Not liking the pastor at my church
#1
Hello,

 I am not Catholic, but will become one once I am an adult. I am forced to attend an Anglican church where I cannot stand the pastor. I am very uncomfortable around him, for reasons I do not wish to say, he is a very warm and fuzzy kind of guy. Anyway, after the service is over, he always hugs everyone, and sometimes I don’t want want to hug him, for reasons I mentioned above. He does not respect that not everyone is a hugger, even though I tried to give him the message, and that bothers me. I am ok with a handshake, but he always wants to hug me, when I do hold out my hand, he will pull me in for a hug. Sometimes, to be nice, I will let him hug me, other days, I try to avoid him. My mother says I am being disrespectful. Is avoiding him the wrong thing to do?
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  • Sunita Sharma
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#2
If he is not respecting your space, tell someone such as your parents, a teacher, or your doctor. You do not “owe” anyone a hug- EVER. Rest assured, you are not misbehaving by not wanting someone you have been taught to respect to hug you.
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  • HailGilbert, mpk1987
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#3
I am not a hugger, either.  When my mother was alive and I went to visit her, I would hug her hello and give a side hug when it was time to say goodbye.  I hugged my husband, my children, and I hug my grandchildren.  Outside of that, nope.  I had to learn to shake hands.  I just don't like touching strangers.
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If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, listen to those feelings.  Do not deny your gut feelings.  Others might pressure you to ignore those feelings, to fit in, to get along with others, but stick to your gut, it is usually right.
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Have you said this to your parents?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  One parent might be more open to your feelings than the other, I don't know.  My mother never understood my distaste for stranger touching.  If your adults won't stand up for you, block and tackle for you, then you have two other choices.  1)  Talk to the pastor in semi-private and tell him he is making you uncomfortable with the hugging, even over the telephone,  or, 2) physically avoid him.  To avoid him you go out thru another entrance.  You go to the restroom until he is done hugging.  You get into a deep conversation with someone else so he has to be rude to touch you.  While he is hugging your parents, walk past him really fast and head to the car.
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I have had pastors I didn't really care for, but never a Catholic who made me feel as you feel now.  I have also seen that some Protestants are really big on touching/hugging/making contact.  Stick with your gut instinct.  If he won't respect your desire for distance, then don't worry about being rude to him - don't make a big scene, but don't worry about others quietly noticing that you don't want to be touched.  You do not have to conform in this.  A handshake should be sufficient.  A handshake used to be good manners.  A handshake used to be how a gentleman treated a lady.  But it used to be normal for the man to wait for the lady to extend her hand first in case the lady did not want to be touched at all.  You are normal.  You are healthy.
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#4
Try to talk with him face-to-face. It is NOT normal, when someone - ANYONE - touches you without your wish
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