Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Yes, it is scary -

 Yesterday's 'Pearls Before Swine' comic made me a little angry. 

One can infer therefore that those of us who do not like hugs are lesser beings. Or I could be just projecting and being too sensitive. 

I've written about this before because it is something I feel strongly about. 

I don't perceive a hug as something positive. I perceive a hug as a physical assault.  Let me repeat that - I feel like I am being physically assaulted when someone hugs me. Most especially if I don't see it coming or the assault is by someone I don't know or don't like. 

I have been threatened by people who know hugs make me uncomfortable - "I don't care if you hate being hugged if we ever meet I'm gonna give you the biggest hug" That is a threat to me. That makes me angry. Thankfully I've never met those people in real life. I have no idea how I would react but I'm guessing it wouldn't be pretty. 

Why? Why would anyone do that to another person? It is cruel. It is criminal. It is assault. 

There have been too many times when I have tolerated a hug from someone because it was the thing to do. An arbitrary act that people think is expected or required. I have no idea what they think when I do not return that hug; when I hold myself as far away from them as I can; when my body goes rigid; when I move away as quickly as possible and never make eye contact. 

Please - don't hug anyone unless you know that hug will be a welcome gesture instead of a trigger. I suppose you could ask, if for some reason you have a need to hug someone, "Can I have a hug?" but don't get bent out of shape when they say No. 

Stephan Pastis may feel that people who don't like hugs make the world a scary place but there are those of us who feel that rather it is the hugs that make the world a scary place. 

I might feel enormous affection for you, I might even love you, but I'm not going to hug you.

8 comments:

  1. It's not that I can't tolerate hugs, but I would never initiate one. Except for my granddaughter. And if a guy tried to hug me I might have to initiate a football move called the stiff arm.

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    1. Babies and toddlers are exempt from the no-hugging rule, totally!

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  2. I only feel like this in a professional environment. It drove me nuts went I met a client and I put my hand out and they wanted to hug me. WTF? I put my hand out stiffer and stronger. I do not hug strangers or in a professional environment. They would never do that to a man so why do that to me?
    I do know a lot of folks like yourself. I always respect that. I don't think it's weird. Those who can't respect it are weird. My husband is a hugger but not with other men. To our family and friends he is.

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    1. Professional environment hugs? No, no - why? I can't even imagine that scenario. My husband is not a physically demonstrative person but he thinks it's funny - especially from our son-in-law who, for some reason, thinks hugging people who don't like hugs, is amusing. Other than that our son-in-law is a really terrific guy - since we don't see them since they live in Vermont and we don't travel - I've yet to be able to ask him why.

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  3. It's been beneficial to me to know the effects of hugs on you and I'm sure many others. I'm a hugger but only with those that are very close to me. I don't want to be touched by others. I always think of little kids who are forced to hug someone when it's obvious they don't want to but now I'm aware that adults feel the same thing too. No one should be forced to tolerate a hug or even someone close up in their space if they don't want it!

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    1. I didn't grow up with a lot of physical affection (big shock, right LOL) and the physical attention I did get was violence so it's not a big stretch of the imagination where my hug-avoidance comes from or that I don't like to be touched by strangers - I can't even imagine getting a massage! People putting their hands on me just triggers the past and god forbid anyone raises their hand to me - there have been serious repercussions when that happened.

      Yeah, that thing about making kids hug or kiss someone against their will - creepy. Kid's instinct should be trusted...

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  4. When I started facilitating a chanting/drumming circle about 20 years ago, I quickly learned that the respectful thing to do is always to ask first before hugging someone because not everyone is comfortable with it. The non-huggers educated me and our group on that very important point! But you're right -- many, many people are unaware of this issue and just go right in for a big hug with any stranger they meet.

    I once got an unwelcome hug in Hawaii from a half-drunk male Trump supporter who had just made a pass at my female partner right in front of his own wife. I didn't make a scene about it simply for the sake of his poor, obviously down-trodden wife. He was loud and from Alaska. LOL!

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    1. There has to be a kind way to tell someone that hugs are unwelcome and stressful. I just don't know what it is - drunks are often easier to manage and ward off, good of you to be aware of the wife's feelings. The older I get the more kind I am trying to be.

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