Are You a Hugger?
"First thing you gotta know about me... I’m a hugger!!"
Does hugging come naturally to you or does it make you feel uncomfortable? If you said yes to the latter option, don't feel bad, you are not alone! I'm a reserved person, I like my personal space, and I generally avoid entering other peoples' spaces if I can. That doesn't mean to say I won't give a hug if the occasion calls for such.
Hugs can often be a sweet way to greet a friend of family member, say goodbye before parting ways, comfort someone going through a hard time, or show affection to that special person in your life.
So even if you're a bit of a shy guy and giving a girl a hug feels a bit nerve-wracking at first, there are many good reasons to give it a try! Are you ready to master the art of hugging? Before you start stretching out those huggable arms of yours, it's critical you remember one very, VERY important rule:
Different People Get Different Hugs!
This is the single most important rule of hugging!
Would you hug your mom the same way you hug your girlfriend? (I would hope not!)
What about a teacher or coworker? Should you even give them hugs, and if so, what is appropriate and what isn't? After all, you don't want to offend someone when all you were trying to do was be nice.
The fact is, different people and different circumstances both require different hugs. Make sure you tailor each hug for that particular person and the mood at that exact moment.
Disclaimer: Offending people is easier than ever, so you want to make sure any hugs you give are welcomed! Don't hug someone without knowing if they want one!
Don't be This Guy!
How to Give a Family Hug
“The Mom Hug”
We won’t always have our moms around, so for the time that we do have them, they need the kinds of hugs that will take them back to when we were wee little tots.
A loving, sentimental, yet solid and strong hug is perfect for Mom. Give her a peck on the cheek while you’re at it! Moms eat that up!
“The Grandma Hug”
Grandma spoiled us our entire lives so the least we can do is give her some good hugs! You want to give her a sweet and gentle hug, making sure you wrap both arms around her. Take care not to squeeze too hard, though, she’s fragile, like a beautiful, antique, porcelain vase!
“The Sister Hug”
Sisters can be your best friends or your worst enemies, so hug only if you dare! And if you do dare, go ahead and give her a big, tight squeeze, what's the worst that could happen? (Jab to the kidneys!)
If you aren't really the huggy huggy type of siblings, a simple 1-foot rule sort of hug will do with a little pat on the back works well enough when there's the need to 'hug'.
How to Give a Romantic Hug
“The Crush Hug”
If you've already built up the courage to talk to your crush, then a giving them a hug will be a breeze!
First, you want to make sure your timing is right. Don't walk up to her and give her a random hug while she's talking with her friends. Instead, wait for a moment when it's just the two of you. Then, when you're ready to go your separate ways, give her a quick, one-armed hug. If it's warmly received, give her another one the next time you see her.
As you become closer friends, your hugs will get closer too. Wrap your arms around her shoulders/neck and give her a quick, but close squeeze and rest your cheek on her head. If she hugs you back with both arms, she might just like you too!
“The Girlfriend Hug”
Hugging is a crucial part of courtship, maybe even more than kissing. While kissing demonstrates that you're really into each other, hugging demonstrates that you really care for each other. It's something you do to show concern when they're sad or not feeling well, excitement when you see them, or love when hold them close.
Here are a few ways to hug a girlfriend.
- Give her a strong and quick bear hug, where you pick her up off the ground and swing her around.
- Hold her hand and pull it towards you. Take your other hand and wrap it around behind her back to her upper arms.
- While she's talking to her friends, come up behind her and wrap your arms around her torso and press your cheek against hers.
“The Wife Hug”
If there is one person in the entire world that you should be hugging, it's your wife!
Some tips about hugging your woman. Tip 1: Feel out her mood. Tip 2: Feel out her mood. Tip 3: Mood again.
Depending on her mood, she would appreciate a warm, loving, long embrace, or no hug at all! Hey, you know your woman! You know if you should go for the hug or not!
If the mood is right, wrap your arms around her lower back, press gently on the small of her back to pull her close, and hold her against you for as long as she can stand you! You can also try this from behind for an extra romantic hug!
To make the hug extra romantic, try these of few of these techniques while hugging:
- Sway side to side ever so subtly.
- Whisper 'I love you' in her ear.
- Move you hands up and down the middle of her back.
- Grab a little tush, if the mood's right, of course.
- End with a suave dip and kiss.
How To Give A Good Hug
How to Give Platonic Hugs
"The 'Just Friends' Hug"
We're friends, we're just friends, and we will likely only remain friends because I don't feel that way about you.
If that's how you're feeling, the less physical touching the better. Here are the best 'we're just friends' hug options:
- Hug her side by side, avoiding your torsos touching.
- Lean only your upper body towards her while hugging, leaving about a foot between your lower halves.
- Only give one arm hugs, where you loosely wrap one arm behind her and pat her back briefly.
"The Friend's Girlfriend Hug"
Your best bet here is avoid hugging all together. Honestly, the only time hugging a friend's girlfriend is maybe considered okay is if you are friends with her as well, but even in that case, you're treading in dangerous waters!
If a hug is unavoidable, then go try "The 'Just Friends' Hug."
“The Boss Lady Hug”
Whether she gave you a raise or it’s her birthday, you can hug your boss on certain occasions. Give her a modest hug, reaching in with both arms and loosely embracing her across the upper arms and back for only a brief moment. Give her a couple pats on the shoulder while you’re in it.
“The Bride Hug”
We all love congratulating a bride on her big day, and when it comes to the receiving line, she’s bound to receive many hugs. To hug a bride, lean forward with your upper back and shoulders. A quick reach in with one arm around her, and not too close, usually does the trick; after all, you don’t want to mess up her pretty makeup and fabulous hair!
With all these different kinds of hugs to learn, the very best way to learn them is to get out in the field and give it a go! They say practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to just go for it because anyone can sense a timid, insecure hug, and nobody likes those kinds of hugs!
What Girls Mean When They Hug You
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Ian Brunson on October 16, 2017:
Thank you for putting this out. I am very bad with hugs and I look everywhere for help. But this is the first place that has actually helped