Love Languages at Work

I learned that there are 5 different ways that people best express and receive love. Words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and touch. When I thought about the workplace I realized that most of these are acceptable. Except for touch. Even thinking about it causes me to feel uncomfortable like I’ve done something wrong. Shaking hands is okay, but touch is taboo unless in specific professions. It’s a touchy thing and risky - heh. Now I feel afraid to touch anyone. In the past I’ve met dates where the person seems like a tactile communicator, which is so lovely at first. Then it turns out there’s been a miscommunication and that reassuring squeeze on the shoulder or gentle tap on the elbow to interject a thought into the conversation was interpreted as - let’s get more intimate. Whoa whoa whoa! I thought we were just talking here. Maybe I’m touch illiterate, we each have different touch languages or touch doesn’t belong at work after all.

5 Comments

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Creepy

Dec 10, 2019 at 10:57pm

Extremely creepy. Just do your f'ing job. Stop obsessing about touching people at work.

8 6Rating: +2

No, not at work

Dec 11, 2019 at 9:06am

There is no "reassuring squeeze on the shoulder" at work. You say you are afraid to touch anyone now. Good, it's not common workplace behaviour, it's reserved for friends and family. But it sounds like something you do in general, based on *your* take of how the other person might respond. But you don't know.
Recently, someone at work walked past me and put both hands on my shoulders, gave me a massage like squeeze in passing. It felt crawly, but I didn't say anything at the time, it was a first. I am a outwardly friendly person, so it may have been an assumption that that meant OK to be physical. Nope. You don't know.

5 7Rating: -2

Our culture is cuckoo

Dec 11, 2019 at 11:58am

People perceiving a little shoulder squeeze or elbow tap as a sexual advance are deranged.

10 5Rating: +5

Not just touch

Dec 11, 2019 at 12:36pm

Love doesn't belong at work. Because if it happens - despite your best efforts to resist it - work becomes a place you either crave or dread to go...and not because of the work. So, no, touch shouldn't happen at work. And if love happens, unless you are remarkably mature and in an industry that tolerates such a thing, one of you must go.

7 6Rating: +1

@creepy

Dec 12, 2019 at 3:58pm

I wonder if it’s more of an observation than an obsession. Especially in a time of year where appreciating those who work around us is commonly expressed. Sending cards with words of appreciation, giving gifts of baked items, Christmas parties or other quality time events, helping a coworker with a project they’re struggling with as an act of service or even just holding a door open. These are all caring gestures that seem the norm. I’ve seen some workplaces where people hug, give high fives or shake hands and others where none of those things happen.

8 3Rating: +5

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