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“What’s in a touch?” one may ask. I came across an article on ‘psyblog’ ( read it here) that seemed to convey, “what is NOT in a touch?” The potency of touch as a means of communication is often underestimated. We often use ‘conversation’ or ‘talking’ and ‘communication’ synonymously, even while we surely have read about facial expressions and body language as being more powerful than spoken content while in interaction. Going one step ahead, body language immediately brings to our mind elements of body posture such as slouching, stooping, standing upright, having hands folded etc. Well, what we miss out on, possibly due to cultural norms, is that body language also involves touch.

The article covers briefly a series of researches on the psychological effects of non-sexual touch. Internal links open up more details on research work. I was fascinated to read about all that a touch can bring about. These effects could work through mechanisms we may not be aware of. Think of the times when you have felt an almost sudden change in your decision about a request, liking for a person or just in your general feeling tone and have been wondering simply what made you feel like that….

Chances are, it could be a touch by the opposite person.

Let’s do a warm-up first. What all do you think a touch can convey? Perhaps affection, anger, hatred, love, care, tenderness and power… time we added to that list. We sure do have a lot of power in our hands, literally!!

Disclaimer: Do read the ‘boring disclaimer’ in the article

Post contributed by: Malini Krishnan (Psychologist, Inner Space, 2010-Present)

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