Physical touch is a very personal concept. Coming into contact with another person can trigger memories of real enjoyment or deep sorrow. If you have been raised in a loving environment, you may respond well to physical touch. However, if you have ever suffered any form of abuse, you may be repulsed by it.
Today, there are many people who deal with a genuine fear of being touched by another person. A personal touch can make them feel very uncomfortable, it may cause their body to tense up, and they may feel like they are unable to breathe. For them, it is a very horrible experience to endure.
How can we help? One of the best ways we can help them is by intentionally creating a safe space. People who are overwhelmed with physical touch need appropriate care. Creating safe environments allows them more time to initiate appropriate responses. When you give a person time and space to respond, you give them back their personal freedom.
How To Create A Safe Space:
- Let them set the boundaries of your relationship. Remember, it takes time and courage to build trust again. If they see that you are a safe and reliable person, they may choose to build a relationship with you.
- Give them the freedom to initiate or avoid personal contact with you. Sometimes negative memories of abuse come to the surface. When this happens, they may feel overwhelmed. The best thing you can do for them is to give them personal space and time to recuperate.
- Let them always initiate any physical contact. Remember, physical contact represents the core of their abuse, and it may trigger violent outbursts. You need to let them lead you in what is appropriate for physical touch.
- Be considerate of their feelings. They need to know that you will listen to and respect their feelings, regardless of your own opinion.
- Be gentle, kind, and loving in your responses. Your own tone of voice and your own appropriate actions can set the mood for building a lasting relationship.
- Always approach them face to face. It helps them to read the expression of your face, and the gestures in your body. This can reassure them that you intend them no harm, and you desire their greatest good.
Creating a safe space is essential for anyone who has been harmed by physical abuse. When a person feels safe and secure, they feel free to live and move, as their heart desires. They can begin to learn again, that not all touch is harmful. As a person is set free from harm, they may learn to trust again. As they trust again, they may one day be open to the loving touch, which can restore their soul.
For those who struggle with receiving physical touch, I ask you to create safe spaces for them. Bring healing to their wounds, comfort them in their sorrow, and surround them with your peace. Show them how to be, bring in your love to remove any fear, and help them to meet people who are safe to be around. Thank you, Lord Jesus.