Monday, October 30, 2006

Can You Spot A Hugger?

I've recently wondered how people seem to instinctively know that I'm not a hugger. That is to say, I don't initiate hugs as a general rule--with much of anybody but my immediate family. Except after long absences. And even then there is some uncertainty... But I'm not, by any means, against hugging. I'm happy to accept them from genuine huggers, and you can bet I hug back--even in the awkward situations. But I have friends who hug virtually everyone hello, but they don't hug me...and it has me wondering why.

Do I put off some sort of vibe? Am I not as sentimental as maybe I should be? I was the only one among my best junior high school chums (about eight of us) who didn't cry on the last day of junior high. It just didn't seem warranted, given the fact that we were all going to the same high school... So I just stood there, feeling awkward. Maybe it's just that I've always been a little more comfortable with guys than with girls. But I don't hug the guys either... Hmmm...

I digress...if anyone has any ideas, I'd be thrilled to hear about them. My family was not a group of huggers. We were all too busy making fun of each other (in a generally good-natured way). I think I'd have been laughed out of the room and made the butt of a good many jokes if I'd tried to hug my brother or sister. So I do have a history (and maybe some emotional scarring).

Maybe I should just freak everybody out and start hugging everyone hello... Imagine that!


Sara Hantz said...

Alyssa - you sound just like me. And my family is the same - not affectionate. But knowing my problems in that area I've always been very affectionate with my children so hopefully the cycle is broken.

So, when we meet we'll...... shake hands???

MommaM said...

If you're not naturally a hugger (and I'm not either), you very well may give off that vibe and folks pick up on it. Whether they know it or not.

I would do it. Freak 'em out. But sad truth is it may come off as fake.

I accept hugs when I get them. Probably NEED them, eh? ;)

Catherine Avril Morris said...

As a major hugger (haha--never thought of myself that way before!), I can say that yes, there's a vibe people give off, one way or the other. You can tell they're either touchy-feely or they aren't. My best friend is not a hugger, though we do hug every time we get together--mostly by my initiation. Somehow she just puts that vibe out there, but because she's my b-to-the-f and I love her :), I ignore it and hug her anyway! It's not an unfriendly vibe, just a...don't-hug-me one. Isn't it interesting how we announce ourselves in so many verbal and nonverbal ways?

Sarah L. Castleberry said...

Had to LOL at your post, Alyssa! I'd love to be more affectionate with people, but I don't usually initiate hugs either. My bf's husband is really touchy - he'll give a hug, and then kind of rub your back, too. Totally just friendly, but very different! :)

Thanks for visiting my blog!
I'm an engineer, too - graduated from UT Austin in 2000, in civil/structural.
Can't wait to meet you at the meeting on the 11th - I'll be sure to look for you!

Lucy said...

Well, I just realized that I haven't been seeing your posts for over a week now. (Having computer problems at home and apparently one of the issues is it doesn't "refresh" the screen.)

Anyway, sounds like we're both alike in this regard. I like to hug but I think I put out a vibe that says "approach with caution". I once went out with a man who started leaning in for a hug and abruptly stopped...we talked about it later and it was a vibe.

So, let's make a pact...we'll just start hugging random people...even if we don't know them. ;o)

You go first and let me know how it works. :o)