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When someone pats you on your shoulder - What does it mean?


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SeaDonkey
Junior Member


Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 44

Post Sat May 29, 2010 1:25 pm

When someone pats you on your shoulder - What does it mean?    Reply with quote  

Being mildly autistic I'm terrible at reading non verbal cues. What does it mean when someone you don't know pats you on your shoulder as they're talking to you? Is this some kinda unconscious assertion of dominance over the person they're patting on the shoulder or is it a gesture of friendship? The reason I ask is because I've noticed it in people who display lots of confidence from the start and they act like they're my friend and although some of them have turned out to be good friends in the long run, I get cynical about people that pat me on the shoulder lol. Can anyone inform me about this kinda thing?
  
Motivated
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 1620

Post Sat May 29, 2010 4:58 pm

   Reply with quote  

SeaDonkey - that bugs me too!
I think guys are often rough & I've seen NBA players pat eachother's rear ends, & it doesn't seem to bother them. Sometimes it could be like, "Good job!"

I've also been patted REALLY hard - almost like they were hitting & that upset me.

But I think usually, people have good intentions. My husband used to pat me on the shoulder - & I think he meant, "Don't worry, you're fine." To me, it came across as I'm a pittied pet, so I told him & he doesn't do it anymore. I imagine it depends on the context & relationship.
SeaDonkey
Junior Member


Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 44

Post Sat May 29, 2010 6:10 pm

   Reply with quote  

Yeah it appears to me like its a disrespectful gesture. Kinda like saying "its alright" as if they know better than you do. Maybe thats just paranoia on my part though I don't know.
Motivated
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 1620

Post Sat May 29, 2010 10:06 pm

   Reply with quote  

Maybe I'm paranoid too Smile but I can't imagine someone patting a police officer, president or other authority. Then again, I know some people who want to be affectionate, but don't know how, so they pat (instead of hug) & I've seen grown brothers slug each other, but never hug. Smile
Annie7788
MVP
MVP


Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 4186

Post Sat May 29, 2010 10:58 pm

   Reply with quote  

it's a gesture of intimacy. Means they like you and are not threatened by you but feel comfortable and want to reassure you in some way. Does not necessarily mean that they disrespect you, but it really depends on the situation and the relationship between the two people. Can be patronising in certain situations if between someone who is in a position of power when the recipient of the patting is subordinate.
Annie7788
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MVP


Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 4186

Post Sat May 29, 2010 10:59 pm

   Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Motivated
Maybe I'm paranoid too Smile but I can't imagine someone patting a police officer, president or other authority. Then again, I know some people who want to be affectionate, but don't know how, so they pat (instead of hug) & I've seen grown brothers slug each other, but never hug. Smile


well you would not be intimate with parole officers or policemen unless you have had too much to drink. You would normally respect the body space of people who are not informally acquainted with you.
desperate788
Super Member


Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 32272

Post Sat May 29, 2010 11:04 pm

   Reply with quote  

good night annie:)
Annie7788
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MVP


Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 4186

Post Sun May 30, 2010 1:08 am

   Reply with quote  

good night desperate Smile
Motivated
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 1620

Post Mon May 31, 2010 2:05 am

   Reply with quote  

Annie, I agree. As I posted here, "it depends on the context & relationship."
  

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