Responding to Inapropiate Touch, Your fitness/yoga instructor likes to get a little too handsy /touchy-feely. How to handle it without risking to lose your membership or make uncomfortable other attendees?

  • Responding to Inapropiate Touch, Your fitness/yoga instructor likes to get a little too handsy /touchy-feely. How to handle it without risking to lose your membership or make uncomfortable other attendees?

 The Chicago Tribune asked for my insights as a body language expert. Here’s the link, ladies! It was a treat working with you and I added the links to your websites in your bio as well!
Below that are my more detailed comments. 

There is vast scientific knowledge and data from researchers around the world that proves that positive touch makes us better communicators, better friends, and better people. Human Touch is vital to our physical and emotional development and to our overall sense of health and well-being. But, touch that we don’t want, touch that makes us uncomfortable even it its well-intentioned is another thing all together. How do we say, “Stop!” to something others may see as such a warm and wonderful thing? By saying simply what’s true for you and requesting what you would like and ideally getting agreement that the toucher understands. “I notice that you are a very touchy huggy person” “I am not that way, I am uncomfortable with that, you know everyone is different. So could you please honor my need for space?” (Making eye contact and getting nonverbal and or verbal agreement.” Then if you wish say. “I appreciate it.” I suggest a question and a response from the person to act a promise/contract. This is a soft request. Use a clear even strong tone. Not accusatory but not soft and pleading.  If someone has been inappropriate or creepy I would suggest a stronger message and that you do this in the presence of others who know what has happened and have your back. Years of research on touch and giving workshops on sexual harassment have taught me that many people don’t know that their touch bothers others people, they just don’t get it. And when it is made clear they stop. Oddly, the true bully harassers often stop too if there told and or if they are given clear consequences.. Women, who research shows understand nonverbal communication more effetely than men think that their nonverbal message of discomfort should be enough. Sometimes, they may think a tight smile or an awkward laugh or freezing in place or pulling away from touch is enough, But, not everybody can read the signals clearly.  Women sometimes, want to much to being nice. They don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable, even the very person that doesn’t seem to be seeing their discomfort the person who is not sensitive to their feelings. So you need to bring the message from the complex emotional nonverbal world to clear logical neocortex words and say it out loud and clear. “Stop!”
(By the way you gym membership is not as important as your personal safety and comfort and if you saying what you want and need to feel safe bothers other people, they are not the people you should be around.”






Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.
     
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.
     

The "Not Face"

So how often do you use a "Not Face?"
This is my year of saying "Yes!" So I think I also need to be aware of not giving a "Not Face."
Researchers have identified a single, universal facial expression that is interpreted across many cultures as the embodiment of negative emotion. The look proved…
www.sciencedaily.com
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas…/2016/…/160328084915.htm
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.