How Do You Hug?

I’m still processing our trip to Southern California.  It was both a wedding celebration and a mini family reunion, including the colorful Croatian characters (she said fondly) who are our family-by-extension. 

There were hugs in abundance.

And I was always a bit off, don’t you know.  Out of sync. 

When I hug, I head straight for the shoulder.

But their first destination is the cheek, for the preliminary kiss just before the hug.

It made me think.

How many styles of hugs are there? (Caveat: I’m strictly talking about hugs between friends, not between lovers.)

•  The man hug – with the double triple pat on the back.

•  The handshake/hug which perhaps starts as a handshake and ends as a hug.

•  The bear hug.

•  The side hug.

•  The cheek kiss/hug.

•  The double cheek kiss/hug.  Vive la France!

•  The air kiss/hug.

•  The litle peck kiss/hug. 

Sooooo — how do you hug?

A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.
~ Bill Keane

Hugs are the universal medicine.

~ Author unknown

Funny story:  years ago, some friends were leaving on a trip and as Jan and I hugged each other, I–for some odd reason–got my wires crossed and kissed her.  On the eye.  Whatever sadness we had at parting evaporated into giggles.


8 thoughts on “How Do You Hug?

  1. I like to get and give a nice firm hug and give a bit of a back rub while I’m at it! I recently hugged a friend and she went for the ‘top’ layer leaving the ‘lower’ layer ( where your arms might go) for me, which is odd for me because being fairly tall I usually get the top layer by default! But I got to put my arms around her waist rather than around her shoulders so she got a lower back rub!

  2. I’m right there with you about never quite getting the hug right! But I learned something important from you 32 years ago, when we parted at the airport. I started to give you a quickie hug, and you whispered in my ear, “Don’t be embarrassed about people watching. It’s okay to hug as long as you want.” I’ve always remembered that, and sometimes those dear to me will pull away but I still hang on, when I want them to know how much I care about them. Who would ever think that peer pressure would play a part in our choice of “hugging techniques”? 

  3. @LimboLady – Well, bless my soul.  I don’t remember saying that!!  Are you sure it was me?  Heh heh. Such wisdom from a teenager! (grin)Hugs have all the opportunities for awkwardness, and yet they can be so beneficial.  @Dominionfamily – Hi Cindy!  (waving) I’m so excited you are blogging again.  I trust your boys (none of mine are around to check with) and change the double pat to triple pat. 

  4. I’m with Hiddenart. It can become an art trying to figure out which is the proper hug for whom.  I know as a SoCal gal I blew alot of people away when we first came south, just huggin up a storm. BTW the Dutch triple “hug” face to face, cheek kissing.One, two and then back again) The Africans (depending on where you are) do a little hand shake ritual first and then kiss both cheeks. I also have had midair collisions to die for. Fun posting friend.

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