If you enjoy being tickled...you aren't actually ticklishAnyone who claims they enjoy being tickled, in my opinion is not actually ticklish.
Ticklishness is a throwback to the stone ages...back when we were not at the top of the food chain. Back then, it was an evolutionary advantage to reflexively shriek and squirm when something that came sniffing around us as though we were food. It evolved into a defense instinct that causes us to protect our most vulerable parts from attack. (Neck, torso, feet, etc.) That's why those are the parts most susceptible to being tickled. It is a reflex that is tied to our instinctive defenses. Scientists believe that the sensory receptors responsible for the tickle response come from both our touch and pain sensors. So being tickled is uncomfortable at best, and painful at worst. I cannot imagine anyone who is actually ticklish finding it enjoyable...particularly when repeatedly done. Your sensory receptors would have to be pretty inefficient if you found the experience pleasurable. (Unless, of course you are into pain and aggravation, that is.)
Being tickled amounts to a sensory overload that causes my fight or flight response to kick in. I involuntarily laugh, while getting angrier and more defensive as it continues. Plus, there is also a psychological aspect to my dislike of being tickled. In that the person tickling me is forcing me to behave in a way I wouldn't voluntarily choose to. Placing me in the position of being at their mercy to discontinue the practice. Who enjoys being reminded they are weak and vulnerable?
If you want me to laugh...say something funny. Don't tickle me and then act surprised when I react poorly. I don't enjoy being forcibly made to do anything. It amounts to domination. Control is not something I would voluntarily cede under duress. Why should it be okay for someone to forcibly take it? I consider it terribly disrespectful when I tell someone I don't like to be tickled and they continue to do so.
So why is it that the ticklers never seem to stop when you ask them to? If I repeatedly caused them discomfort while making them feel weak and vulnerable, and refused to stop when asked, it would be a problem for them...right?
It isn't funny. It isn't a game. It isn't a way to "bond" with me. I say it should qualify as a form of harrassment or assault. If you tickle your children after they ask you to stop...you are abusing them...and teaching them that as long as people are laughing its okay to bully someone into behaving the way you want them to. STOP TICKLING!
chkmo 41-45 7 Responses 2 Jun 25, 2010