I met a colleague recently for the first time. He is at a senior position and wanted to discuss some things about the work I do. In the conversation he would now and then touch my back. I feel it’s weird. I am not sure if he is being polite and friendly or just a pervert. I have never met him before and some of the conversation does seem genuine, but it feels like he is repeating the conversation off late.
Do guys get touched too on their backs?
How do other women give clear and polite signals not to be touched?
- Microsoft / EngwerpAderpSing the don’t touch me there song. Or just be straight up and say you’d prefer he doesn’t touch you...
- Amazon / EngGHskannYou should already know the answer. Asking here is asinine. Go figure it out yourself and stop relying on others to create basic boundaries for you.
Also you overvalue politeness and agreeableness. Sometimes you need to say the truth even if it’s rude or not socially erect. Just tell him not to touch your back. Jesus Christ. It’s so simple. You can’t really be this helpless, so stop acting like it. Decide how you feel and what you want, and then enforce it. You’re not a child.
- Bring up your fictitious boyfriend a lot in the conversation. If he's half decent he should stop. Or flinch a bit.
- Apple / EngOxKingmoreFrom my experience guys will tap other guys more frequently than they would for a typical woman. Also, in most cases it’s in a somewhat aggressive way.
Now women on the other hand tend to tap men and or women on the back lightly when there is a bond (friend,significant other) or when they want to establish a bond with someone that they like or feel comfortable with.
If a man in a senior position is inviting you to a private meeting and touching you on your back he definitely likes you and may have romantic interest in you. It seems like he doesn’t know you are creeped out and wants to see if you will reciprocate (touch on back, wrist, arm, etc).
If you are truly repulsed by him I suggest you not hang out with him privately. If you still want his advice due to his seniority I suggest you keep steer your conversations towards areas that have a large concentration of coworkers. If he is truly trying to hit on you he won’t have the balls to do it in the presence of coworkers.
- Microsoft D@reI don’t like to be touched by people and luckily most people don’t. Once in a while I see these people who touch my back while talking, some I don’t feel very uncomfortable depending on who it is. I had a very good manager who used to do this and I told him one day how I hated it when anyone touched me. I said it at a time he wasn’t touching so it was not uncomfortable and he never did it after that. I had another guy I hated who continued to do it and I shouted at him once and asked him to stop. I don’t like touching others either, I feel really weird when anyone comes close to me. The time you really can’t do anything is when you are taking a group photo.
- New OOOOBERI had a coworker (male FWIW) who didn't like being touched AT ALL. He told me so when I lightly tapped his shoulder once to get his attention. I respected this, and avoided touching him in the future. We worked well together and continue to be friends. It's ok to tell people that you don't like being touched for ANY reason, and you don't need to provide the reason.
- Facebook TioViejoA clap on the back or shoulder in congratulations is common between men. This translates to a half-hug between men and women. (Some affirmation goes with it while you do that, like I'm so happy for you, etc.). At work with men it's really no different, with women/men I just lean in instead and affirm instead, unless it's someone I know very closely.