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Touch is fundamental to how we understand the world, and even provides us our first lessons in loving through cuddling we receive as newborns.New research shows that it is so influential that even watching someone being touched can cause the same reaction as if we were touched ourselves.
Individuals who are uncomfortable engaging in touching may also have trouble communicating their emotions.
The research above looks at social, sensual contact that is not overtly sexual.
In can also affect our health and stress level: those who report a history of receiving hugs often from their partner have lower blood pressure than those without that same history.
Those that are aversive to touch have been linked to high levels of neuroticism, poor interpersonal skills, and lower self-esteem.
Physical contact can be so powerful that it can cause us to view people as more favorable, even if we don’t remember being touched by them.