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Hugging - An Invasion of Personal Space?

Updated on January 10, 2014

It's just a Hug

Some people are really scared of hugs
Some people are really scared of hugs | Source

To Hug Or Not To Hug

I am a hugger, I like to hug. I hug as a greeting to others but not if I am meeting you for the first time. But you'd better watch out the next time we meet 'cause I'm definitely going to go in for a hug. I havn't always been a hugger I think I got hooked on hugging when I realised that some people just don't like it at all. It just made me more determined to convert them. I have a nephew that runs away when i visit but I usually pin him down eventually. He just makes me laugh, I mean what is so awful after all? He should just humour me and get it over with. Well that was how I used to think about the act of hugging until a few people left comments here reminding me that it can be very confronting and frightful for some people who may not like their personal space invaded.

Hugs and Kisses

I don't always combine a hug with a kiss on the cheek. I tend to analyze the receiver of the hug and try to determine how open they are to what I am about to do to them. I am giving them a gift after all. To me a hug says 'I accept you'...however if I don't like you no way will you get a hug out of me so don't even try.

I have found that over time, those that are a bit stiff when I first hug them seem to eventually enjoy my hugs and even instigate the hugging first. A similar thing happened when I first started telling family members that I loved them.

Saying I love You

One day I had this 'ah ha' moment when I recognized that nobody in my family had ever said the words 'I love you'. So I decided to be the first to get the ball rolling. I had telephoned my mum and just before I hung up the phone i said 'Bye mum, I love you' and hung up before she had the chance to reply....or not to reply. I did this again a few times and then eventually I didn't hang up immediately after saying the words and to my immense pleasure my mum said 'I love you too sweetheart' How wonderful to hear those words from my mum. She now says the words often and freely to all her children. I was able to eventually increase the words of love to involve my entire family...yes even my nephew...even though I feel he could say the words with a bit more feeling lol

Healing Touch

Reiki has healing and life-balance qualities
Reiki has healing and life-balance qualities | Source

Mini Reiki Treats Have Benefits

Through discovering the benefits of Reiki for myself and others, I realize the power of the human touch should not be undervalued. I completed a level one in Reiki a few years ago and loved it. I learned so much about myself and gained confidence in my life and the ability to understand I am at a point in my life that is equal to where I am supposed to be....Deep eh!

Whenever my daughter had a tummy upset when she was young I would place my hand on her belly not realizing that I was probably helping her by using the ancient practice of Reiki, in fact the whole of the body can be balanced using Reiki. Perhaps it was just a mothers instinct back then but since learning Reiki I have used it on myself to ease pain and handle stress and I know that it does work. I very rarely need to take painkillers, however if the pain were to persist I would go to the doctors because it could be a sign that something more serious was wrong. Usually first thing in the morning I will, before getting up, go through the reiki movements on my body as this helps me throughout the day with mind, body, and soul. Self nurturing in this way enables me to be at my best, it calms me and revitalizes me.

Hugging was introduced to me by my reiki teacher. It was the first and last thing we did on meeting each other over the three day course and she described it as a mini reiki treatment that can be given to others without them even knowing it. Therfore the random acts of affection by hugging are really quite powerful. The touch of anothers hands can be so comforting, especially when we are feeling unwell and the hands placed in certain places on yourself or another in times of stress, illhealth, fatigue, fear or injury can be beneficial.

Hugs Are Free

Hug a Tree
Hug a Tree | Source
Some Hugs Are Awkward
Some Hugs Are Awkward | Source
And So is This One
And So is This One | Source

Missing Out

In general I believe that anyone who does not feel comfortable with being touched by others is to some degree missing out. This is not a criticism, it is however an observation and most of these people would probably trust a medical practitioner more than they would a friend to do something more intrusive than hug. Baby steps may help people overcome their fear or dislike of being touched, I know there are some people who avoid any contact at all, even shaking hands makes them want to rush out of the room. But I believe that the more you make an effort to hug at least those people close to you, you will gain a lot from their human touch.

A Shirt That Gives Hugs

Not sure how anti-huggers would feel about this shirt. There is no human contact but you get to feel the effects of hugs, the touch, warmth and emotion via sensors embedded in the shirt. How cool is that? Imagine being away from home for periods of time but still being able to receive hugs from loved ones. It would certainly reduce the feeling of being home sick, decrease depression and increase well being. Scroll down past the cute cats having a hug to see the video.

Hug the World

There are many animals on the planet that appear to enjoy hugs,

  • dogs- from people and each other
  • cats- ditto
  • big cats- each other, people not recommended
  • bears- each other, maybe not humans, depending on the size of their teeth and paws
  • snakes- well what are they doing when they wrap themselves around each other?
  • Birds?- a little challenging I think.

There is also a National Hugging Day

So to put it more in perspective a hug is just a hug, it doesn't hurt, doesn't take long, is free and can actually be good for you and the hugger. I can appreciate those who think hugging is an invasion of personal space, however hugging a tree or earth hugging might be the best place to start. So go on, what are you waiting for? Give it a try, you just might feel better.

The Hug Shirt


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    • Christine P Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine P Ann 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Its been a while since I checked my hubs, life got in the way :). Thank you kerlynb, WLC, JMH and Denmarkguy for reading and leaving comments. Reiki is fascinating and the more I practice it the more I gain I would recommend it for everyone. I did not mean I 'pin him down' in a literal sense, I meant that I pester him till he gives in. He is now old enough to punch me in the nose but he now openly hugs his mum and dad and is the first in the room to come and hug me. I think you both, WLC and JMH need to lighten up a little and maybe hug each other :).

      Sad story Denmarkguy about your handshaking parents. If we don't learn true affection from our parents where else is there to turn? Interesting point you made about hairline triggers and sexual harassment, I guess everyone has a different point of reference here that would change depending on culture as well.


    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      5 years ago from Port Townsend

      Good stuff!

      I really related to you saying that nobody in your family had ever said "I love you." My mom died a few years back (in her late 80s) and I realized after she was gone that she had never (I was 48 at the time) told me that she loved me-- I'd told her plenty of times, of course. I came from a non-touching family... my parents actually SHOOK HANDS when leaving or returning, for goodness sake! So I had to learn touching, on my own.

      I think the healing properties of touch are immense... and a lot of people DO miss out. Sadly our society (speaking of the US, in particular) is anti-hug and anti-touching in the sense that so many people have "hairline triggers" in their interpretation of what constitutes sexual harassment and "assault"... even OUTside workplaces.



    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I agree with my friend WLC above (we were looking at this together and discussing it. ) Here is a clue: (observe all the rules and ignore the "geek"thing)

    • kerlynb profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      I have never heard of Reiki before I read your hub but gosh, it sounds really interesting to me. Anything that promotes good human relations and self-nurturing would appeal to me at this point in my life when I have realized the importance of loving and being loved. BTW, I am not a "hugger" but I really would want to be one. It's just that there's something in the way we were raised that does not make a hugging a normal thing to do. But then again, I think that that attitude is due for a change :) Voting your hub up, interesting, and beautiful!

    • Christine P Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine P Ann 

      6 years ago from Australia

      That my words have the possibility of changing a situation for the better makes me happy Richawriter. Thank you for your kind words, and good luck with spreading the love :)

    • Richawriter profile image

      Richard J ONeill 

      6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hmmm, nice hub covering a topic that needs to be mentioned. This reminded me that my family never says the words "I love you" either and are even uncomfortable when hugging.

      I have often wanted to break the pattern and say it but feel so awkward and instead say nothing.

      You have made me even more determined to do it. Next time I call my mum I'm going to say it!

      Thanks Christine! Peace

    • Christine P Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine P Ann 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Stacie, I understand what you are saying...I probably annoy some people but the world needs more affection :)

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      6 years ago

      One has to be careful when you intrude upon anothers personal space. Not everyone is a hugger or likes to be touched when you first meet them. Good hub.

    • Christine P Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine P Ann 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for reading and leaving feedback Nia & Alecia :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      It took me a long time to accept hugs. That was mainly because I'm an only child and we only really hugged in my family during special occasions for the most part. But as I got older it got easier as it was done in more social situations but I agree with you on combining the hug with a kiss. That's a little too much, especially if you're not that close with the person. Interesting hub.

    • NiaG profile image


      6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      It just depends with me. I always said I'm not a hunger. It's still true I am not a hunger but when someone hugs me I don't mind it. But it depends on who the hunger is also. :-) Good hub. Maybe one day I'll become a hugger when I begin loosening up my ways.


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