Whether it’s a bear hug, massage, kiss, wrestling match, or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, Physical Touch people want a skin-to-skin connection (or as close as possible). When you’re giving to a Physical Toucher, you’re going to have to get close one way or the other. Intimacy and connection are maintained by physical proximity.
Kids want to hold hands or sit on your lap. Spouses want a kiss hello, good-bye, and for no reason at all. Friends want regular hugs. Buddies don’t mind sweating on each other. Physical Touchers need body access every day but especially when they’re going through hard times. A card or a casserole isn’t going to do the job. They need you to show up and put your arm around them or hold them while they cry.
Distance, isolation, and quarantining are hugely detrimental to emotional wellness, especially for Physical Touchers. When distance is unavoidable, you must find suitable substitutes for physical touch and keep the time alone as minimal as possible.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Suggestions for giving love to Physical Touchers:
Hug, high-five, shake hands, jostle - physical touch doesn’t have to be sexual.
Plan regular visits when you’re apart.
Touch Physical Touch children regularly and appropriately.
Engage in sports, manual labor, exercise, and physical wellness with them.
Give them a massage, spa days, manicures, haircuts, or other body activities to regenerate them.
Help them establish physical boundaries with other people.
Give them a pet or encourage them to get one.
Cautions for giving love to Physical Touchers:
Don’t underestimate the importance of physical boundaries for maintaining physical or sexual safety. Establish your own and help them establish theirs.
Help them understand if/when you feel uncomfortable with physical touch.
Never use touch to correct, punish, or intimidate.
Give love freely to everyone in a way they can accept it most easily. Love as Christ loves you. Love others better than yourself. This is God’s will for all of us.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere.” Romans 12:6-9