Sometimes, someone will talk to you about a very emotional and/or difficult topic. In this scenario, you are supposed to give comfort to the person with whom you are talking.
As someone on the autism spectrum, I always find those kinds of situations very hard to deal with as I don't know what to do. Most of the time, I will simply just "freeze" and be unable to do anything.
If the other person is crying a lot, then I know that offering a hug would be appropriate. So, I just open my arm to suggest a hug and wait to know if the other person wants it or not.
But, if the other person isn't really crying, offering a hug feels like I would be "overreacting", especially if the other person doesn't really like to be touched. So, I would like to offer some comforting tap on the shoulder/arm instead.
If I could just ask:
Do you want me to tap your shoulder/arm in a comforting way?
Things would be simpler. However, I'm pretty sure asking something like that would be absolutely weird.
So, is there some non-verbal ways that I could ask this question?
I don't want to touch someone that doesn't want to be touched.