Interpersonal touch is a common form of communication used in society by all ages to enhance a conversation or reiterate a po

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Interpersonal touch is a common form of communication used in society by all ages to enhance a conversation or reiterate a point. It is used to communicate emotion between the parties involved and show affection. Interpersonal touch refers to a person’s touch on another’s body part, mainly the arms, shoulders, and between the elbow during social interactions (Jakubiak et al., 30). Different people have different takes regarding interpersonal touch. Some are comfortable with it, while others find it a bit awkward and uncomfortable depending on the relationship between the parties in play. There are two sides to interpersonal touch, the receiver and the initiator of the touch. Most people evaluate the initiator after the action positively or negatively depending on their perspective as far as interpersonal touch is concerned.

There is a need to rethink interpersonal touch because it is personal. It affects both parties, whether known or unknown. In the case of known parties, it is okay to interact and incorporate interpersonal touch because it is unintentional and allows the conversation to flow smoothly. It strengthens bonds between parties and influences the social behaviors and reactions of individuals in various situations or conversations (Sorokowska et al., 16). On the other hand, it is essential to be cautious while engaging interpersonal tactile stimulation because of a lack of awareness of the other party’s stand regarding the subject matter. It may be an invasion into the private space of an individual, which is inappropriate. Such action may trigger an adverse reaction from the receiving party and a consequent end of the conversation.

A hug is also a common form of touch used by different cultures worldwide to communicate and express affection. A hug can signify friendship, security, love, romantic intimacy, and friendship, depending on the type of hug. It enhances the experience of satisfaction, motivation, and pleasure. Hugging is a form of touch that has grown into cultures over time and is universally accepted as a form of communication (Jakubiak et al., 26). However, exceptional communities like the Islamic religion prohibit physical contact between individuals of different genders. For this reason, hugging is restricted among Muslims of different genders to protect and honor the culture. Despite restrictions to hugging by cultures like the Islamic culture, hugging still proves beneficial to one’s well-being and health, even to those not traditionally drawn to physical touch.

Physical touch facilitates bonding between parties in play. However, it is essential to consider the relationship and situation before initiating physical touch (Sorokowska et al., 21). A high five and tickling are some of the activities that require keenness when involving physical touch because they can convey the wrong message to the receiver.

Politicians find interpersonal touch significant, especially during campaigns and the signing of critical governmental deals that require a connection and a common understanding. Therefore, it is necessary that they create a supportive and trusting environment to captivate their respective audience, convince them and earn their compliance. Interpersonal touch shows the power difference for politicians and their connection to their audience (Lee et al., 25). It determines the take of the people about them and their capabilities. For this reason, they need to consider incorporating different forms of interpersonal touch that are appropriate and use them during their social interactions to build a positive image and maintain a good relationship with their audience.


Jakubiak, Brittany K., and Brooke C. Feeney. “Interpersonal touch as a resource to facilitate positive personal and relational outcomes during stress discussions.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 36.9 (2019): 18-29.

Lee, Eun-Ju, et al. “Up close and personal on social media: When do politicians’ personal disclosures enhance vote intention?” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 95.2 (2018): 31-40.

Sorokowska, Agnieszka, et al. “Affective, interpersonal touch in close relationships: a cross-cultural perspective.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 47.12 (2021): 15-21.

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