Monday, September 6, 2010

Post Sixty-Two: What's in A Hug?

I need a 101 lesson in hugging. It's unfortunate, but I have always been anxious about actions pertaining to the sharing of togetherness.

For as long as I can remember I have been envious of those that look natural when they partake in a welcome casual hug. My friends do it, all the time. They are the epitome of awesome casual huggers. In fact, they even do the peck on the cheek hello thing. Boys and girls inclusive. I think they might be surprised that I am even writing about this topic because I 'fake' the coolness and internally, I still get all 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!'. I WANT to hug, that intention isn't false, but I just don't know where my body goes...

The reason that this topic is front of mind is because when I am on call I'll generally give the deceased's family members a hug if they look like they're edging in for one. It's usually in the goodbyes, but sometimes old ladies will literally hug me as soon as I enter the room as if I am a saviour. It's funny, but I was thinking the last time this happened that I am more comfortable giving a strange old bearded lady a hug than I am hugging my own flesh and blood or my own best friends.

I guess, what I want from this, is to ask that people forgive me if they know me and maybe in the future we can try for a more rewarding casual embrace. No more high-5's, I promise.

Peace. x


  1. OK - casual hugging goes like this. In front of a mirror try this out in the safety of you own home (best not to involve a dead person though).

    Stand facing your reflection (you have no choice) and stick your arms out either side horizontally. To hug your reflection simply lean / rotate your head and both arms by 5 or 10 degrees clockwise (or anti). Your heads should then go in side by side and arms not clash. If you are the hugger you usually do the rotation, if you are the huggee then the other person will rotate.
    If you are unsure whether you will get the hug back simply make the hug gesture (arms out etc), rotate, rotate slightly and ask them to get in close and hug it out. You will probably end up pointing your arms out and towards them as a gesture of welcome more than straight out. (thats just a practice thing)

    Test it on your friends and report back.

  2. And another thing....
    If there's a height issue to deal with there's another level of complexity to factor in.

    If you are the shorty then you will probably end up bear hugging the taller receipient while he/she gets an armful of shoulders. Convention suggests that the taller person stoop to meet the shorter in that really uncomfortable fashion.

    Thinking about the rotation a little more I think it happens almost as automatically as when you pass someone in the street, you reach a quick mutual understanding of intentions that avoid bumping into someone.

  3. OMG! I'm exactly the same!!! You spend the whole hug thinking about how uncomfortable the hug is and if you are hugging too tight, or for too long and whether they are finished hugging yet? Same when people introduce themselves, I spend the whole time trying to give them a good impression and wondering what they are thinking and totally even forget what they said their name was ;) In hindsight this sounds totally neurotic

  4. You're probably doing okay. The old ladies might feel weird if you high-fived them.

  5. hang on what? but daddy said hugging was...huh. Explains a lot really.

  6. dude! i know where you're coming from! i come from a very very not affectionate family and as a result was never cool with hugging friends, let alone mere acquaintances... one day i may master the casual hug...

    also there's a few people in my life that i've never hugged for some reason but now i know them better but feel it would be random and awkward if i suddenly hugged them now, it's too late! and so now i just hug everyone else and try to subtly be busy when their time comes which probably just makes it worse, aargh! you are not alone dear friend :o)

  7. I always heard of the saying, when i was growing up,'arrrrrrrrr trace give me a bear hug'?????? so when i saved up enough pocket money i brought myself a little bear which when visiting those enoyyyying Aunties n Uncles who wanted a bear hug i would say hold on and pull out my little bear and then i would say'here is yr bear hug Auntie' they usually walk off very confused and dazed!!!!! well what can i say.

  8. when i was growing up my dad put his wife before me and still does, now my kid is growing up and her dad has done the same; some people's kids die and it devastates them. Other people put thier sex lives before their kids and up and leave them on the other side of the world.....some people dont deserve to be called "mum" they dont know the meaning of the word....still its their loss...but who gains? nobody in the long run.....apart from the nurse at the STD clinic........:)