Hugging as a greeting between friends: as with many social norms, this issue divides folks into two pretty polarized camps – the huggers and the hug-averse. Which one are you?
I was, for years, hug-averse. I did not obviously outwardly recoil from the friendly gesture, but I was always uncomfortable, hesitant. Then, one day, I got a hug from someone, a new-at-the-time-and-now-dear friend, and I think she just knew I did not know how to do it. Well, she changed my life, let me tell you. This woman hugged me, knowing I needed it, and she simply refused to let me not accept it.
That hug was one of the major learning experiences of my adult life – and I am not exaggerating. By her sheer will to give me comfort and friendship, this generous spirited woman taught me the best way to avoid that uncomfortable feeling of receiving a hug: HUG THAT PERSON RIGHT BACK!
I am ever grateful to the people who show me affection – huggers and non-huggers, alike – and I hope you all know how you enrich my life. If you are open to a hug, I will happily give you one. If you’re where I was, and not quite ready for it, I will shake your hand, pat your back, or just give you a “thumbs up” – but I will let you know, every time I have the chance, that you are important in my world.
Happy New Year!