To Hug Or Not To Hug

Many who know me think I’m not a hugger.

Many more who know me would be surprised by this and would disagree.

I hug.  But I hug appropriately.

I hug people I am comfortable with.  And I hug people who I am 100% sure are comfortable with having me hug them.  It’s gotta be a mutual thing.  I have high regard for other’s boundaries.  And I want the same consideration.

Some people hug freely and generously and I think it’s wonderful.  I think it’s wonderful for them.  Because to them it’s natural and comfortable for them.

I am not a hugaphobic or anti-hugger or an  a-hugging personality.

I hug my mom.  I hug my aunts and uncles.   I hug my siblings and their spouses and children.  I hug my husband.  I hug my children.  I squeeze my grandawesomebaby.  I take and give comfort with this.

I sometimes break out of my own comfort zone and hug a stranger.  Hugging someone in crisis or devastation.  Or hugged in a moment of joy.  I work a job that puts me in a lot of elderly people’s homes.  I have been hugged and even kissed, and had my hair patted by some very funny old folks.  Some of them are desperate for a hug, some of them are so happy and grateful for a stranger to show concern for them that they cry, or laugh, to have someone say they care.  Some shake my hand, grabbing it in both of theirs.  Sometimes they hug me because they hug everyone.   But in those situations, I never cross that line.  They grab the hand, or even ask for a hug.  I have to be honest, it is literally a zone I have to step out of, to cross in to their zone of need, or comfort.  But I do it.  I don’t regret it.  I’m not always comfortable with it.  But I sometimes am comfortable with it.  And that is a good zone.  To give comfort to someone in need, I will go in to that zone.

But there’s another zone I don’t step in to.  And that is hugging someone because I think they need it, but know they aren’t comfortable with it.  Sometimes that is me.  I have dealt with many of my own personal situations that from the outside others think I need a hug.  I don’t.  I really don’t.  It’s someone else who doesn’t know how to comfort me, or help me, or talk to me, and THEY need the hug.  Sometimes that’s okay, sometimes it’s not.  So I know what that is like.  I have a friend or two, yeah, you, you know who I’m talking to (about).  Sometimes our friends go through stuff and we think they need us to comfort them.  But that friend also has boundaries and comfort zones.  I don’t cross it.  What do I do?  Man how do I help?  How do I make them feel better?  How do I make ME feel better because I feel bad for them but my feeling bad certainly doesn’t compare to how they are feeling bad.


I tell them:  “Consider Yourself Hugged”.

I love to hug.  I really do.  But sometimes recognizing what the other person needs for comfort is more important than my own comfort.  Hug or no hug.  It depends on what they need.


2 thoughts on “To Hug Or Not To Hug

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