How special would someone have to be to you for you to stroke their lower arm?

How much would you have to like/care about a friend to stroke their lower arm up and down six times? Is it common to stroke a friend's arm like this?
  • Something I would probably avoid myself. After many years out of the UK, I returned to find a much stronger culture of hugging. But I'm most certainly not going to rail against it, as it is obviously seen as little more than a sign of friendship these days. Now I'm certainly not averse to hugging, but a bit averse to it with just every one. One could certainly enjoy a bit more intimacy occasionally. There is so very little of it these days, that one tends to suspect there is something a bit dodgy about it. But that is probably a very necessary thing, post-Savile.

    I would say that whoever is acting this way really needs to think about friendship/intimacy being a slower, and more sedate & considered thing. On the other hand, I think you owe it to yourself not to be either too quickly dismissive or accepting. I would suggest that this is something that needs to be closely observed for some time, for evidence that it is a sensible move.

    I had a neuro pat my knee a few months back. True to form, I over-reacted to it with swiftly raised eyebrows. That might tell you something about me, and it also informed me quite a bit at the time. I think it was a bit of a rash move, but probably not meant to be taken too seriously. (And ethically inadvisable, even here) I actually concluded she was gauging my reaction, knowing already that I had self-identified. And as neuros here are a bit peripheral to ASD assessment, it was also just possible that she was deliberating whether she really wanted to work  with me or not. She ultimately didn't. Probably a sensible decision. ;-)

    I long ago realised my own vulnerability. But that realisation needs constant updates. Which is why I even have worries about my own response to some posts on this forum. I would suggest many commenters here would prefer more detailed posts to comment on. We all need some reassurance. Perhaps it is time for you to make your posts a bit more detailed and reassuring.

  • I, for one, would take it as some sort of foreplay and that the friend was attempting to find out whether you were interested in pursuing things further.

    If you were to say something that was to indicate you don't want to engage in more intimate behaviour and you don't enjoy your arm being stroked, that should stop this occurring in future.

  • This depends on lots of things - are you male or female? how close a friend are they?  Are they looking for a romantic relationship?   What was the situation? 

    Lots more information required for a remote diagnosis.

  • I (NA) would only do that to my wife (NT) and would only allow her to do that to me.

    I don't like being touched in the first place and in addition that sort of behaviour would seem wildly inappropriate to me from someone I was not already in an intimate relationship with or who there was a desire to begin one with.

  • Hi, I would say it isn't really advisable unless you know somebody well e.g family member close friend, and are trying to comfort them.

    Was this person autistic? If so they may have touched your arm not realising the signals they were giving you, especially if you like them?

    I recently had to inform a male on the spectrum about patting a woman's leg, he has no interest in her but it seemed to initiate a response from her, she became flirtatious, sitting forward pushing chest out,etc...

    He didn't realise but says he does pat women's arms sometimes or pats a knee and it means nothing, I had to tell him that to some women it could be seen as a 'come on' to others it may be an invasion of space and if somebody I wasn't attached to did it to me I would give them short shift..

    It may be that the person who stroked your arm was autistic and didn't realised what message they were sending, or it could be the male/female autistic or not liked you.

    Need more information really. Hope this helps

  • I have to say that I would get seriously peeved if someone stroked my lower arm, regardless of how many times and regardless of their intention! Don't. like. being. stroked!

    As to why someone would do it? I suspect it's something that some people may do as a sign of affection. 

  • There is an element to Autism/Aspergers whereby someone could have Space and/or Touch issues. I know of some who either stand too close, hate someone standing too close and also barging through gaps between people that they cannot get through.

    Some inappropriate behaviour, like this can be unknown to the person doing it, just like saying the wrong thing and inadvertently not realising that the words are hurtful.

    There are also elements of cultural differences too that may be unknown/unused to others e.g. French people kissing others on each cheek as a friendly gesture.