Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Can You Ever Get Enough Hugs? How do you feel?

I have also posted this over at my main blog FortySomethingFirstTimeMum.  I welcome comments on both blogs!

Can you ever get enough hugs?  The answer for some, would be a resounding yes because they don't consider themselves to be huggy people. They are uncomfortable with touchy, feely people and so they retreat from, rather than respond to the hugs.

The answer for others, like my mother and other senior citizens that I have asked, would be no, because they simply do not get many, if any at all.

I would consider myself to be slightly resistant to hugs. I feel a little uncomfortable and find it hard to hug back. My brothers, who were never particularly huggy growing up, now greet and say goodbye with one. At a kiddie's party the other week, it was as if people could sense this from me as they didn't greet me with a hug as they did with others. I always feel a certain caginess about hugging and I wonder why, since I do feel good when I am given one.  I wonder if it's because of my background or if its just something inert in me.  As my Dad got older he used to give us what we called 'bone crusher' hugs, but I can't remember him doing that when we were younger. My mother hugged us a lot as children, but not so much when we grew up.

Yet, as a mother, I have no difficulty in accepting hugs from my little son.  There is nothing that fills me with so much joy as a hug from those little arms.  My mother loves to get hugs from her grandchildren as do many of her friends with theirs.  They say they simply don't get as many these days.  As their spouses and close relatives and friends are passing on, the hugs are few and far between.  Since I heard this, I have been making efforts to hug my mother much more. Sometimes it's hard, after a conversation where I am being criticised as only mothers can do with their daughters, but I do it anyway. Though she wants and accepts the hugs and always seems delighted, I can still sense a kind of reticence where she wants to respond but holds back.  If we get hugged less as we get older, I better start giving and receiving more now!

Once, on a family holiday to France, we passed through Barcelona.  In the square, at the Cathedral, it felt like such a happy place.  There were people hanging around with signs offering 'free hugs' and there were people just going up to avail of them.  For someone who is slightly nervous of being hugged,  I felt compelled to give and receive one.  The feeling was very strong and I thought I might actually do it.  Then I looked at my parents-in-law who are quite reserved and knew they wouldn't approve.  My father in law thought they were weirdos and since I often suspect he thinks I am too, I decided against it!  They were more interested in entering the Cathedral for the latin mass so that is what I ended up doing too.  It was beautiful but I would have preferred a free hug, given that I am usually so reserved about them.

There is even a facebook page and a website dedicated to the 'Free Hugs'  Check out this picture.

There is a woman known as 'Amma' who travels the world hugging people.  She believes in the loving healing power of the hug.  Apparently she has hugged more than 20 million people in all parts of the world.  Now there is someone who is not afraid of hugs!

Am I alone with my feelings on this?  How do you feel about hugs?


  1. Just this morning I said to my beloved yoga teacher Jo B - you can never get enough hugs right? I used to have a real problem with hugs but now that my heart is open thanks to my yoga practice and healing my heart, I LOVE hugs - giving and receiving. I love all types of hugs -- bear hugs, little hugs, huge hugs, an let me bring you comfort hug, a wow that is so awesome hug and the list goes on and on. There are many studies done on the importance of hugs and how our chemistry changes for the better when we give and receive hugs. Thanks for sharing as always.

    1. I think our chemistry and energy definitely change when we give and receive hugs. I just wish I didn't still have that slight reticence about them! I know hugs make me feel good, but still I feel a slight reluctance. Except for the hugs from my little boy! There is not reticence there at all. I need to practice yoga more and open my heart even more.

  2. I don't think you're alone in your feelings of ambivalence about hugs. I know many people who are uncomfortable about the concept. I'm not one of them, but I do understand and respect boundaries of others who aren't huggy people.

    I don't know that there's any hard, fast rule about how someone feels from childhood to adulthood regarding hugs. I know in my own family, hugs are dispensed with enthusiasm and are an expected thing. From a good health perspective, being hugged boosts the immune system and our white blood count increases within minutes of being hugged, blood pressure calms, heart rate calms, and those benefits last for a good 3 hours after ONE SINGLE HUG. Amazing, isn't it? Such a simple thing to deliver so many unseen health benefits!

    Being a single person, I don't receive hugs on a daily basis, and that bothers me. I'm in hug deficit for basic good health on a daily basis, so when I do get a chance to hug, I welcome it. I'll have to visit the FB page you mentioned!

    - Dawn

  3. Tee Hee. Visit the FB page and see where they are offering free hugs next! I think there is a free hug movement out there. I think it's a wonderful idea. I still haven't got over the urge to hug that I had in Barcelona. Sadly, I didn't have the courage to ignore my in-laws disapproval!

  4. Delighted with all the comments on this subject over at

  5. Hi - wasn't sure which blog to follow from the a-z. thanks for your visit, follow and comment. And I am definitely in the love hugs camp.

  6. Hi Karen. I have a few blogs. Follow them all if you like!