Current world events have made hugs…rather difficult to do over the past year. Whether you were never a hugger to begin with, or so much time has passed that you forget how to hug, I think it’s about time for a refresher.
With that in mind, people are so excited to hug friends and family again that they’ve taken to Twitter to share their personal tips on the “do’s and don’ts of hugging.”
The Importance Of Body Language
Much like you can read a room full of people to get an idea of its vibe, you can also gain a lot of information by paying attention to their body language.
Not everybody likes hugs, so if you are a hugger and can’t wait to start hugging people again, make sure they’re as fond of it as you are, so this doesn’t happen.
Some things in life shouldn’t be done halfway or forced, and physical affection is absolutely one of them.
If you’re going in for a hug, make sure you genuinely mean it and give it your all. You never know how much the other person might need it.
Pets Are Family
It’s not just people who love hugs, but also our four-legged best friends.
And why wouldn’t you want to constantly hug your pets? They’re adorable fluffy balls of unconditional love.
Pets Are Family: Part Two
Pets are beloved members of the family, right? While your cats and dogs absolutely need lots of cuddles, some animals are less keen on the whole touching thing (as are some people).
Hugging your fluffy dog because he’s such a good boy? Yes! Hugging a porcupine? That’s a no from me, dawg.
It’s The #MugLife For Me
It’s not just people and pets who need hugs, but also your morning mug of coffee!
Coffee is what gives me the strength to deal with other human beings each day and prevents me from straight-up slapping people, so that definitely deserves a hug.
How Not To Hug 101
Homer Simpson was our favorite cartoon dad growing up, and while he’s undoubtedly the reason I now love donuts and beer as an adult, I’m really glad I didn’t learn any hugging skills from him.
Wrapping my arms around someone to give them a big hug? Absolutely. Wrapping my hands around their throat and “hugging” their necks? Unless you’re secretly into that, that’s probably a big no-no.
If you ask the internet “how long should a hug last?” you get a smorgasbord of varied answers. From as little as three seconds all the way to 20 seconds long, it seems like no one really has the perfect answer.
Make sure it’s long enough to get a release of that sweet, sweet oxytocin, but not long enough to make things awkward.
Awkward And Adorkable
So, it’s been a while since hugging was the norm. Whether because a long time has passed, or you were just an awkward yet lovable human being to begin with, some hugs at first might be a little odd.
Embrace the awkwardness, and learn to hug again.
Location, Location, Location
Public bathrooms are one of those places where humans sometimes need to congregate when nature calls, but often our knowledge of how to behave in a socially acceptable way gets flushed down the toilet. Examples: trying to open a stall that is clearly occupied, or in a room full of empty urinals, someone chooses the one right beside you.
Unless you’re a drunk girl giving an ego boost and pep talk to another drunk girl in a nightclub at midnight, hugging in a public bathroom perhaps isn’t the most ideal location.
Not everyone is a hugger, and that’s totally okay!
The big thing with bodily autonomy and personal space is first obtaining a person’s consent. So if someone tells you they’re not interested, respect that choice and go hug a tree or something.
Kids Have Boundaries, Too
Not only is it important to get consent when physically interacting with someone, but this rule also applies to children.
Remember that while your children are your children, they’re also their own people too. Boundaries are important, so if your son or daughter doesn’t want to hug their uncle or their grandparents, don’t force them to.
A Who’s Who Of Hugs
Hugs from behind by your significant other are both unexpected and romantic. I am a big fan of bear-style hugs where tiny me is happily enveloped in their embrace.
Now, keep in mind that if you are going in for the sneak attack-style hug, make sure that the person you’re about to hug is actually your significant other.
Oxygen Is Important
Friendly reminder, but I am not a lemon in need of juicing, so if you do go in for a hug, please don’t squeeze all the air out of my lungs. I’m quite fond of oxygen.
When it comes to hugs, timing is important, and so is the amount of pressure.
Can’t Argue With The Classics
This one is simply a great reminder to give great hugs and listen to great music.
Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a classic and I will fight people on this. And don’t lie, we all know that you start singing along to it when it comes on the radio.
All Hugs Are Created Equal
Regardless of race, religion, gender, or age, love and hugs are something that transcend all demographics, and I think it’s something the world needs a little more of right now.
These two little boys are a perfect example of this.
As important it is to hug and show affection with other people, remember that it’s equally important to show yourself a bit of love too.
So give yourself a big hug, grab a cookie, and take the rest of the day off. You deserve it!