The Human Porcupine, When You Feel Prickly and Don't Want to be Touched
It happens sometimes. You feel prickly and don’t want anyone to touch you. In fact, you dream of escaping from everyone and everything. You’d like to find somewhere to hide where you won’t have to talk to anyone and can forget everything that’s happened. Where the world feels more balanced and your wounds hurt less.
As strange as it may seem, this feeling is probably more common than you think. These are the moments in your life when you reach your absolute limit and feel burned out and exhausted. You avoid contact with others because your mind is full of noise, thoughts, anxieties, and worries. That’s when others tell you that ‘you’re unbearable’ or ‘you’ve changed.’
However, what can you do in these circumstances? As a matter of fact, when you feel the need to flee, and in those moments when you experience the feeling that no one understands or is able to connect with you, it’s time to make a change. You must remove those prickles from your skin, as well as every splinter that’s embedded in your emotional shell.
“We can understand one another, but each one is able to explain only himself.”
When no one can touch you and you just want to run away
Avoidance is a common psychological phenomenon when you go through a marked state of anxiety. This need to flee, to mark distances from others may work in the short term, but other problems will appear later. In fact, although you feel that no one can touch you, in reality, it’s you who’s distancing yourself. You shun any attempts at closeness and even decline any support that might be offered.
You’re like a human porcupine. You’re covered in quills. These are your wounds that you’ve transformed into sharp barbs so that no one else will be able to come close and harm you again. Avoidance is an extremely common defense mechanism that’s accompanied by what we know as emotional numbness. In these states, you feel disconnected from others, aren’t interested in anything, and are unable to feel joy, happiness, or hope…
You might wonder what the usual triggers are for these states. As a rule, they’re caused by post-traumatic stress. These are conditions that arise as a result of adverse experiences. Complex events that silently transform you inside, open wounds, overturn your calm temperament, distort your beliefs and cause you to ooze rancor, fear, anger, sadness, and anguish.
Emotional avoidance, a self-sabotaging strategy
When no one can touch you, you let the worst of you emerge. Bad mood, emotional coldness, rejection… They orchestrate emotional avoidance. However, you need to know that emotional avoidance is a form of self-sabotage. There’s nothing to be gained from it.
The University of California (United States) conducted research indicating that avoidance mechanisms only further aggravate the symptoms of a traumatic event. In other words, if you’ve experienced the pain of abandonment, or some other adverse event, fleeing from everyone and everything will only worsen your discomfort. Therefore, it’s not a solution.
When you avoid contact with others and want to run away from everyone and everything, the only thing that happens is that you aggravate your discomfort even more. However, those difficult emotions you feel are there for a reason. They need to be cared for, disinfected, and ripped out, like those spikes that sometimes painfully embed themselves in your emotional shell.
When no one can touch you is when you need a hug the most
During the periods when no one can touch you and you feel as if your skin is full of sharp quills is actually when you need others the most. These negative valence emotions must come out, be spoken about, and shared. Indeed, it’s only when you talk about what hurts you that your wounds start to hurt a little less. Only when you vent your sadness, grief, fear, and anguish, does that internal heaviness reduce, and you’ll start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
For this reason, you must let yourself be hugged. Allow those significant people in your life to be your support and help you. Because accepting help doesn’t make you weak. As a matter of fact, it’s the only way you can start awakening your inner strengths.
The skin of your emotions, a shell to strengthen and care for daily
You’re all your experiences rolled into one, the good and the bad. You’re each situation that you’ve overcome. You’re all of those wounds that you’ve tried to heal quickly but have left the pain inside them. Above all, you’re all of your emotions. Furthermore, the way in which you handle them will either make you a skilled and competent person or someone who’s covered in spikes that no one dare come near.
Often, those who have been hurt also feel hurt. Similarly, those who live with resentment project resentment. Therefore, you should go ahead and remove each barb from your emotional shell. In this way, you’ll be able to heal each wound, leave your den of loneliness, and embrace life again.
You deserve to caress and be caressed. You deserve to move forward confidently and happily, without any pain in your heart.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB. Psychophysiology in the study of psychological trauma: where are we now and where do we need to be? Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2014;21:157-83. doi: 10.1007/7854_2014_346. PMID: 25158622.
- Boden MT, Westermann S, McRae K, et al. Emotion regulation and posttraumatic stress disorder: a prospective investigation. 2013;32(3):296-314. doi:10.1521/jscp.2013.32.3.296
- Tull MT, Hahn KS, Evans SD, Salters-pedneault K, Gratz KL. Examining the role of emotional avoidance in the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity and worry. Cogn Behav Ther. 2011;40(1):5-14.