Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Can You Ever Get Enough Hugs? How do you feel?

Can you ever get enough hugs?  The answer for some, would be a resounding yes because they don't consider themselves to be huggy people. They are uncomfortable with touchy, feely people and so they retreat from, rather than respond to the hugs.

The answer for others, like my mother and other senior citizens that I have asked, would be no, because they simply do not get many, if any at all.

I would consider myself to be slightly resistant to hugs. I feel a little uncomfortable and find it hard to hug back. My brothers, who were never particularly huggy growing up, now greet and say goodbye with one. At a kiddie's party the other week, it was as if people could sense this from me as they didn't greet me with a hug as they did with others. I always feel a certain caginess about hugging and I wonder why, since I do feel good when I am given one.  I wonder if it's because of my background or if its just something inert in me.  As my Dad got older he used to give us what we called 'bone crusher' hugs, but I can't remember him doing that when we were younger. My mother hugged us a lot as children, but not so much when we grew up.

Yet, as a mother, I have no difficulty in accepting hugs from my little son.  There is nothing that fills me with so much joy as a hug from those little arms.  My mother loves to get hugs from her grandchildren as do many of her friends with theirs.  They say they simply don't get as many these days.  As their spouses and close relatives and friends are passing on, the hugs are few and far between.  Since I heard this, I have been making efforts to hug my mother much more. Sometimes it's hard, after a conversation where I am being criticised as only mothers can do with their daughters, but I do it anyway. Though she wants and accepts the hugs and always seems delighted, I can still sense a kind of reticence where she wants to respond but holds back.  If we get hugged less as we get older, I better start giving and receiving more now!

Once, on a family holiday to France, we passed through Barcelona.  In the square, at the Cathedral, it felt like such a happy place.  There were people hanging around with signs offering 'free hugs' and there were people just going up to avail of them.



For someone who is slightly nervous of being hugged,  I felt compelled to give and receive one.  The feeling was very strong and I thought I might actually do it.  Then I looked at my parents-in-law who are quite reserved and knew they wouldn't approve.  My father in law thought they were weirdos and since I often suspect he thinks I am too, I decided against it!  They were more interested in entering the Cathedral for the latin mass so that is what I ended up doing too.  It was beautiful but I would have preferred a free hug, given that I am usually so reserved about them.

There is even a facebook page and a website dedicated to the 'Free Hugs'. You can see an example here.

There is a woman known as 'Amma' who travels the world hugging people.  She believes in the loving healing power of the hug.  Apparently she has hugged more than 20 million people in all parts of the world.  Now there is someone who is not afraid of hugs!

Am I alone with my feelings on this?  How do you feel about hugs?

31 comments:

  1. I need my space from others, my friend joke about it because if they move to close to me, I will step back. But I do agree most of us miss those lovely hugs and this reminds me I must hug my kids more, even though they are older!

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    1. Sending you virtual hugs through cyber space!! x

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  2. It is only in recent years that I have become partial to hugs! My youngest is the complete opposite and loves them! Maybe this has been the reason I have changed!! Hope you are having a lovely weekend :)
    ~Anne

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    1. Thank you Anne. My husband took my little boy to visit his grandparents overnight and I was overwhelmed to see him back today. I never got as many hugs in one go in my life!

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  3. Hugs are awesome, they communicate so much more than words can :)

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  4. Hugs make me happy and feel better! I Its one of the tangible expression of my love to people. I cant wait to have hugs from my little one!

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    1. I just did! Its so lovely to have a child to hug. Better get lots of hugs in before they get big and dont want them as often!

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  5. I'm not a huggy person on the whole. I hated them from my mum when I was a child and still try to avoid them now (probably makes her feel so bad, but I can't help it even though I love her loads), but I don't get enough from my OH, and having a baby means you get lots without much resistance.

    I do have friends that are huggy people so it's natural to give them a hug, but with other people it can be a bit awkward if you've never been in the hugging situation, but then find yourself with them, along with other huggy friends who're hugging and you feel like you should be doing it too.

    Found you on the blow your own blog horn, link up (Bubbablue - won't let me comment as that!). Looking forward to reading more.

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    1. Having a child definitely means you get loads of hugs without much resistance on either side. It's great.

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  6. I love hugs, but grew up in a non-huggy family. My pastor always say we need a minimum of 12 hugs a day to feel good and happy and peaceful. I'm not sure about that for some, but, for me, that would be the frosting on top of the cake!
    Glad to have finally caught up with you on Blogplicity.
    Enjoy each and every hug from your precious little boy!
    Blessings!

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    1. Wow. 12 hugs a day! I think I would be overwhelmed with love!

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this post as I often feel alone and awkward in my dislike of everyone wanting hugs and kisses (worse!) when we meet. I want to save hugs for my very best friends, occasionally my brothers, and most of all my kids. But then my kids aren't that keen on hugs either - my 19 yr old saves them for when I'm upset, she doesn't like them at all and rarely hugs her own friends. It's odd.

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    1. I am taking all the hugs I can get from my four year old. I know he won't be so huggy as he gets bigger! At least I feel completely able to accept hugs from him. :)

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  8. Great topic! Hmm...let me think...am I a hugger? Most of the time, but one of my daughters is a MAJOR hugger!

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  9. I used to be really bad about hugs till the age of 23. I used to be uncomfortable and stiff if someone tried to hug me. My university friends loosened me up a little after several years of relentless hugging, and then my husband took care of the rest. He used to be very affectionate and loved hugs.

    I find it easiest to hug partners and close friends and almost never hug strangers. But hey, maybe one day!

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  10. Maybe one day! You have enough to be going on with for the moment anyway! Tee Hee.

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  11. ooo i love a good hug. when my four year old starts to resist hugs or just squirms i feel sad and realise i want to hug my kids as much as possible because they will become teenagers and most likely all the hugs will be on their terms, if i get any at all. i used to be resistant to hugs like you but now much more huggy. becca

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    1. I am becoming more huggy slowly but surely! I also feel sad when my four year old doesn't want hugs. I find I can accept as many hugs as I can get from him!

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  12. Great post and sums up exactly how I feel too. I like my own space and don't feel at all comfortable kissing/hugging people who aren't that close to me or indeed my own parents and certainly not my inlaws but I hug my kids (and hubby) daily and we sometimes have family hugs when the 4 of us crush together for a huge hug. I notice that my daughter is the only grandchild who will run up to her grandparents to hug them and she is the one who initiates it. Hugs are great and I think we should do all we can to encourage them

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    1. I really like doing the family crushing hug! That's something I have no problem with at all.

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  13. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for signing on as a follower. I figured I'd stop by yours to return the favor. I love hugs. I love giving them, I love receiving them, and especially from my grandchildren. But with one caveat. I love REAL hugs. You know, the kind that make you feel something, whether loved, safe, comforted, or happy. Stiff fake hugs that are given for appearances sake, I can do without. Count me in as your newest follower.

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    1. I understand what you mean. I feel bad though because sometimes people that I know love me give me hugs and I don't respond as warmly as I would like to.

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    2. When those people reach out to you for a hug, tell yourself it may be the last time you're ever gonna have the opportunity. After all, we never know for sure that it isn't.

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  14. One of your commenters refered to a family hug. I know it as a "group hug." When it's at least 3 people, someone will announce, "Group Hug, and then we'll all come together with arms around each other.

    I'm a hugger, though, my family doesn't always get a hug daily. We seem to kiss each other more as a greeting or to say good-bye.

    However, my friends get a hug. I guess that's because it feels weird to kiss them. lol

    Another of your commenters mentioned the "fake hug." I know what she means when she says that you can feel it. It is very stiff and awkward.

    Another thought about hugs: I learned that women in particular, have to be careful when hugging a man. When I was single, I hugged a man in church, of all places, and he thought that meant I liked him. lol Maybe I squeezed him a bit or something.

    I applaud the people you mentioned for trying to make hugging an act of caring and encouragement for our fellow human beings.

    Good post!

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    1. Thanks for the comments! Hugs to you! :)

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  15. I was just thinking about this today. My grandchildren always hug us everytime they see us and each time they leave us. It's one of my favorite things to look forward to!

    As for other people and hugging, you would need to 'read the looks on their face' as you approach with open arms. Some back away, or put a hand between you and them. My thought is respect their space and in time, they may feel comfortable enough to allow a hug. I'm sure the lady you mentioned in your posting that hugs all over the world has run into this situation.

    Nice to have found you again, Claire. I've subscribed by email so I won't lose you again.

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    1. Hey Donna, thanks for reading and commenting. Great to hear from you again!

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