January 1, 2015

Embrace, Cuddle, Squeeze, Hold

Look at that face!  Found here.
I'm a hugger.  Always have been, always will be, and the older I get the more I appreciate this about myself.  I just never "got" kissing, especially in non-romantic way.  And no my parents didn't "kiss me" all that much that I can recall but they did sometimes, they certainly kissed each other in front of me, and I was very, very loved so I don't think it stems from some childhood issue.  I just prefer hugs.

I remember when I was getting to know my now-husband's family (all 1,000 of them, or at least it feels like that).  Most of them are huggers, too, like his mom's family.  But his step-father's family, they're cheek kissers.  I didn't take to that too quickly.  I had to work very hard over many years at consciously staying calm for the kiss-greetings and especially the kisses goodbye.  Eventually I got used to it and now it doesn't cause me stress, but I'd still just rather have a good hug.

So I asked myself, "why hugs?  What's so great about a hug?  Why develop such a strong preference?"  This led to a few observations:

  1. When we hug, we show the other person we support them.  Physically, we actually do support them a little bit.  Ever topple over or stumble from a hug?  It's because the people engaged in a hug are throwing each other a little off balance and then holding the other person up.  When you hug, you are literally helping support the other person.
  2. When we hug, we get support.  Same deal, going the other way.  In my opinion, this is why the "hugs" we exchange with people we don't really like (you know, there's always that relative you don't really want to see but have to be nice to kind of thing) aren't full bodied, two-armed hugs.  They're usually side hugs and arm pats.  Because we don't believe we will be supported (and perhaps, don't want to support them either).  In a real hug, the other person helps hold you up.
  3. When we hug, we let ourselves go.  Ever start to hug someone then burst into tears?  When you're that close, heart-to-heart really, it's hard to have barriers or facades.  That's how it should be.  
Virginia Satir, author and social worker, said "we need four hugs a day for survival.  We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.  We need twelve hugs a day for growth".  What a wise lady.

So next time you give a hug, go ahead and indulge.  Close your eyes, hold on just a split second longer than you have to.  Take a full breath in and let it out before letting go.  Remember you're hugging this person because they mean something to you, and "tell" then that with your hug.

I just love hugs.  And I'm apparently not the only one: enjoy the Top Ten Cutest Hugs of All Time!

1 comment:

  1. Love this and love hugs! They really do help healing, even when there are no words a hug really does help! Great post as always xxx


I'm excited you're here - and can't wait to read your comment!

* Transparency Note *
If you are commenting as someone affiliated with a professional organization to promote said entity, please identify yourself as such. I'm not opposed to hearing from you or your organization, but must ask that you provide transparency by stating this for my readers and myself. Thank you for your compliance.