Thursday, April 13, 2017


I am not a hugger.

I have some friends who will hug me (and sometimes kiss me) every time we meet up.  I have friends that I have literally never hugged.  I don't mind hugging my friends who want this, but my personal preference is that none of us ever touch each other except possibly by accident.

That probably makes me sound like a terrible person.

I love to hug and kiss my kids, and probably am more or at least as affectionate with them as most parents.  I love to hug and kiss my husband.  I like physical affection, but only with certain people.

Lately in my book club, we've all started hugging at the end of the club.  Now I like all these women very much, but I don't know some of them very well.  Some of them I've only met a few times and I just feel weird hugging them!  Is that wrong?

Ditto with patients.  I've had a handful of patient that I bonded with who want to hug me when they're discharged, and while I always oblige, I feel that it's uncomfortable for me and I'm never sure it's appropriate.

Why can't we all just fist bump?


  1. Family is one thing, but as for friends the hugging is in reverse proportion to how well I know them. New acquaintances grab me for a "hello" hug and long term friends and I awkwardly pat each other on the shoulder.

  2. Ha! I am also not a hugger. And I often seem to end up in friend groups with huggers. And some of my family - even my family - are big huggers. I have even told one lovely cousin I am not a hugger. And he is sweet and thoughtful and never initiates a hug now - but I sometimes do. My BIG BIG pet peeve of college graduation is that we were to take our diploma and hug some complete stranger. The diploma/handshake combo is tried and true. It works very well without total strangers of different heights and sexes - some of them in heels - wearing cumbersome robes - and trying to hug. I am not a fan of hugging overall and you are absolutely entitled to use your personal space as you see fit. Nothing wrong with at all. Nice ways around it include perfecting the warm handshake - where you put out a hand to the sweet elderly patient, they give you your hand, and you clasp it with your second hand and give a nice warm smile and say you wish them the best. Something like that. ... Some hugs become pretty unavoidable without employing some self-defense type moves. But I have found the pre-emptive warm handshake is a decent out. Good luck! I look forward to shaking your hand or exchanging a totally not warm mutual fist bump if we ever meet!

  3. Thank you, Anonymous! I hate people who assume that I am delighted to receive a hug whether or not I want one. I especially resent the "announcers"-blaring out across the room their intention of inflicting a hug on me. I have stopped trying to be polite about fending off these assaults, and either sidestep at the last moment, or push back with the flat of my hand. Perceived as rude perhaps, but I don't like strange people in my space or touching me.

  4. I'm not fond of touching/being touched by most people either. I can't get enough of it from my family, but casual friends who are huggers make me uncomfortable too. One actually asked me if I had been sexually assaulted because she noticed I was uncomfortable with being hugged.

  5. I don't like being hugged either, but I've felt like I've had to learn that it's an expected social norm and so I try to get through it as quickly as possible. I embrace, tap twice and then release.
    Mind The Medic

  6. My Primary Care gives the best hugs and I find nothing wrong with it, it is very sweet of him :) (No, I don't ask for them)