• Whats in a Hug?

    Have you ever went to hug someone and they didn't reciprocate the way you expected?

    photo from here
    Ryan and I went to a friends house last night for a party/get together and we had a really nice time. Everyone was really pleasant and cool to hang out with. Some of the guys there also grew up on Maui and so I figured they knew how to hug a girl because its a pretty standard thing here to hug and kiss and girl when you see them or leave them. Apparently I was wrong. I went for the hug and they acted like they didn't know what to do and they gave me the weakest hug ever. I wasn't really hurt by it but I just thought it was weird and it just shows that you just never know what to expect from people. What are some of the greeting standards where you live?

    30 comments → Whats in a Hug?

    1. I grew up in a family that didn't show very much physical affection, and I married into a family who shows a lot. It was a difficult transition. Even if I wanted to be huggy, it took a while for it to feel natural to me. I think I'm there now :-) and happy to be so.

    2. oh hun i completely understand. I know a group of 5 guys and usually when I see them there really isn't hugging but there is when we all leave. Well there is this one guy who I dunno maybe it's becuz he's taller than me or ya know some people just don't line up good next to each other but it is the most AKWARDEST HUG EVER!! I bring my arms over his shoulders and he will like go rigid n just kinda like put his arms around my back pat my back and move away from me as quick as possible. I dunno. It's awful n weird. lol. =)

    3. Hello Rachel, I always give hugs! Sad to say, but many people in my state won't even shake hands, something to do with their religious beliefs if you don't belong to the same church they do... must be so sad to live like that... Big hugs to you from me!!! Bisous... Julie Marie

    4. When I first moved to the US two years ago I had no clue how to greet people! Back home in Spain you give everybody two kisses, even if you don't know them. In Germany you shake hands and kiss only your close friends... So I'm new to the whole hugging business, but I really like it. Although it's always awkward when you are in the transition period, when its almost rude to shake hands and you don't know how people are going to react to hugs. My experience is that it's always nicer to "overdo" the greeting rather than to "underdo" it.
      I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with greeting-issues!
      virtual hugs,
      naomi :)

    5. It varies here, in Virginia. My "southern" friends are big huggers/touchers. My Northern friends are a bit more formal..they shake hands and keep a bit of a distance.

      Blessings and prayers, andrea

    6. i'm a hugger too but i have a feel of the person before i hug them. i've received a few weak hugs before. i just figured those people weren't used to friendly affection.

    7. It's hard to judge other people's comfort level with hugs and kisses.
      I am half Puerto Rican- so it's hugs and kisses all the time! We always do the one kiss plus a big hug in my family. But also, since I moved to New York City, it's pretty common to kiss friends on the cheek, too. I always make it a point to just go for the hug and kiss with a new person that I feel comfortable with, so that they don't have to "guess" if it's ok. If there's ever an awkward "ooooh what are we doing..oh..wait" I just laugh and say " oh come in here, I'll give you a hug!" xoxo

    8. I'm such a hugger. I live in New England where some people really are not comfortable with hugging (you'd think they'd like it in the cold weather we have up here!), so I try to read people's body language and take it from there. I've had my share of awkward hugs (ugh!), but I also have some friends who are great huggers. One of my best girlfriends is from California, and she really knows how to give a big squeeze that just brightens up your whole day.

      Sending you a big, friendly, completely un-awkward hug,

    9. These comments are so great! Thank you for all the big hugs and advice!

    10. I love getting/giving hugs but it really just depends on the friend. There have been a couple instances where I've hugged a friend and I could tell they weren't quite expecting it, so it was a little awkward.

      hugs :)

    11. My family always hugged, my husbands didn't so hugs from his mom are a bit uncomfortable. I have a daughter who doesn't like to hug. She is very loving but likes her space. I have to respect but I force her to hug once in a while.

    12. That is kind of awkward, sorry you had to go through that. Sometimes it is hard to read a person and I think you were just trying to be kind and sweet, like you are. I guess for next time you know what guys can deal with a friend hug and which cannot, I have had the same happen to me.

    13. Hi Rachel
      Thanks for following my blog. Yours looks fascinating...I can't wait 'til I have time to read through all the posts!
      As for the hugging etc...my younger brother gave off the "no hugging" vibe but I suspected he actually felt good after being hugged so I just kept hugging him. I am so glad I did as he passed away aged 21. When I hug my teenage son there isn't much reciprocating but I will just keep hugging him too!

    14. I am a hugger. I always greet my guests with a hug and when I go somewhere greet friends with a hug. Hugs are the best - I especially love it when a little one you don't know very well wants to hug you. You know they have been loved. Sweet. I say don't give up the hug - for the most part it makes people feel good!

    15. Where I'm at the only thing people do is shake hands. You don't really even see much physical interaction among a lot of families. There's not a lot of hugging unless something special has happened.

    16. I grew up with huggers and kissers. But I have to say, I always HATED it. Now I just give a wave so they know I'm looking for the hug. My husband grew up in a family with little to no physical signs of affection, but together we are a perfect match. I like hugging him, he likes hugging me, but we don't want to hug or be hugged by others.

    17. It is so funny/awkward when this happens! I believe in the hug - we all need more of them in life, right!

    18. I've noticed it's different for almost everybody. My family hugs and kisses. My husband's family are huge huggers. I have aunts and uncles that don't hug at all, but also some, in the same family, that hug all the time. Then I have friends of my husband's that hug and kiss on the cheek. I'm still thrown off guard by some people's greetings, but for the most part wind up going with the flow.

    19. being puerto rican, i was raised as a hugger and a kisser. depending on the situation and who it is, i'm all about some hugging!

    20. Hugs aren't very common here either Rachel... unless it's good close and sometimes longtime friends. But I think a good hug is awesome and so great to get! I once read that people are supposed to have at least 9 forms of physical affection a day in order to feel psychologically well... so them not hugging you back full heartily is definitely their loss.

    21. Rachel, that is so funny. I can totally relate. I grew up in the north but lived in Atlanta the last 8 years. TOTALLY different. We are talking no eye contact to a big friendly hug and hello.

      I think it is always best to share your warmth and positivity with those around you.

    22. There isn't much hugging around here, well maybe in my circle, anyway! Usually when I meet someone new I go for the handshake, or with good friends we'll do a silly fist bump or something like that :)

    23. I love hugs! however, we don't hug a lot of people here, only the closest friends and family.
      have a great week, xoxo

    24. Hmm that's odd. Social cues are different for everyone.
      PS: check out my blog post this morning for an award :)

    25. That's a really, really interesting post:) In my country people shake hands and mostly just girls hug and kiss. But it really depends on the people.

      hope you have a wonderful day, dear! *hug and kiss* lol :)

    26. I was raised in a huggy kissy family...we also call everyone "honey", or "sweetie". I agree that we can sometimes get a sense of whether or not someone wants to give or receive a hug, so I try to be sensitive to those signs, and if they aren't there, I just smile and maybe touch a hand or shoulder. My DIL isn't huggy, and its difficult for me to give my son a big hug, while I watch her walk away to leave the house...sometimes I just go ahead and grab her and hug her, and she is always okay with it, but she has never initiated a hug. It is what it is, and its okay, either way.

      Good observation and good question!

      God bless,

    27. I am a big believer in hugs. I know not everybody is comfortable with them as a greeting as I am. So I def know what you are talking about. Theres also those light taps on your back...you know what I am talking about?

    28. In Switzerland it was always two kisses. It's nice with friends, but otherwise I'm not a big fan.

    29. Haha, I'm such a hugger, too. It's sad when people don't reciprocate, but their loss, right?

    30. So funny! I've been there. We have friends where you can hug the wife, but not the husband. We gets weirded out, which then weirds us out!

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