The Proper Hug

26 12 2012

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!

Hugs,

Paula

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8 responses

26 12 2012
zimmermandana

Lovely, Paula! You are inspiring us to live from our hearts instead of our heads, and that’s exactly where we all need to be to shift the consciousness of this world. Bravo!

26 12 2012
lindabillet

My husband was from an unmentioned camp… the hugaphobic one. I witnessed the hug he got from his first meeting with my Gram. Too funny! She wrapped her arms around him as his body froze. His fingers splayed, his arms stiffened in a straight down position, and his eyes opened wide in sheer terror – looking to me for help. I was bent over laughing. Close to thirty years later, he is now a hugger. We are all connected anyway even if we never touch or meet.

27 12 2012
Jean Van Brederode

Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.
Leo Buscaglia

27 12 2012
Chris

I just love you bunches, paula. You may have learned late in life but, may I say that you give the best hugs ever.

3 01 2013
Wayne

I was raised by a clan of stoic PA Dutchies who did not hug. I rarely initiate one, but have learned how to accept one.

3 01 2013
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Wayne, I had similar family experience – no big huggers in my clan, either, but neither were there enamelists or lovers of Chinese food. Sometimes, we find out we’ve missed some good stuff. Glad you’re at the accept-a-hug stage, at least.

5 01 2013
janice

Confessions of a “Hug Ho” I just love them but have been too free with giving them out. At times, I can be a rather impulsive person and it showed w the hugging. I occasionally embarrassed myself with my liberal hugging so I have made a great effort to be more choosy. I am pleased with my progress. So if you do receive a hug from me, know that you are one of the selected.

5 01 2013
Arsonette Artworks

I love the term of ‘hug ho’! and i have to admit I’m a bit of one, although most peopple wouldn’t recognise me as one as I’m so terrified of iniating that first hug with a new person. After the ice is broken however…Hugs for everyone!! all the time!
I will never be ok with the whole kissing people on th echeek though. Instant clam up every time!

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