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How to hug, when to hug, who to hug and should you hug?

Updated on June 16, 2014

Now I figure this guy was always huggable.

He just cries out for a big old hug a bugga
He just cries out for a big old hug a bugga | Source

Hugging is perfectly natural. Moms hug babies. Dads and moms hug.

If hugging is all that good why should we have guidance in how to hug? Good question. Have you ever been hugged and did not like it? Well I have. Have you ever hugged and realized you should not have? Well I have. How to hug, really sums up the other concepts of who to hug, when to hug and should you hug.

Believe it or not there are some people who just should not hug anyone. What? you ask. Sorry but true. If you have the flu you have no business hugging anyone. If you are filthy dirty and smelly and sweaty hugging just is not for you. Perhaps if you are a 6.6 ft 250 lb really strong teenager you should not go around hugging -- until you get those big old muscles under some delicate control.

So the How to hug, when to hug, who to hug and even why to hug are covered in some examples. But I hope you reflect also and get a chuckle out of, shall we say awkward hugs.

Do you hug right? hihihi - like there are rules!

Do you like to hug when it is right

See results

Here are two hugs I wish I could take back.

My wife and I were all dressed up and she looked stunning as we walked up to meet My friend and his new gal that I introduced him to. From afar she just looked beautiful like an actress or model. But as we got closer she became more stunning. Kind of like our current Ms. America.

She and I had been through some really tough stuff of hers as she was a former client. My wife knew her but had never met her. Of course we hugged each warmly as we met. Dang I wish I had not done that. It shot a cold chill through my wife that I regret. First this gal that I had talked about was no ordinary gal and then I hugged her. My wife's mind went reeling. Ooops.

As a preacher and teacher and coach I have taught many girls from age little to "off to college".

Well about her senior year my daughter came visiting from college and came to my church to hear me preach and brought little Marin with her who I coached and taught and had not seen for 8 years. When I saw her she me we gave a long embracing hug in the entry to the church. Trouble was that while I just saw little Marin whose tears I had dried and scraped knees I had bandaged in front of me. She was a knock down beautiful young woman dressed provocatively Ooops. Oh the little blued haired ladies were all a buzz. It took Marin's great singing and Christian charm at at a lunch afterwards to calm things down. Of course her labeling me as her second father growing up helped some too.

So men be thoughtful about who, when and how to hug.

If I met Clapton I would hug him

If you walk up to someone you want to hug -- assess

My mom would get all dressed up for a party that I would be escorting her too. I would drop by and give her a great big hug --- only once did I do that. Wrinkled dress displaced make up and a little to strong of a hug as women all dressed up are more fragile. Thanks mom for teaching me that lesson.

There is my little 3 year old nephew all looking grand and holding my sisters hand. He knows me well but he is in a mommy phase and there are others who are strangers around. I bend down quickly and pick him up for a big old uncle hug. Ooops That was the last thing the little tyke wanted at that moment. Separation from mom and being picked up and then hugged. What was I thinking.

These guys and me, we hug too much!!

Happy Happy at a country party is time to hug
Happy Happy at a country party is time to hug | Source

Mad and Sad

Evaluate these twin tigers carefully. If someone is really mad be thoughtful. Yes a hug can easily make them feel better. But have you ever been freshly mad and angry. Well truth is you do not want to feel better, immediately and from what I understand you should not. You should stew in it for a bit and let it fully cook before you devour it and move on. This is not the person or the time for a hug. This is when you say "hey babe you know I am here for you, you want to vent or a big hug? just let me know - I love you". Sometimes the offer and the timing are far better than a hug.

Sad. You would think that hugging a sad person would always be alright. Wrong. Parts of our grieving process require that we have our space even in a crowded place. Always remember that the hug is an entry into a protected space. Permission must be obtained before entry. Of course wide open arms upon your approach is an invitation, that should not be ignored. It is never wrong to hug someone who asks for it. But as shown above it might be the wrong time and place.

Same sex hugs for heterosexuals. Hugs for your child

Yes I have to address this it is wrong, very wrong not to hug because of some latent homophobia. I do not think I have ever met one of my brothers or sons socially without a hug. And I would say the same for most friends. Football and basketball and baseball and soccer players and firefighters and policemen and soldiers hug. Don't get be wrong I like chest butts, and slugs as much as any guy but hugs are cool

If you scold your child and he cries. Believe it or not a hug is in order. Keep the language of instruction going but hug and let them know that no matter what they are safe and secure with you and that you love them and they are not bad but what they did is bad. Kids are sensitive. Most the time I just give my son a dirty look and he stops bad behavior. And that definitely deserves a good hug as reward.

I was born to hug.

I had three big sisters. I got hugged too much hihihii
I had three big sisters. I got hugged too much hihihii | Source

Now make sure you hug somebody today. Somebody needs it. I know I do.

Life is good we need to live it and hugging and warm fuzzies are an important part of that loving of life. Now go hug -- hey you can even hug yourself. And you can hug on the phone and you can hug on the net.

Here is the official sign for hugs and kisses.

XOXOXOXO I think the X is a Kiss and the O is a hug.

Embrace this please.

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

To read more by this fascinating author visit, Eric Dierker on Facebook and Pinterest and my sweet blog resipsaloquitor on google blogs


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What you say of your sis rings so true. I tell stories to the children at my son's preschool. The little ones just love to sit on my knees and give me hugs. I hug back. But I would never do so if the watchful teacher was not right there watching. Hugging the little ones and especially young teenage girls is just fine. As long as you have another adult right there.

      Perhaps this is a good thing. Because no matter what, it means two adults are paying attention to the well being of the children and that is cool too.

      As for a hug on command. All I can do is laugh. How funny a notion.

    • Sparklea profile image


      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Ericdierker: Voted up, useful and interesting. I am all for hugs too, I prefer them over a handshake, even though a handshake tells you a lot about a person. The limp handshake, for example...and the overdone handshake which just about fractures my hand and fingers!

      You made some excellent points and brought up examples I never thought of.

      My favorite hug is with my husband, grown children and grandchildren.

      That being said, there are what I prefer to name as the "uncomfortable hug"...

      I used to attend a church where the congregation was asked to stand and hug all the people around them. I did NOT like that and I felt it put non-huggers in an uncomfortable position. I also wondered, "how can these hugs be genuine when they are thrust upon all these people with different personalities?

      Then there is a situation where my sister worked at an elementary school in the cafeteria and on the playground...she would tie the kid's shoes, open their milk cartons, things like that...until a boy screamed in her face last Spring in total disrespect and she yelled back.

      The boy took 4 of his friends and went to the school nurse and said she pushed him, which was a lie. She never touched him. She was immediately suspended, and a HUGE investigation took place. Long story short: She did NOT lose her job but now, the kids who used to hug her, she says to them, "I can no longer hug." She has PTSD from this awful event...and I believe a school is where one has to be super careful with hugs or any kind of physical contact with children. My sister's co-workers still hug the children but my sis will not let them touch her in any way, nor will she touch them.

      After seeing how she suffered, I, too, am hesitant to hug a child under any circumstances. All of this is just my own personal opinion.

      Thank you for a very interesting read and congratulations on posting another great hub. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Eddy I just love two concepts that are unto each other. Break the cycle - for the negative. and Let the circle go unbroken - for the positive. You have built a circle of love both within and without.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      I had never been hugged as a child(quite the opposite) but I have always hugged my children ;then as years went by I also learnt to hug close friends.

      Today there are many members of my family and we all hug. Today of course I also hug my soul mate; my Dai.

      Thanks again for another great read Eric. Voted up and shared.


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Faith Reaper. How fun -- funny about that I like little pats. For those who know me they know I am a teddy bear that just happens to look grizzly and I have Buddha belly, so I do get them.

      For all who here, you should know that Faith Reaper is king of the internet hugs in a wonderful series known as hug of the day that you will find here. I do not even finish them before I go follow:

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, now, you are talking my language dear Eric! XOXOXOXOX : )

      I am a hugger through and through. However, you have made some valid points here about when and when not to hug. I have found out the awkward way .... ooops too, that some just do not like to be hugged. Human touch is necessary for wellbeing, at least I think it is!

      I just love that family photo, and I can see a young you in your son, if that is your son, for he has the same smile! Beautiful.

      Oh, you know it... if I met Clapton, there would be the hugs going on there no doubt. I don't know why, but when I hug, I have to add just a big extra, in that for some reason I feel the need to pat their tummy LOL oops! Hug and pat, yep that's me LOL

      You are so right when one is angry, I know I need my space and a hug is the last thing I want from someone I happen to be upset with at the time. My husband followed me in the room and I just wanted to be alone for a bit, that is not too much to ask. Then once cooled down and the communication ensues, the appropriate time for the hug comes.

      Up and more

      Hugs to you and yours,

      Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      If we can be in the moment of that greeting hug all that follows is in love. If we stay in the moment of that parting hug we carry that love with us into the world.

      Grace in us. I imagine if you and I met we would hug. I was thinking of it and in my family above, below and sideways we always combine it with a whispered "I love you". I never consciously thought of it before. Must be something our mom taught us.

    • profile image


      5 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Eric I think Hugs are great. You're never to old or to young to give or receive one. It's a way of letting someone you know that you care about them or love them without the need of coming out a saying it. Like you, I come from a hugging family.

      Nice Hub Eric. God Bless

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      XOXOXO back at you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am a hugger...I come from a family of son is a hugger...hugging is very cool. :) xoxoxoxo


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