While many people may be happy to send a virtual hug. You better not try to hug them in person.
We live in a world where the touch between two people upon meeting is becoming more and more rare. I am not ready to give up hugging.
There is nothing like a good warm hug. The human touch is such a powerful means of communication. This sort of intimacy is something we need more of, not less.
If you don’t know by now, I am a hugger. When I hug you, it is my way of saying I think enough of you to allow you into my personal space.
When I get a hug, I want to imagine getting hugged by one of my favorite people and instantly feeling a little calmer, a little less stressed.
As a mom, I quickly learned that nothing was better at showing love than a big bear hug. Even though they are adults, now they still appreciate being hugged by their mom. I can still feel them relax when I wrap my arms around them.
I understand that everyone does not like to be hugged. Everyone has been stopped, by a hug from someone they’d rather not be touched by, and it’s deeply unpleasant. Don’t be that hugger. Hugging people who don’t want to be hugged will not only backfire but will get you an uppercut punch.
Today, I honor a beautiful Titus 2 woman (Mrs. Black), a woman that took time to teach young women how to become a woman. She hugged like no other, and we are missing her hugs today. You don’t have to know her to appreciate the power of a hug.
Let’s talk about the eight things that make a hug great!
- Hug like you mean it. Hugging some people is like hugging a tree. Go ahead and transfer some positive energy. Make someone feel good and comforted. But if they pull away, let them go, and then live to hug another day (in my John Witherspoon voice). A good hug exposes your heart, while tension in your body will melt like butter on a hot stove. A great hug will leave you wanting another one.
- You must be vulnerable to experience a great hug. A hug is a gesture of vulnerability. Be vulnerable. Let the other person know that you trust them enough in the moment to grant them permission in your personal space. Do not be afraid to let someone in. Open your arms and be willing to expose yourself emotionally. We (people) are wired to require a sense of belonging. A good connection reduces stress, decreases depression and anxiety.
- A great hug will cause you to close your eyes. The less input you have from other senses, the more attention you can give to any individual physical participation. A great hug produces oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
- A great hug is medicine to the soul. Breathe in the embrace. Allow yourself at least one deep breath before you even think about releasing. When you hug, hearts connect. Do not be afraid to hold on. The deep embrace you are willing to share just might be the medicine needed by the person you are embracing, and probably medicine for you, too. Hugging can bring reconciliation, healing, and understanding.
- Sometimes you just need a hug. Not a quick hug. A hug that lasts long enough that you feel like you belong. The hug that allows you to focus on what it feels like to hug and what it feels like to be hugged.
- Squeeze, but don’t suffocate, I want you to know you are hugging me, but not so tight where I want to run. Do not hug so tight that the other person becomes a prisoner, in your arms, but tight enough to say I got you, and lose enough to say you are free to leave, whenever you want.
- Just BE with the person you embrace. Don’t pat them on the back like burping a baby. That is not a hug. If you are going to hug someone, hold them in your arms for at least three deep breaths. The first breath to honor their presence. Second to honor the other person, and the final breath should focus on feeling grateful for your togetherness. Allow yourself to experience the moment.
- Let go – Know when to release. End the hug with gratitude.
One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you love, and they hug you back even tighter. And that, my friend, you can’t get from a virtual hug.