TikToker reaches millions of strangers with her thoughts on ‘touch starvation’: ‘Your vulnerability is a gift to the world’

It isn’t unusual for Mayte Lisbeth (@mayte.lisbeth) to share TikToks that get a little personal, from what she’s currently reading to ways she cares for her mental health. But perhaps none of her videos have gotten as raw and unfiltered as her recent viral post about “touch starvation,” which is resonating with thousands of people online.

Like so many women in New York City, Lisbeth is a single woman in her thirties who lives alone in a small apartment. On the one hand, this can be incredibly empowering; but many times, it can also get lonely.

“I am really struggling with something, and I want to talk about it,” Lisbeth says at the start of the clip before clarifying that this isn’t a video for everyone — in particular, parents who feel “touched out” or the neurodivergent who have difficulties accepting touch from others.

Instead, it’s for people who feel like they desperately need affection from others and have gone way too long without it.

“I feel like I’m dying from like touch starvation, y’all,” Lisbeth says while wiping tears away. “I don’t get hugs … I feel like if I were to get the kind of hug that I f***ing want, I would crumble into pieces.”

“How do you deal with that?” she asks her followers. “I really like need to be like touched.”

Through much of the video, Lisbeth fights back tears and struggles to talk as she’s overcome with emotion. Unlike most influencers who open up about personal issues, she doesn’t pretend to have a solution to her problem — she just wants to get it out there and see who else may be feeling the same way.

“I know someone’s going to say, ‘Okay, go to the salon and get your hair done’ or ‘Get a massage’ or ‘Get your nails done, right, so someone can hold your hand,'” the TikToker continues.

In theory, that may sound like good advice. But here’s the thing: “None of those people love me,” Lisbeth explains.

She doesn’t crave just any kind of physical touch; she wants a deep embrace from someone who knows her and cares.

“How am I gonna go the rest of my life like this?” she asks sincerely.

Viewers immediately flooded the post with supportive messages and thanked her for sharing her feelings so honestly.

“your vulnerability is such a gift to the world,” one person told her.

“I would hug you so tight if I could,” said another.

Others made suggestions for things that might be able to help in the meantime, like getting a pet or trying to meditate. But some of the most touching comments came from other people who said they’ve either experienced this kind of feeling in the past or are dealing with it now.

“For years I told myself I hated being touched to protect myself from fear I never would be,” one person shared. “It’s heartbreaking and such an unseen problem. I hear you.”

“A colleague hugged me, kissed me on the cheek & told me she loved me,” added someone else. “I had to go and cry in the bathroom.”

“I avoid hugging people the way I want to bc I know if I did I would cry and then I’d have to explain myself,” another person confessed.

And at least a few people wondered aloud why this has become such a silent epidemic.

“I believe this is one of the problems with us living through a screen,” one person theorized. “there’s no touch, warmth, love or eye contact there.”

“There’s a solidarity in that we are all feeling this at the same time,” said another. “But I ache so much for all of us being so deprived & in need.”

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