Author Topic: Please don't tickle me  (Read 6885 times)

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Last_Dance

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Please don't tickle me
« on: January 07, 2013, 06:00:39 AM »
This has (thankfully) become a moot point in the last years, but I'd still like some advice

I am horribly ticklish.
A light tickle is enough to keep me laughing for several minutes, unable to stop. If people tickle me hard enough, I lose control of my limbs and collapse in a giggling heap. It got so bad my body eventually started equating tickling with a physical attack and my "losing control of my limbs" turned into "lashing out": I'd wave my arms and kick, laughing hysterically all the while.

From kindergarten to high school, my various classmates used to find my reactions hilarious - until they got in the way of my arms or legs and got hit, at which point they'd go all "gee, it was just tickling, no need to be so violent!" as if I had done it on purpose. This would stop them, though only for a while: sooner or later they'd be back at it.

Tickling ambushes haven't happened in years, so now I can be tickled without automatically lashing out - however, I don't like being tickled. When somebody discovers how ticklish I am, I just say: "Yes, I'm extremely ticklish. I find it very annoying, so please don't do it" 

Unfortunately, the world is full of people who take "please don't do X" as an invitation to continue.
What should I do if I run into them?
Is there some way to make them stop before they re-awaken my "tickling = attack, must defend self" instincts and get kicked? 
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 06:05:42 AM »
Tickling is not always positive, it can be used as abuse or even torture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tickling#Tickling_as_physical_abuse

What they are doing is not ok, and let them know this.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 06:47:04 AM »
I would let them know once politely. If they attempted to tickle me after that, I would act as if it were any other form of abuse. Use a loud voice. Put your hands up defensively. Move away. "STOP! I said do not touch me like that!"
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Margo

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 07:11:41 AM »
I would let them know once politely. If they attempted to tickle me after that, I would act as if it were any other form of abuse. Use a loud voice. Put your hands up defensively. Move away. "STOP! I said do not touch me like that!"
This. If they are touching you in a way you don't like, make it absolutely clear that that is not acceptable. Touching someone against their will is assault. And anyone who comes back with the 'it was only a joke / you've no sense of humour' type of comments should get a response which reiterates that the behavior isn't OK - "How is it funny for you to continue to touch me, against my will, in a way which I've made very clear to you is not OK?  Your actions amounted to an assault on me, and I don't think assaulting someone is ever 'fun'!"

I would not concern myself too much about not lashing out. If you lay hands on me without my permission and get yourself kicked in self defence it's your own silly fault for behaving in such a wayu in the first place.  Unless you are 6 or younger.

I'm also very ticklish in some places. I had some friends who thought this was hilarious until one of them tickeled my knee, which produced a (literally!) knee-jerk reaction which knocked into a table and tipped 6 nearly full pints of beer over the offending person. (we were in a pub at the time) Spending the rest of the evening it wet, beery clothing and having to buy 6 new drinks seemed to make an impression - he never did it again


Tea Drinker

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 09:34:03 AM »
I've found that a friendly "Just so you know, the last time someone tickled me, I almost kicked his ribs in by reflex" was pretty effective. I tried to make it sound less like "don't you dare tickle me" than like a "danger: high voltage" warning sign: I am informing them of a fact, for their own safety.
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m2kbug

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 09:57:13 AM »
I can't stand being tickled.  I'm not terribly ticklish, so attempts at tickling takes more effort, but my feet are very ticklish.  I've just firmly said "don't tickle me" or "I don't like to be tickled."  Then "don't" or "stop," but repeated attempts just escalates quickly into an angry "stop."  I don't know if this is necessarily rude.  I have a very low tolerance or breaking point on this one.  What is it about people and tickling?  It's like the big red button people can't resist pushing.  I guess when you see them reaching in your direction, back away and say, "Don't try to tickle me, I don't want to be tickled" and be very firm.  If someone mentions your ticklishness in conversation (and you know they want to tickle you), you can say, again, "Don't try and tickle me."  If they continue, and you get mad, well, that's kind of a consequence.  "I told you not to and you did it anyway.  Of course I'm mad."  Attempting to stop the action before it starts is the best way.  What you've been doing sounds perfectly acceptable to me. 

amylouky

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 10:09:57 AM »
I generally tell people, "I'd prefer you didn't tickle me but if you insist, know that you do so at your own risk.. I'm not taking any responsibility for any bodily injury I might do if you tickle me."
Seriously. I'm probably moderate-ticklish, but I do react violently and completely involuntarily to being tickled. DH knows this and doesn't even try, after I hit him in a very uncomfortable place once by accident.

gorplady

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 11:22:11 AM »
I'm confused. Are these random people that start to tickle you or people that know you?

Regardless, no one should touch you without your consent, which includes tickling.

weeblewobble

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 01:19:09 PM »
My sister, while not quite as tickle-sensitive as you, does NOT like to be tickled or touched without permission. Particularly if that person sneaks up behind her in order to tickle or poke her.  She suffered some sexual harassment in middle school, that we didn't find out about until later.  I wouldn't say she has PTSD, but it's definitely as very strong aversion to this behavior as a result of her experience.

She was working at a children's summer program when we were still in college and she mentioned this aversion during a staff building exercise in which they were asked to share their pet peeves. (She realizes now this was a huge mistake and never mentions it to people.) One of the male staff members took this as a cue to sneak up behind her and "sneak attack" poke her in the side or tickle her. He got a big kick out of the way she jumped and flailed her arms when he did it and told her to "lighten up!" when she told him to cut it out.  This continued for several weeks.  The program director told the guy to keep his hands to himself, but didn't do much else.

Finally, one morning, this guy poked my sister in the side as she was turning around, she threw an arm up and her elbow caught him right in the nose.  Cue a huge nasty nosebleed and the guy whining about Sis "hitting" him. Director told him he'd suffered the consequences of his actions and should learn a lesson. He cut Sis a wide path (and dirty looks) for the rest of the summer.

Now, I'm not encouraging you to actively seek opportunities to smack the imbeciles who are doing this to you. But I definitely wouldn't protect them from the consequences of their actions.  You said you tend to flail about when tickled.  Don't restrain this response, even if they are within range. If they get hit because they intentionally startled you and you reacted, that's their fault.  Not yours. Maybe if there are negative consequences to their actions, they will stop.

peach2play

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 02:13:56 PM »
IIRC a tickle sensation is a pain sensation.  Use that, try and change your laughter to screaming and do not hesitate to get extremely upset with someone who is touching you with out your permission esp after they have been told not to.  It is not ok and when they claim you are too sensitive, they are using bully tactics to get you to submit to their touch.  You might also consider working with a behavioral therapist to help you change your reaction to being poked and tickled. 

Only me

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 03:44:56 PM »
When people  have tried this one me, different reactions.

I scream loud and usually makes the person deaf, there was the one time that I asked the person to stop and they ended up with a heal to the ear and me saying calmly "I asked you to stop". But generally when I ask someone to stop, their reaction is to try and poke me again. I usually am able to catch there hand and say stop. Fortunately for me I have a strong grip and they usually stop. Unfortunately for me it means I physically have to restrain them and it hurts them.

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Amava

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 05:16:41 PM »
I'm confused. Are these random people that start to tickle you or people that know you?

Regardless, no one should touch you without your consent, which includes tickling.

Agreed.
If you are intimate enough to someone to warrant tickling, you are close enough to them to say you don't like it and to expect them to respect it. And to get more stern with them if they do not respect it at first. "Intimate enough" not meant in a romantic way only, but also your children, best friends, parents, siblings,etc.

And if you're not - well then they have no business touching you that way at all.  And then you are also well within the bounds of etiquette to sternly and assertively tell them not to touch you.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 05:19:22 PM by Amava »

breny

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 09:17:48 PM »
I generally tell people, "I'd prefer you didn't tickle me but if you insist, know that you do so at your own risk.. I'm not taking any responsibility for any bodily injury I might do if you tickle me."
Seriously. I'm probably moderate-ticklish, but I do react violently and completely involuntarily to being tickled. DH knows this and doesn't even try, after I hit him in a very uncomfortable place once by accident.

I also have a violent but involuntary reaction to tickling. My body and brain react as if it is an assault with an intent to harm.  My husband learned just like yours did.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:56:44 PM »
Let's boil it all down to this:

KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF! 

AylaM

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Re: Please don't tickle me
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 10:49:57 PM »
I have a violent reaction to be tickled as well.

I either hurt the person tickling me or hurt myself.   It's reflexes.  I lash out and hit people, or I move to defend my space and hit something.  I one slammed my face into a table when attempting to pull myself into a fetal position.

I learned to not bring it up, as it tends to encourage people to try it.

If it does come up I say "I am very ticklish.  I react violently to being tickled.   I kicked my grandfather the last time he tried, and I once broke my father's tooth."

To me just saying "I'm ticklish, so don't tickle me" is treated like an invitation.    I have to be very direct about it.