View Full Version : What's your hug "policy"?
07-28-2007, 09:55 PM
I tend to be a hugger - give hugs to friends when I see them. REAL hugs - you know, hug like you mean it. ;) Most of my other friends are the same way. My kids are even huggers.
I do know at least two people that don't hug. EVER. One of them told me that up front, saying, "I'd so give you a hug, but I have a policy against them." Um, OK. I also had a room mate once upon a time that was *abundantly* clear that she didn't like people touching her.
I can totally appreciate the need for personal space, and yeah, the roomie was a little strange. But when she accompanied me to my Grandparents' house one Easter (she and I drove from NJ to FLA for the holiday), and my Grandmother put her arm around said roomie. The roomie *flipped*. Shoved my Grandmother's arm off her and said, "DON"T touch me". I kind of went off on her later on in the day.
Nobody talks to my Nan like that and gets away unscathed. It's fine to be particular about things, but it sure as hell isn't fine to be rude about it.
Anyway - back to the topic. Do you give hugs/kisses? I have the obligatory half-hearted hug/kiss thing going on with the ILs, and I will give my Brother a big hug whenever I see him. Of course, I'm forever loving on my kids - especially the more cuddly of the two. ;)
Generally speaking, I think the world would be a much nicer place if more people gave hugs. ;)
07-28-2007, 10:40 PM
Big hugger here! I think it comes from the Italian side of my family. DH *hates* going to family parties b/c it takes so long to hug and kiss everyone good-bye! Even when we are all together for overnight visits it's hugs/kisses when you wake up and go to bed. It's probably a bit excessive, but it makes you feel good (to both give and receive)!
I have one good friend who just doesn't hug. I hadn't seen her in a couple months and when she came over she was telling me about a new neighbor who wanted to hug her and it made her very uncomfortable. She commented that she probably should've given me a hug since I hadn't seen her in so long, but I know she doesn't like them so I respect her personal space!
07-28-2007, 11:04 PM
I was never a hugger or a person that liked to be touched until I started dating my now DH. His family (another Italian family like the PPs) is very into hugs. I never refused a hug if someone came at me with one, but I certainly didn't hug back. I think being around DH's family kind of warmed me up to receiving them from almost strangers.
Now kisses IMO are only for close family. I would feel pretty uncomfortable if someone tried to give me a social kiss.
Miss Pure Energy 3/03
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07-28-2007, 11:11 PM
I'm not a big hugger either. I've always felt they should be reserved to my close family and people I feel very close to. I just don't feel comfortable getting that close to someone I don't LOVE. Now, with the people I do love, I hug and kiss them on the cheek often.
I am never rude, however, to people who clearly love to hug and initiate it. I would NEVER push someone away who was coming in for a hug. It's such a heart-felt gesture I would never want that person to feel hurt or insulted. But I myself never initiate them except to close family.
Mom to Gator July 2003
And Cha-Cha July 2005
and surprise! twins due 11/07!
07-29-2007, 07:10 AM
Yeah, I'm not a big hugger at all. Even my Dad comments on it. Now that DS has some sensory issues and I'm reading more about, I realize it's probably a sensory issue on my part. Most people just know "that's Debbie," and don't hug me.
That being said, I would also never refuse a hug. I do generally feel awkward about it, but hope I don't make that obvious! I do hug DS and DH (and like to do that), but that's actually about it. I mean I hug my family when I see them, but I always feel awkward with new people about whether I should hug them or not (or a crying friend, you get the idea).
I wouldn't flip out, but if someone had sensory issues and didn't like being touched, I can kind of see how they might. I would think as an adult you would have developed enough coping mechanisms not to be rude about it though and don't think that's ever acceptable (to be rude), but I can see how it could happen.
Yeah, I would rather the world didn't hug, honestly! :)
07-29-2007, 09:29 AM
Maybe I'm dreaming this up, but I remember when hugging became a big thing in grade school. It was like out of the blue, kids just started hugging each other. In fact, the kids started doing it so often that one teacher actually wanted to pass a rule to stop it! I don't remember hugging friends before then.
And my parents aren't huggers either. With their kids and family, yes, but even with friends, they greet each other with a handshake. Must be where I got my tendancies from.
The funny thing is, when I lived in France, the French introduce themselves with a kiss on each cheek. That I didn't have a problem with. There isn't any hugging or touching involved other than the cheek to cheek thing. Funny that that didn't bother me.
Mom to Gator July 2003
And Cha-Cha July 2005
and surprise! twins due 11/07!
07-29-2007, 09:44 AM
I'm a very huggie person. I have pretty flexible boundaries, maybe too flexible.
But I feel very strongly that the person with the stronger personal-space limits gets the say as to whether or not any physical contact happens. I'm sorry your roommie had a strong reaction to your grandmother, but if she has issues with being touched, NO ONE has the right to invade her space. Heck, for all you know, she was molested by a grandmotherly type as a child. Either way, it is her right to say who is allowed to grab her, no matter how much love is behind the gesture. Even if she is a weirdo! Emotional reactions, especially fear-based ones, are often less than polite. LOL!
I think it is really cool that your kids are natural huggers too. I love that about kids! But I admit I cringe at the parents who make their kids hug. A child needs to have the right to choose whether or not to do that -- otherwise the message is "you don't get to say who can touch you". Just sets a kid up to be a victim, should the right predator come along, y'know?
07-29-2007, 10:01 AM
I hug my kids and my husband, if he's lucky. I grew up in a nonhuggy family and although I won't push you away if you try to hug me, you will just get the pat on the back type of hug back.
Mom to Nick 10/01
& Alex 04/04
07-29-2007, 11:19 AM
total hugger here - grew up in a hugging family, so it's just very naturall to me. big juicy ones as long as the recipients body language indicates they're ok w/ that - ie. if the huggee is reciprocating, well then a real, heartfelt hug is A-OK in my book, but if the huggee is doing one of those cave their chest back as far as they can, circle their arms as wide as possible to make sure only their hands touch your back, well then i respect that and try to give a little pat-pat hug too. i don't have any regular social contacts that have indicated to me that they are anti-hug. i kiss all of my good friends, male or female, on the cheek at party/holiday occasions and they all pretty much lean in for one after years of knowing me :). but i don't usually initiate a hug/kiss when we're just getting together on the weekends which we do with our main group of friends every weekend. i still hug and say iloveyou to my parents, sister, DH and DS tho every chance i get - i don't want to ever leave without saying a real goodbye to the ones i hold dearest. right now, DS mostly just gets scooped up into a big hug or a kiss. but as he's gotten older, and i occasionally ask for one, i respect his answer. i also phrase hugs for family when leaving, etc. as a request which he gets to say yes/no to.
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
07-29-2007, 11:27 AM
I'll remember to give you a big hug if we ever meet IRL.
I generally like hugs from people I feel that I know and have some general bond with.
I have felt times where I didn't like being touched, even from people I knew. Can't really explain it, but it was a phase.
I don't kiss people except for very close family and lovers. I'm not used to getting kissed on the cheek by people, although I appreciate their sentiment and affection. The air kiss is almost offensive to me, it's so fake.
07-29-2007, 12:06 PM
>Big hugger here! I think it comes from the Italian side of
>my family. DH *hates* going to family parties b/c it takes so
>long to hug and kiss everyone good-bye! Even when we are all
>together for overnight visits it's hugs/kisses when you wake
>up and go to bed. It's probably a bit excessive, but it makes
>you feel good (to both give and receive)!
Another hugger from an Italian family here. And yes, hellos and goodbyes are like receiving lines at a wedding - every time! DS hugs his teachers and therapists whenever we leave them. The moms in our playgroup all hug each other when we say hello/goodbye and a few of us do the cheek kissing. When I was teaching I was careful not to initiate a hug, but if the child initiated, I would hug back. One little guy I had (who's now about to start high school - YIKES!) hugged me every time he saw me from pre-k (when I had him) until 6th grade.
07-29-2007, 12:16 PM
I don't like hugs. If I do hug I do a little one with just my arms but my body kind of distanced. I'm not a big fan of touching in general. The kiss in the air (cheek touch) is the standard greeting here and I will do that if the social situations dictates it but otherwise I am not a fan of that either.
07-29-2007, 04:12 PM
I learned about REAL hugs in HS from my best friends. Before that I never hugged at all. Nowadays it really depends on the relationship, how long I've known the person. And in a way I wait for them to make the first move, partly because I'm really careful about intruding into other people's personal space. I can usually tell in an instant whether a person wants to be hugged hello or goodbye. A lot of people I know now don't do the REAL hug, but I don't know if it's because they are uncomfy with that much closeness or think other people are.
07-29-2007, 07:52 PM
I'm not the huggie type. I hug my DH and kids all the time. I actually love
to hug my kids because they hug with meaning.
I hug my Dad when I see him but that's just because I only see him
once a year.
I don't normally hug my siblings but I might now because I won't
see them as often. It would have seemed kind of weird to hug my sister
every time I saw her since I used to see her several times a week. (when
we lived in Texas)
Now, my daughter on the other hand is a hugger. (so far!) She wants
to hug everyone. And she gets offended if the person won't hug her!!
I have to explain to her that not everyone likes to get hugged. Her standard
answer is, "Why???"
07-29-2007, 09:22 PM
I hug my kid and my DH. Everyone else makes me a little uncomfortable. I come from a non-hugger family, so I'm sure that's it. I have to know you for a LOOOOONG time before I feel good about hugging you. People who get huggy when they barely know me scare me a little. I try not to show it, but it does squick me out.
07-29-2007, 10:09 PM
I'm not a big hugger. I will hug friends and family sometimes but only if it feels natural. I don't want to hug just b/c we are saying bye or something. It doesn't always feel comfortable and I don't want to do something that feels forced or awkward. I hate that, "should I hug them or just wave?" feeling and usually go with my gut not to hug then.
Couldn't tell you the last time I hugged my sister. I don't know if I have ever hugged my ILs.
07-30-2007, 01:08 AM
I hug but seem to be pretty good about picking up on who does not hug so as to avoid them being awkward about it. Hugging was a big deal in high school- all my friends did it all the time. The people I hug typically are my relatives and closer friends. If someone hugs me, so long as they are not creepy, I am going to be inclined to hug them in a social situation.
I am however a non-hugger at work. Hug me at work...ehhhh not cool. Not sure why. However, I would never be rude about it. It is possible to convey a personal boundary without being mean.
****Rocking out while parenting my smart little munchkin Toby. Just trying to do good in the world, a little at a time. Words to live by: it is *never* the wrong time to do the right thing :)
07-30-2007, 06:42 PM
I am not a real touchy-feely person, so I rarely initiate hugging people outside of family and close friends. However, I happily receive hugs :)
I'm uncomfortable with being kissed by anyone except for kids, DH, and grandmas.
07-30-2007, 08:21 PM
I think it's cultural and geographical. In NYC, it's common to greet with a hug and cheek touch kiss, but here in Florida it's not. My mom visited once and saw my friend again for the second time and went to give her a hug/kiss and my friend jumped back in surprise. My friend is from Wisconsin where I'm not sure if they do that there. It actually kinda startled her!
07-31-2007, 05:59 AM
I am a very muffin type person. Very touchy feely, tell me about your feelings, etc...
So yeah, I'll put my arms around you and *hug* you. None of that stand there kinda stiff and pat you on the back. I do it with feeling, :).
Most of my friends hug hello/goodbye. Me and the kids are always lovin' on each other. I don't hug anybody in Jim's family. But they are very rigid people (atleast that's how they seem to me). They don't hug, they don't really show any affection. That's how they grew up. Not really laugh out loud people IYKWIM. I grew up in a house where we showed emotion and stuff.
07-31-2007, 06:45 AM
total hugger! if you and i met IRL, i would probably give you a hug!
i am a kisser, too! that sounds so funny. ;) i have tons of friends who get a cheek kiss, or even a mouth kiss if i have known them for a LONG time.
07-31-2007, 05:16 PM
>My friend is from Wisconsin where
>I'm not sure if they do that there. It actually kinda
LOL! As a Midwestern transplant to the east coast I can say we didn't do that there! I was always a plain hugger and now people always want to do the kiss and the sort of half hug and it still feels awkward. I don't think I do it quite right because I always end up with someone's mouth on my ear, bleh!
07-31-2007, 10:43 PM
I don't mind hugging. Typically, I'll hug a friend if we don't see each other on a regular basis. My family gives verbal hello's, but kisses goodbye. DH's family gives hugs and mouth-kisses both hello and goodbye. I'm still not totally comfortable with mouth-kissing his family. I feel rude, but I usually try to turn my cheek just enough that I miss the mouth.
Of course with dh and ds, I'm always hugging and kissing them. Can't help it ;)
08-01-2007, 08:48 AM
Both my DH and I grew up in households where hugging was very uncommon. I am probably an avg hugger. I hug friends who are either going through tough times or ones that I have not seen in a very long time or will not be seeing for a very long time. I hug my kids constantly. My DH is very huggy toward my kids and myself, but not with anyone else. I have never even seen him hug his mom and dad before.
It was strange, b/c the minister's wife at our church is one of those ppl that hugs ALL of the time. It makes me so uncomfortable, b/c I feel like she is being fake and forcing herself to be affectionate toward ppl. I can't describe it, I just get a bad vibe from her (I like her husband though, he seems very genuine). I don't like getting hugs from ppl that I barely know, I think it's just weird. I am an RN and have had patients hug me before, thanking me for taking care of them and I do appreciate and understand that. However, typically I kind of stiffen up if someone I do not really know tries to hug me.
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