Monday, July 6, 2009

If you give a host a hug...

I'm compulsive about two things: straightening tangled phone cords and hugging people hello/goodbye.

Most people are not compelled to do either of these. Yes, the hugging thing is especially problematic and often one-sided. No, I'm not in therapy about it. Yes, I've read The Five Love Languages and it's clear that Physical Touch is a big deal for me. But most other people? Not so much, it turns out. So, I'm often hugging people who clearly weren't expecting it. But it's often too quick to deflect and they just go with it out of a sense of polite graciousness.

How do you break someone of a habit like this? How do you get her to think twice next time?

You have her show up for a pool party and compulsively hug the host who just spent 5 hours working on his lawn. And is still "dewy" from the exertion. And hasn't had a shower in two days. And is much taller than her, so that her head gets wrapped in his t-shirt for about two seconds. Which is two seconds longer than either of them were looking for.

5 comments:

dgm said...

I'm such a hugger, too! And it is most awkward in a professional setting. For example, there are several attorneys that I've known for many years who come and give guest lectures. I don't really associate with them outside of work, but I know them well enough to be comfortable and joke around with them when I see them. Whenever they come to visit the class, my instinct is to hug but I can't remember if I hugged them last time (in which case it wouldn't seem so strange to them) and I wonder if the students think it's weird to see their professor hug the guest. This also happens with students with whom I've become friends--am I supposed to hug them? I can't help it; I like to hug people I'm fond of! There is no cure at this age.

blognut said...

I have to admit that I tend to straighten phone cords and hug people whether they like it or not, too. However, I'm a little more careful than you are. I check for sweat rings and sniff the air before moving in for the kill.

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm a hugger, too, but I wait for an indication from the other person whether they'll be comfortable with it or not. There isn't a whole lot that's more uncomfortable than being mid-hug and realizing that person was NOT on board for a hug.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Oooh! Sounds like an armpit encounter cured you. ; )

Christie-A Work In Progress said...

I feel you! I am a hugger! I will happily accept your hug and hug you back if we ever meet in person!