Have you ever noticed how the simple touch of the hand can add so much meaning to the spoken word or even silence. I was on a crowded commuter train, once, when a stocky business type and a foreign gentleman chose that moment to express their pent up aggression by shoving each other. It could have escalated horribly but I put a hand on each of the blokes arms and said “Guys” and guess what, they stopped. Now I am convinced it was because I had touched them in a friendly way that did the trick.
A friendly touch can tacitly communicate empathy and sympathy, without any need for words. I am not the friendliest of people but I do believe that if we all used this form of communication a bit more, the world would be a friendlier place.