Thought Catalog

I Have Some Questions About Hugs

  • 0

What are they? Are they important?

Are there different kinds of hugs?

Should I hug different people differently?

Should I put my arms over or under their arms? Or should one arm go over and one arm go under in a criss-cross pattern?

Does it depend on height?

How should I hug a girl that is taller than me?

What’s the best way to avoid accidentally punching/hitting someone when going to hug them?

Can I hug from a seated position?

Should I pat the other person’s back while hugging? Is that a weird thing to do?

Should I rub/slide my hand on the person at all?

Should I close my eyes? (No, right?)

Can I hug with just one arm?

If a girl knocks my hat off while hugging, should I get mad?

Is it weird to shake a girl’s hand?

Should I talk during the hug? Or is that a telltale sign of social anxiety/insecurity?

After the hug, what’s up with an arm or shoulder squeeze? Why do I feel like an asshole when I do either of those things?

If I have a gay male friend and I am a straight male, do I hug?

Is it weird if I only feel like hugging people I’ve known for 10+ years?

At what point in a friendship/platonic relationship should hugging begin?

If I fail to hug at the appropriate time in the relationship, will I never be able to hug that person?

What does it mean when you have an attractive female friend who hugs everyone except for you?

What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in 6th grade?

What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in college?

What does it mean when a girl says chidingly “you can give me a hug, I won’t bite” when you’re in graduate school?

Is my hugging ability in any way an indication of my ability in other forms of intimacy?

Why didn’t I hug my mom that one time she was crying in the elevator as we were leaving her dementia’d mom in a nursing home in Georgia?

What does it mean when an attractive girl who has a boyfriend hugs you in really cool and unexpected ways… almost goes out of her way to hug you? How should that be interpreted?

What if you’ve read several eHow/wikiHow articles re: “How to Hug” and you really, really can’t see yourself doing what they say? TC mark

image – Braken Kowitz

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    • Taylor O

      lol!
      i love this

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        hugs~

    • Twitter

      I bet people are going to get really mad about this article because they somehow think it's sexist or homophobic. And maybe it is, shit, I don't know, I don't understand hugging either.

    • http://stephentullydierks.blogspot.com stephen

      nice

    • PERFECTCIRCLES

      I'll let other answers the questions, but here is a tip: if you know both members of a hetero couple the same, hug them both. No handshake exception for the man. Two men and two ladies can, and should, hug.

    • Lera

      Some of these have crossed my mind.

    • http://twitter.com/srslydrew Andrew F.

      Not sexual enough to have a universal rule book, not casual enough to get all willy nilly about. Hugs suck (socially).

    • http://twitter.com/radutzan radu

      you Americans are so cold and worried about being politically correct that natural displays of affection have become completely unnatural and rational acts.

      • inflammatorywrit

        As an American who hugs people all the time (I've even gotten used to being kissed on the cheeks by my Spanish friends! I'm so cultured, I'm basically European.), I would say that the writer would have this crippling anxiety about hugs regardless of his country of birth. But, seriously, what do I know? I had to get my Canadian friend to proofread this so my typical American ignorance wouldn't show.

    • http://antiparti.cl icecreamwithyou

      u need a reaaaaaaaaaal hug :)

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      “Should I close my eyes? (No, right)?”

      lol

    • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

      What are they? Are they important?
      I think so, yes. They also feel nice.

      Are there different kinds of hugs?
      Of course! Like there are different kinds of smiles.

      Should I hug different people differently?
      Yes indeed. The more you like them, the harder you squeeze.

      Should I put my arms over or under their arms? Or should one arm go over and one arm go under in a criss-cross pattern?
      Feel the moment.

      Does it depend on height?
      Just put your face in their chest, or let them do it to you depending on your vertical inclination.

      How should I hug a girl that is taller than me?
      See above. Depends how well you know her. A little boob in the face never hurts.

      What’s the best way to avoid accidentally punching/hitting someone when going to hug them?
      Relax.

      Can I hug from a seated position?
      Awkward. Get up and be polite. Physical capabilities dependent.

      Should I pat the other person’s back while hugging? Is that a weird thing to do?
      Only if you call them 'Champ'.

      Should I rub/slide my hand on the person at all?
      Weird. Creepy.

      Should I close my eyes? (No, right?)
      If you're really enjoying it, why not.

      Can I hug with just one arm?
      Are you holding something in the other?

      If a girl knocks my hat off while hugging, should I get mad?
      Do you hate her?

      Is it weird to shake a girl’s hand?
      Nope, not if you don't know her well enough to hug her.

      Should I talk during the hug? Or is that a telltale sign of social anxiety/insecurity?
      No. Yes.

      After the hug, what’s up with an arm or shoulder squeeze? Why do I feel like an asshole when I do either of those things?
      It can be avoided.

      If I have a gay male friend and I am a straight male, do I hug?
      Of course! Hopefully you both enjoy it.

      Is it weird if I only feel like hugging people I’ve known for 10+ years?
      Not really.

      At what point in a friendship/platonic relationship should hugging begin?
      At exactly 8 weeks. No exceptions.

      If I fail to hug at the appropriate time in the relationship, will I never be able to hug that person?
      Totes. Just go for it.

      What does it mean when you have an attractive female friend who hugs everyone except for you?
      She either thinks you're attractive, thinks you think she's attractive, or hates you.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in 6th grade?
      Try harder.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in college?
      Again, try harder. Think less.

      What does it mean when a girl says chidingly “you can give me a hug, I won’t bite” when you’re in graduate school?
      Let's make sex.

      Is my hugging ability in any way an indication of my ability in other forms of intimacy?
      Probably.

      Why didn’t I hug my mom that one time she was crying in the elevator as we were leaving her dementia’d mom in a nursing home in Georgia?
      Because you were afraid and didn't know how to react.

      What does it mean when an attractive girl who has a boyfriend hugs you in really cool and unexpected ways… almost goes out of her way to hug you? How should that be interpreted?
      Is her boyfriend a douche? Do you know him? Does she do this with everyone?

      What if you’ve read several eHow/wikiHow articles re: “How to Hug” and you really, really can’t see yourself doing what they say?
      High fives are always appropriate.

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        Does it depend on height?
        Just put your face in their chest, or let them do it to you depending on your vertical inclination.

        i feel like turning your head to one side is always good, to avoid being “in” the chest

    • http://profiles.google.com/jackson.nieuwland Jackson Nieuwland

      I want to hug all of you. Especially you Andrew. Don't worry, I won't bite

    • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

      What are they?

      Hugs are the act of embracing a person/animal/thing.

      Are they important?

      Their importance may vary according to context from 'irrelevant' to 'very important'.

      Are there different kinds of hugs?

      Yes.

      Should I hug different people differently?

      Yes.

      Should I put my arms over or under their arms? Or should one arm go over and one arm go under in a criss-cross pattern?

      Depends on height.

      Does it depend on height?

      Yes.

      How should I hug a girl that is taller than me?

      Let her initiate, then go with it. (I use this for all hugs with women)

      What’s the best way to avoid accidentally punching/hitting someone when going to hug them?

      Begin to extend your arms before you're in range.

      Can I hug from a seated position?

      Yes.

      Should I pat the other person’s back while hugging? Is that a weird thing to do?

      Depends on the person/animal/thing you are hugging.

      Should I rub/slide my hand on the person at all?

      Depends on the person/animal/thing you are hugging.

      Should I close my eyes? (No, right?)

      Depends on the person/animal/thing you are hugging.

      Can I hug with just one arm?

      Yes.

      If a girl knocks my hat off while hugging, should I get mad?

      No.

      Is it weird to shake a girl’s hand?

      No.

      Should I talk during the hug? Or is that a telltale sign of social anxiety/insecurity?

      Depends on the person/animal/thing you are hugging. Also depends on the thing you are saying.

      After the hug, what’s up with an arm or shoulder squeeze?

      Additional act of intimacy/affection.

      Why do I feel like an asshole when I do either of those things?

      Hard to say. Maybe you are an asshole, and this just happens to be one of the circumstances in which you notice.

      If I have a gay male friend and I am a straight male, do I hug?

      Depends on the friend – but probably 'yes'.

      Is it weird if I only feel like hugging people I’ve known for 10+ years?

      No.

      At what point in a friendship/platonic relationship should hugging begin?

      At the point when both parties feel comfortable with it.

      If I fail to hug at the appropriate time in the relationship, will I never be able to hug that person?

      Depends on the person.

      What does it mean when you have an attractive female friend who hugs everyone except for you?

      Depends on the girl. Maybe she likes you. Maybe she thinks you like her too much.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in 6th grade?

      No idea. Could be simple teasing. Could be an attempt to hurt your feelings. Could be because she likes you. Could be something else. People are weird. Possibly it means you're just a bad hugger.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in college?

      No idea. Could be simple teasing. Could be an attempt to hurt your feelings. Could be because she likes you. Could be something else. People are weird. Possibly it means you're just a bad hugger.

      What does it mean when a girl says chidingly “you can give me a hug, I won’t bite” when you’re in graduate school?

      No idea. Could be simple teasing. Could be an attempt to hurt your feelings. Could be because she likes you. Could be something else. People are weird. Possibly they just wanted a hug and thought you were being standoffish.

      Is my hugging ability in any way an indication of my ability in other forms of intimacy?

      No.

      Why didn’t I hug my mom that one time she was crying in the elevator as we were leaving her dementia’d mom in a nursing home in Georgia?

      You're not playing fair.

      What does it mean when an attractive girl who has a boyfriend hugs you in really cool and unexpected ways… almost goes out of her way to hug you? How should that be interpreted?

      No idea. Could be simple teasing. Could be an attempt to make her boyfriend jealous. Could be because she likes you. Could be because she thinks you're safe to hug. Could be she thinks you're safe to hug because she thinks you're gay. Could be something else. People are weird. Possibly she just wanted a hug.

      What if you’ve read several eHow/wikiHow articles re: “How to Hug” and you really, really can’t see yourself doing what they say?

      Dismiss them as hackneyed tripe and keep going as you're going.

    • LDN

      I <3 hugs

      :)

    • Rachel Butters Scotch

      Hug anxiety.
      :(

    • http://twitter.com/benhRjr ben Raifsnider, jr.

      during hugs you should say things like “hey, motherfucker!” or “please grab my ass”

    • http://davidfishkind.com effervescence

      so you're a funny guy huh

    • Guest

      At what point in a friendship/platonic relationship should hugging begin?
      Wow, this brought me back to last night. I was at a concert and a guy I barely recognized from one of my college classes, who I've talked to maybe once came up and gave me a full on bear hug. I don't even know this dude's name and he's hugging me like we've known each other for years. This probably wouldn't have been a big deal, but I've always been sensitive with hugs and don't even let friends I've had for 10+ years hug me.

    • http://twitter.com/goutspleen victoria trott

      lol dementia'd

    • http://iwillalwaysbedrunk.com/ Jake Fournier

      as an important corollary to this: cheek kissing? when did Americans become European?

    • Gina

      I really don't like hugging and avoid it at all costs unless it's a good friend I haven't seen in a long time or someone I won't be seeing for a while. Just not a hugger.

    • Lindsey-lu

      wanna know if someone wants to sleep with you? you can tell by how they hug you:

      if they stand a step away, and lean in to hug you with just their arms and upper chest, no sexy time. if the person steps up close to you and allows their full torso to touch yours while hugging, bow chicka wow wow!

      • http://twitter.com/andshewasnt genna mae

        This is totally not true for everyone. Perhaps for people who are not willing huggers to begin with, but not for super hug-happy people.

    • http://yehjames.blogspot.com James Yeh

      just realized you didn't hug me when we saw each other the other night, bro. have sense of slight awkwardness, now, that the next time i see you we will both remember interacting about hugging and know the other is remembering that interaction too, wondering: “is it time?”

    • http://twitter.com/andshewasnt genna mae

      Y'all can roll your eyes at me, I'm going to answer all of these. Sorry if I repeat some answers, I haven't read through the comments.

      What are they? Are they important?
      A hug is the purest form of affection (platonic and otherwise). They are incredibly important.

      Are there different kinds of hugs?
      As many as the stars in the sky. Kinda. There's bear hugs, air hugs, side-hugs, half-hugs (the kind in which people keep as much distance between themselves as possible while still embracing), lift-her-off-her-feet hugs, the list goes on.

      Should I hug different people differently?
      Yes, probably. I think you know that you probably wouldn't give one of your dude friends a bear hug unless his momma died (or something like that).

      Should I put my arms over or under their arms? Or should one arm go over and one arm go under in a criss-cross pattern?
      Here's my hug rule to live by: if you initiate the hug, your arms go over theirs. Criss-crossing is by all accounts okay.

      Does it depend on height?
      The rule above applies if you're considerably taller than the person you're hugging.

      How should I hug a girl that is taller than me?
      Arms under hers, no question. Also, do your best not to plant your nose right between her boobs. That's awkward.

      What’s the best way to avoid accidentally punching/hitting someone when going to hug them?
      Hmm…make sure your arms are already open for the embrace when going in for it. (I've never hit or been hit while giving a hug, so my answer is probably not great.)

      Can I hug from a seated position?
      Although awkward, yes, especially if in a car.

      Should I pat the other person’s back while hugging? Is that a weird thing to do?
      Patting the other person's back is okay, if the emotional circumstance warrants it. Say, if you are giving an extra-heartfelt hug.

      Should I rub/slide my hand on the person at all?
      Rub the other person's back lightly if giving a consoling or otherwise extremely earnest hug. In most other cases, don't–it implies too much emotion.

      Should I close my eyes? (No, right?)
      Why not? I think my eyes close as a reflex when I give an especially tight hug.

      Can I hug with just one arm?
      If you mean a frontal-hug with one arm, fine (although that's a shitty hug). If you mean in a side-hug, then it's not quite as shitty, but still a lower-quality hug.

      If a girl knocks my hat off while hugging, should I get mad?
      Haha, I always think this is funny when it happens. If it's something that might irritate you, try to laugh it off.

      Is it weird to shake a girl’s hand?
      YES. Absolutely so. Unless she initiates it.

      Should I talk during the hug? Or is that a telltale sign of social anxiety/insecurity?
      There's nothing weird about talking during a hug.

      After the hug, what’s up with an arm or shoulder squeeze? Why do I feel like an asshole when I do either of those things?
      You feel like an asshole when you do that because it's a silly thing to do.

      If I have a gay male friend and I am a straight male, do I hug?
      If you're comfortable in your sexuality, then why not? Hugging should not be about what other people think.

      Is it weird if I only feel like hugging people I’ve known for 10+ years?
      It's not weird. Everyone attaches a different comfort level to their willingness to hug.

      At what point in a friendship/platonic relationship should hugging begin?
      For me, I'm willing to hug from minute zero, if I can identify the person as friend material. When you begin to hug a friend is entirely dependent on your comfort around him or her, however.

      If I fail to hug at the appropriate time in the relationship, will I never be able to hug that person?
      It's never too late to start hugging!

      What does it mean when you have an attractive female friend who hugs everyone except for you?
      For me, a female who sometimes avoids hugging dudes, it can mean one of two things: a) I am extremely attracted to the guy and don't yet want to insinuate so, or b) dude annoys the fuck out of me. The latter is usually why. I don't know if this same reasoning is used by other girls, though.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in 6th grade?
      Absolutely nothing.

      What does it mean when a girl tells you you are a bad hugger in college?
      She can't identify that you are perhaps uncomfortable with hugging. Not a big deal.

      What does it mean when a girl says chidingly “you can give me a hug, I won’t bite” when you’re in graduate school?
      She thinks you're too shy!

      Is my hugging ability in any way an indication of my ability in other forms of intimacy?
      Yes. Willingness to give a hug is the most apparent indicator of emotional openness; if you are reluctant to hug, you come off as introverted, or maybe even standoffish. However, if you're emotionally vocal, sometimes people will ignore that you aren't especially a willing hugger and will probably not think that you are indisposed to intimacy.

      Why didn’t I hug my mom that one time she was crying in the elevator as we were leaving her dementia’d mom in a nursing home in Georgia?
      You were probably dealing with your own feelings about the situation. Don't get hung up on trying to process that. Just remember to hug your mom when that kind of stuff happens again.

      What does it mean when an attractive girl who has a boyfriend hugs you in really cool and unexpected ways… almost goes out of her way to hug you? How should that be interpreted?
      She obviously values the relationship that she has with you! I would not read into it any further than that. She, having a boyfriend, should be left to initiate any more intense PDAs with you.

      What if you’ve read several eHow/wikiHow articles re: “How to Hug” and you really, really can’t see yourself doing what they say?
      You can't really see yourself doing that shit because it's stupid. Just follow what us commenters say, mmkay?

    • http://twitter.com/icameasgold Tanya Donascimento

      give lots of hugs, give em until your arms fall off

    • http://twitter.com/r0semarym Rosemary McClure

      hugging in platonic relationships should start right away. start hugging everyone, all the time. when in doubt, err on the side of hugging. if something weird happens during the hug (arm placement confusion, hats getting knocked off, one person going in for a side hug while you go in for a bear hug, sort of falling on someone when administering a hug to a sitting down person, etc.) pretend it didn't happen and shrug it off.

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