Why do we shy away from hugs?

When is the last time you hugged someone? Scratching your head to remember that? Wondering why you need to do that in the first place?

How hard it can be to give a warm friendly hug to someone? Why do we invariably shy away from hugs or worse still, end up in embarrassing half hugs because we are at crossroads and can’t fully make up our minds whether we want to hug or not ?

And no, I am not talking about Page-3 or social hugs. And no, am not talking about superficial pecks on cheeks that our socialites love. That one-second, superficial body contact is not what I call a real hug. I am talking about the real hug. The hug HUG. The warm hug. The hug where something passes on between the people hugging. The kind you genuinely feel like giving when you see someone you love after a long time. The kind that is all encompassing and oh so warm. The kind that makes you feel warm from the inside and brings a big smile on the face. The kind that makes you feel special and loved. Someone who hasn’t been hugged for far too long would exactly know what he/she is missing.

Few months ago, I remember I was feeling sick about something. My best friend came sat next to me and gave me a big bear hug. And I instantly felt so well. She didn’t let go off me for full one minute, she hugged me tight and even rubbed my back lovingly. And I remember relaxing and feeling instantly uplifted. I remember that feeling fully well to this date. And I realized how miserly we are, when it comes to hugging.

I believe hugging and being hugged is one of the best feelings in the world. Hugs are almost therapeutic. The feeling is incomparable. When words fail you, hugs rescue you. Your mother/father/friend/husband or simply someone you know is low and feeling choked? Just give a big hug.   And see how they melt. May be that’s what they were waiting for, to hug you and rest their head on your shoulder. It might open the floodgates of their emotions. A little nudge, a little tug, a little hug is probably all they were looking for. A hug is a great way of telling someone you care, that they mean a lot to you, that you understand how they are feeling, that they are precious to you. And the best part about hugs is you can’t give one without receiving one. The hugger and the one being hugged both feel the release of the same happy-hormones. There are so many ways in which we can hug and show how we feel. There are different hugs for different kind of relations. A parent’s hug, a friend’s hug, a lover’s hug, a partner’s hug. I think its only fair to try out at least one kind of hug every day.

See how a mother almost naturally reaches out to her baby, like she is programmed to feel her, kiss her and love her. Her hug makes the little one feel so secured, safe, loved and cared. The baby knows that come what may, she can always go run into her mama’s arms and once she envelopes her in a big, tight, warm hug, things will be set right.

Friends hug each other to show camaraderie, brotherhood and support, don’t they? Hug a friend when he/she is least expecting it and most needing it and see how instantly it uplifts his/her spirits. It tells them how much their company means to you.

Over the years, as we grew up, we have been programmed to maintain physical distance from people. We have been made aware of good touch and bad touch, of sexual predators who try to be too friendly. Hence, we started growing uncomfortable when someone came too close. So many of us are totally averse to any kind of physical contact. Even within the family, as kids started growing up, the physical contacts, hugs, kisses, pecks started reducing till they almost became nil. Sad! If there is one thing I wish we could ape the West for, it is their ability to hug so freely. People in the East are lot more conscious.

Hug is the cheapest, most inexpensive, purest, truest, inflation-proof, and truly eco-friendly way of saying someone you care. It brings people closer, heals hurting hearts and also helps sick patients recover well. You never know how much your hug could mean to someone who was begging to be hugged but could never ask for one. If one hug can alleviate someone’s pain, someone’s fear, someone’s tension to such a great extent, albeit momentarily, it certainly can’t be a bad thing to do. So hug more and love more.

P.S. Please know the person and the surrounding well before hugging, and be assured it will be taken in the right spirit. If you are unsure, please ask first rather than later finding yourself in an embarrassing situation. And please while hugging the opposite sex; please know the difference between a friend’s hug and a lover’s hug, a casual hug and a sexual hug.
And men: There is nothing unmanly about hugging please!


19 thoughts on “Why do we shy away from hugs?

  1. Sooooo True…………… Loved ur blog…. completely second ur statements. 🙂
    I miss these hugs here in India….. Dunno why people are so apprehensive about this, Blame it on culture or call it as hypocrisy..

    Just an FYI….
    We ran these campaign of “Free Hugs” on weekends to spread love and affection in Paris. It was so much fun to arrange these events ranging from a kid to granny’s… It was soo much of fun.
    Though its a culture to greet somebody by pecking twice (if u r from North of France) and 4 times (if u r from South of France)….
    Even in any other country, It is widely accepted as sweet gesture or greet. As long as ur intentions are straight.

    • Hi Shrinivas,

      Thank you so much for your kind comments and am glad u liked it. Yes, u can definitely blame this on our culture and the way we have been conditioned.

      But the positive thing is that things are slowly and surely changing 🙂

      And i can only imagine how satisfying and joyful ur ‘free hugs’ campaign would have been 🙂

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