Seeing as it is the “holiday season” there is more hugging going on than is typical. Friends hug you, your boss hugs you, acquaintances hug you, sometimes even strangers hug you. The stranger is usually the +1 dragged to party.
I almost never initiate hugs, but I always reciprocate. The almost is for friends kids under the age of eight and people that I know are “huggy”. Once a kid gets to be about nine years old hugs from people outside of the family can seem creepy.
A friend announced a couple of months ago that she was going to start hugging people. I’d lay money on her having just finished a management book about leadership. On the up side she is one the few people who says “Can I give you a hug?” and actually pauses for your reply. Thankfully she stopped hugging before it could become a habit and has reverted to her jovial if odd smack-on-the-upper arm.
A woman I worked with years ago was big on hugs. She wore a ton of perfume and a hug would smear you and you’d smell her on you the rest of the day. Not only a drag but extra dry cleaning. Her hugs were always suspect since she often whiplashed between mean and chummy. So her hug could be tenderizing you so that a vicious comment got through more than just skin.
I only recently thought about my Personal Views on Hugging when a friend was forced to hug me at an airport (his wife and children had just hugged me goodbye) and I thought ‘Gee, he’s worse at this than I am’. I would suspect he did not grow up with a demonstrative family.
My parents stopped hugging and kissing me when I was about six. I don’t know why they had that policy and of course no one can talk about such things. I can’t imagine not hugging and kissing my daughter.
As a family I suspect we are guilty of PDA because we hold hands (both my husband and my daughter) and kiss in public. Although I am no longer allowed to kiss my daughter within sight of any peer, which I can understand.
One thing I was very glad I did when she was small and misbehaving to get attention, was to tell her she could always just ask for a hug if she needed one. She does, and I hope she always will. Everyone needs a hug once in a while even if it isn’t the holidays.