I go to events, I network, I meet people. Why must some folks feel the need to touch me when they first meet me? I am not talking about shaking hands, handing me a business card, or stepping on my toe. I am talking about a complete stranger, in the course of a few minutes of trying to explain what they do, who feels the need to put their hand on either my arm or my back.
As I sat back and pondered why this might be happening, I noticed that it is primarily men that do this. Why is that? Do these individuals touch everyone? Do they only touch certain people? Maybe it’s because I am tall and tower over them? Perhaps they feel the need to reassure themselves that I am still there? Do they think I am the Easter Bunny? It is one of the great mysteries of my life. Does anyone else experience this?
I will never forget an event I went to where I was cornered by two gentlemen I will refer to as Frick and Frack. I could see these guys coming a mile away and I knew they were going to be trouble. They started in on the “hard sell” and I felt like a ping-pong ball that was being battered back and forth. Then the touching started. Frick put his hand on my arm. After several times, he then put his hand on my lower back. I gave him “the look.” He pulled his hand away but never stopped talking. When he did it again, I snapped. I had enough. I said, “Frick, don’t touch me, I would hate to see you lose your hand.” Oddly enough, that seemed to work. And surprisingly, that got him to stop talking. It was quiet and peaceful again.
So if you ever run into me at an event, for the love of God, please don’t touch me!
Do you find yourself in awkward situations at networking or work-related events?