I love a good hug. It’s my favorite method of nonverbal communication and I use it when connecting love with affection, support with friendship, safety with strangers and comfort with sympathy. I’m open to accept hugs from people I don’t know, if my intuition says its appropriate, and I attempt to use my conscious when offering hugs to avoid invading someone’s personal space. By nature I’m a hugger, but I’ve learned that some people aren’t comfortable with the feelings and power received from a good hug.
In the article, 10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day, it states that alongside Laughter, hugging is a powerful way of healing. It creates happiness by boosting oxytocin levels which drives self-esteem and heals feelings such as loneliness, anxiety, stress and anger. The seconds or minutes during the embrace can dictate your next action and regardless of age, gender, race or sexual preference…it is my belief that everybody deserves a good hug!
Given the energy it creates and because hugs are a big deal to me, here are a few of my personal notes on the right and wrong way to hug somebody! I’ve come in contact with some awkward huggers, so these are a few of my observations:
One arm bandit- If there is nothing physically keeping you from using one arm, both arms should be used when hugging. It may not be the intention, but to me embracing someone with one hand says “not interested”. Exception- Side hugs
Get a little closer- I know it’s a matter of preference and comfort level, but I’m just saying; get a little closer, don’t be shy! I’m not looking to have the air squeezed out of me, but what’s up with all this space? Exception- Hygiene concerns
Five second rule- I get it. In hug time, five seconds is a long time if it’s not intimate, friendship or symphony related but I’ve received some of the quickest hugs ever! Can you at least let me get one benefit out of the hug before you end it? Exception- On the go
So, let’s talk about when a good hug may be inappropriate. If the person you want to hug is with their significant other, perhaps you should allow them to offer the hug and then take cues on how to reciprocate. Immediately following the hug, if the person you hugged doesn’t do so, please introduce yourself to their mate. That’s a form of respect and plain ole’ common courtesy.
A hug is something that can break the rule “it’s better to give than receive”. To receive the gift of a hug may not seem like a big deal to you, but there are so many people that have never experienced the power of a good hug. I challenge you to try it out! Rule of thumb, ask permission to give a hug if you’ve never met or hugged the person before. Otherwise, read up on how to hug and commit to giving a gift that keeps on giving!
When is the last time you received a good hug?
Image credit: phase4 / 123RF Stock Photo