I got into a late night conversation with a very good friend of mine (I’m afraid of calling anyone my best friend, but she’s the closest I can get to one), about the idea of skinship and how therapeutic hugs can be. We’re very close, like people may think we’re dating when they see and don’t know us sort of close. We are very arms in arms, hands linked, holding each other, etc. We trust and we have a lot of faith in each other. And she, outside of maybe one other friend, I can do this with and it’s comfortable. And before you say that this might be Korean influenced, I assure you, I was probably doing this before I heavily submersed myself in the Korean culture.
I am very poor with words (says the person who runs the blog). If you ask me to explain something to you, if I can’t do it, I easily get frustrated and the first thing I’ll do is get a piece of paper to draw it out. I am a visual learner and on that coin, that type of teacher too. I learn more by experience things, not sitting in front of a desk.
She said some time ago because we don’t get to see each other that often, when we do meet, our skinship is almost making up for lost time. I agree. We used to see each other maybe… three times a year if we were really lucky? (It’s more often now, as much as time and money can allow us.)
Skinship is an effective way to show closeness with someone. And me, being bad with words, I am more expressive. Not to mention I’m a “words are just words and actions speak louder than them,” sort of person. I’ve gone through my share of what I was supposed to call a friendship but in turn were filled with empty words and promises without the aspect of showing me anything. I’m a Virgo so I sort of… need to feel appreciated at times and reminded of stupid things that normally would go unsaid. It’s not in my zodiac nature but in my upbringing too. You can tell me you appreciate me, but if you don’t show that to me (and I don’t mean by materialistic means), it’s easily a lie (after time) in my eyes.
Everyone is not like this, obviously. There have been some past close friendships that I tried to do the skinship with and I was met with glares and a look of “what are you doing?” Naturally, I backed off and never tried it again. I’m still friends with said person, but we’ve had multiple falling outs but still keep in contact from time to time. But if we became close again, would I be able to be with them how I am with my close friend? Nope. I wouldn’t try based on that past experience.
There are some people I know who are okay with skinship but can be overbearing at times. While sometimes it’s okay to hold hands or link arms, I’ve also been told that I’m too close. It might have been in that point in time since I wasn’t any closer than I normally would be, but it left me confused and I initially backed off. In that case, I believe I won’t initiate it from now on, but will followed through when started with me.
I don’t think America holds the same ideals and values about skin ship that Asian countries do. For example, for my close friend I’ve mentioned, if a guy saw us, they would probably think we’re dating lesbians or something another along the lines of a strange fantasy versus we’re close friends. And of course that goes for the flip side too. Males here don’t tend to show that sort of affection that would be seen as skinship in Korea. If they were to do the same thing my close friend I do, it would come off as homosexual with all the wrong intentions behind it. America is too “this is your role as your gender and this is what you must do and you can’t deviate from that.” Also males are taught not to be expressive. I’m sure that plays a good part.
If you’re like me, skinship is an easy and vital way of expressing how you feel about someone. Sure I can say, “hey, I really trust and appreciate you and I want to let you know how thankful I am to have you in my life,” but that’s too many words. Lemme just show that via my actions towards you because it’ll mean so much more and you won’t have to question if my words are empty.
I’ll probably expand on this post later, talking about idols and how some hate/love it.