Feb. 1, 2023

To Hug or Not to Hug

To Hug or Not to Hug

Hi everyone. It's about time I found a chance to get back at this website. I feel like I am running in a million circles these days, and not finding the end of the finish line.  It happens to all of us!  

Typically I try to do a blog post to accompany my episodes, and I did not manage to do that so I am going to backtrack a bit here and talk about Air Hugs. I did a podcast back in January about this very subject, and it was timely. I don't like people just hugging me out of the blue, and typically I reserve my hugs for people I am close to. That is me, however, and there are many people who thrive on getting hugs.

I suppose when the pandemic started, it really made us think twice about those extra hugs. I recall a time when it was so bad here, and the ICU's were full, we were on full lockdown and it felt super weird to be saying "air hug" to the young man I had brought into this world. How do you not hug your own son? That's a tough one, because there are many people out there who would do anything to have one more chance to hug their child, and that option will never happen. I am grateful for any moment I have to hug my children, even though they are adults. 

In the episode I wrote about Air Hugs, I talk about personal boundaries.  It's your choice if you want to hug someone, and likewise it's up to us to read body language and know when we are offering a hug that may not be welcomed. The funny thing is, the day I aired this episode, I had a couple visit my house and one person is huggy, and the other person isn't.  On their way out the door, the "huggy" person initiated a nice hug and squeeze, and I wasn't sure what to do because the other person was standing there. I leaned forward to match the actions of her partner, and discovered very quickly that hugging is not something her partner would want to do. I was caught on the spot, because I felt if I didn't offer that hug when I had so readily provided a reciprocal hug to her partner, I would look rude. Instead, I was left feeling awkward because it was clear her partner does not hug.  Could I have handled it differently?  Probably, and just because one person extends hugs doesn't mean their spouse or partner wants to. It was just coincidental that this occurred on the day I launched this podcast, and I still feel a bit of discomfort over the situation.  Why do I still think about it?  Is it because I was worried that I had crossed the boundaries on someone's personal space, or because I wondered if that person perhaps didn't like me?  It's funny with human nature how one little action can be perceived in so many ways, often misconstrued and a catalyst in worry that should never be. It's a hug for goodness sakes, simply a hug. 

Where am I going with this?  Well, I guess listen to my episode is where I would start.  If you have any comments, please feel free to reach out to me through the Contact page on this website. Have a great day everyone! 

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