Let’s Not Hug it Out

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When it comes to hugs there are 2 distinct camps.  Some families are huggers and some aren’t.  I grew up in a non-hugging family.  There are a lot of people who find that hard to process.

We’ve all seen the Facebook posts that claim we need “X” number og hugs a day to simply survive.  Well, I’m here to tell you that, like so much else of what you read on Facebook, that is complete and utter BS.  Thankfully, I’m not alone in wanting to get this message out.  Google “OK not to hug” and you will find page after page of parents who don’t think it’s OK to force Junior to hugs Grandma if he doesn’t want to and therapists who back them up.  My own current and former therapists agree that there are lots of ways to show affection and hugging isn’t a requirement for metal health or child development.

I never doubted that my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. loved me as I was growing in spite of the fact that hugging just isn’t our thing.  My father came out of the church after my first wedding and shook my hand.  I wasn’t upset.  That was my dad being my dad.  The day I got my Bachelor’s degree he actually did hug me.  And it was, well, weird. Good, but weird nevertheless.   My husband isn’t a hugger either.  We have a very good marriage, and we show either other our love in many different ways, but hugging isn’t at the top of the list for us.

Now don’t get the wrong idea- I do enjoy hugging people I care about.   I ask for a hug every time I see my niece. but she’s currently 5 years old.  I don’t see us hugging every time we get together when she’s 15.  I am going to see Bon Jovi next month with my good friend Lisa and I’m sure we will hug multiple times.  I may run into other friends there and I may very well hug them too.   But I’m never going to be that person who feels the need to hug everyone (at least not sober).

Simply put, hugs aren’t the beat-all, end-all, cure-all for everyone.  If you love hugs, you go be a hugger and hug away.  Just remember that some of the rest of us aren’t and that’s OK too.

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