensitized to it.

Yes, although I'm hesitant to use the term "overly sensitive" -- it feels a little judgmental, like there's a right amount of sensitivity and a wrong amount of sensitivity. I feel like it's more accurate to say that someone's level of sensitivity may cause problems for them in a given situation -- if (as in Helle's example) you are very sensitive to noisy kids, you're going to be miserable if you get stuck on a bus with a crying child. You can get off the bus and walk, but in the long term, you can't entirely avoid all situations where a child is making noise, so you'll be better off if you can decrease the extent to which the situation irritates you.

Pema Chodron has an audiobook series "Don't Bite the Hook" on the teachings of Shantideva, on how to develop resilience and comfort and a sense of humor in situations that irritate us. There are snippets on Youtube -- this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buTrsK_ZkvA) made me laugh and intrigued me enough that I got the CDs. It is a very helpful teaching for how you can learn to stay comfortable in uncomfortable situations. The neat part is that it doesn't involve changing yourself in a "grit your teeth and bear it" or "suck it up" kind of way -- it's a way of genuinely expanding your comfort zone. Highly recommended.

genin
08-02-2011, 11:06 AM
How would a person expand their comfort zone to include being struck in an injured part of their body? Perhaps it is enough to simply remove the emotional hooks that attach us to painful situations.