I hate hugging. In fact, I hate anyone within arms length of me. I’m not joking. It’s as if I have this imaginary bubble around me that I don’t want to share with anyone else.
Hugging doesn’t come natural to me. I never know what to do with my arms. And my hair gets in the way. How long do I hold on? How tight do I squeeze? What if I smell? My boobs get smooshed and my feet trip over theirs, and well, you get the point.
My Italian and Latin friends all like to take it a step further. They like to kiss cheeks; sometimes one, usually both. This makes me even more uncomfortable. Not in a germ way, in an “I’m frozen, I don’t know what to do” sort of way.
I’ve always felt this awkward about it.
Listen friends… it’s not you, it’s me. Really.
I didn’t grow up in an affectionate family. We didn’t hug or cuddle much. Therefore, I think I grew out of needing much PDA. And my husband isn’t very affectionate by nature either. So that worked out for the both of us.
But I read something the other day. It said that people who hug often, do so because they feel safe.
My friend Kelli gives the best hugs. She holds tight and hangs on just long enough to break through all my defenses… through all the phases that say, “please don’t hug me, oh crap you’re going to, okay well now we are hugging, ohhhh this isn’t so bad, awe I love you too!”
I want to feel safe. And I want to be a safe place. I want to be a good hugger, and to pass that affection and security along to my loved ones, because after all, I think affection is an extension of love, and who doesn’t want more of that?
I love ya’ll. I really do. So I’m going to declare myself a “hugger.” I’m going to fake it until I make it.
So please, when you see me, I want you to give me a looooong, uncomfortable hug. Seriously. I need the practice. And you’ll get a kick out of my awkwardness. We may even share a laugh together. And before long, thanks to you friends, I’ll be a good hugger too. Hopefully then, slowly, I’ll start to feel more safe and comfortable alongside you.