We can all become uncomfortable when a stranger hugs us or when others invade our living space. Generally, there is an adequate interpersonal distance depending on the type of bond we maintain with others and if it is not respected, we can feel overwhelmed.
However, for those who suffer from haphephobia, a simple handshake or the kiss of a loved one is a source of intense discomfort.
Haphephobia is characterized by an irrational and pathological fear of touching or being touched by others. The anxiety triggered by physical contact is such that the person can become almost completely isolated in order to avoid such situations. Since humans are social beings, this phobia can seriously interfere with the individual’s day-to-day life.