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Are You A Good Hugger or a Bad Hugger?

The fabulous thing about having a laptop is that I’m peeing right now but you can’t tell because I pushed the MUTE button.

But seriously, the real reason I called you all here today is to say that there are two types of people: those that hug well and those that don’t.

A real hugger wraps their arms around you and makes it feel like they are really glad to see you. It feels warm and good like hot cocoa and wool socks in front of a stone fireplace with a fat glittery Christmas tree in the corner.

Then there are those that make a half circle with one arm around you and if you’re lucky, their hand will barely touch your back. Like you have cooties and if they had their druthers, they’d rather not have to participate in such a barbaric nasty germ-spreading ritual. They are probably the same people who would give you one of those limp fish handshakes as well.

Me? I’m a hugger. A real huggity hug hugging hugmeister. They call me Huggy McHuggenheimer. I like when people hug the crap out of me. That’s a figure of speech by the way, I don’t mean I hope that there’s a pile of poo afterwards. And I don’t want the wind squeezed out of me. Or broken ribs. I just like a good firm and friendly hug with pressure applied. A REAL hug. Not one of those mamby pamby I-have-touching-issues-so-you-get-a half-assed fake hugs.

Why is that? Are they afraid it’s too intimate? Like when it’s a co-ed hug, for example. A straight man vs. a straight woman. Is the guy afraid of feeling boobs against them? Like it’s not allowed? Is hugging too sexual for them?

Or is hugging seen as lower-class? Or blue-collar lumberjacky. It’s not sophisticated. You don’t see rich people or members of royalty bear-hugging each other. They lean toward one another and maybe purse their lips to the side while air kissing and lightly resting their fingers of one hand on a shoulder maybe.

I don’t get it. Can someone please explain this to me? Because for me, hugging is an innocent thing we are taught to do with everyone we like when we’re children.

Now, I realize there are exceptions. Like people with back problems or fibromyalgia who can’t hug beyond the limp fish level because it’s painful. Hugs should not be painful. So they get a pass.

Also? There are people I don’t want to hug. But these are the same people I don’t want to touch for any number of reasons. Primarily because they DO have cooties or a banana in their pocket or something like that.

But what’s everyone else’s excuse?

So tell me, are you a hugger? I mean like a real hug-o-rama huggity hugger? Or a limp fish? And do men have different views on this than women? What’s your hugging etiquette?

P.S. Today I am guest posting on mystery author Cindy Sample’s blog. Her latest book is called Dying for a Dance. I give a few blogging tips on her blog today and if you go over there and comment according to her instructions, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an Amazon Gift card. Wow! What are you waiting for? Check out her blog post today entitled: “Improving Your Blog: Helpful Tips and Reminders from an Award-Winning Blogger.


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  1. Yourpalpinki says:

    My mom is a hugger my dad is not so I get my huggy habits, or lack thereof, from them. I usually try to gauge whether or not a person wants a hug before I go in for one. I can respect a good hand shake (no limp fish here) or a pat on the arm, back or shoulder. One thing is for sure, I’m a physical contact/eye contact kind of person. 

    1.  Well, Pinki, you know you can hug me any time!

  2. I’m a hugger. I can tell it really bugs some people, although I can only tell when it’s too late. I don’t get it. It’s not the rack. That’s world-class. In fact, screw ’em. They should have to pay.

    1.  Yes, EXACTLY! It’s too late and you’ve done the damage by the time you find out. And congrats on your people-should-have-to-pay-for-it-world-class rack. 🙂

  3. I am afraid I am truly a limp fish type hugger and the reason is simply that I am emotionally retarded.  I think I need a hug or some tea and sympathy.

    1.  Aw, poor squirrel. C’mere –>  ((((Hugs to Lone Grey Squirrel)))

  4. Nonamedufus says:

    Margaret, I took hugging a step further in my post this week. And I gave you a shout out! (hug, hug)

  5. Angela Knutsen says:

    I live in a country where people kiss each other, two three or four times depending on where they come from.  it was difficult at first for me, but I’m okay with it now.  I hope that i’m a firm hugger and kisser and handshaker.

    Isn’t it dreadful how a limp handshake can put you off someone ?

    Read and be read  ExposeYourBlog!

  6. MommysTime says:

    I come from a long line of Huggy McHuggersons. I hugged my now in-laws back when I first met them. They are Japanese and Do. Not. Hug. (not even their own children). But they always hug me now. It feels really good.

    1.  I’ve known people who were reticent at first when I hugged them and, over time, they now open their arms if I don’t go to them first. I don’t know if they are just used to my hugging and have learned to tolerate it, or if they actually like it.

  7. Ginger says:

    I love those tight enveloping huggy hugs but, i must admit i dont cherish my nose being stuck in some people’s under arms nor do i want my boobs flattened out in some lecherous hug so to compromise…I choose who to give good hugs and who t give half arm hugs to.
    I will definitely give you a goooooood hug if i ever get to meet you. promise…

    My Italian friend had to restrain herself from hugging the Chancellor during our graduation. She said its cultural 🙂

    1.  I’m like you, Ginger. I’m not a hugging bully or anything. If it doesn’t seem right, I won’t hug everybody.

  8. susyranner says:

    hugging is an innocent thing we are taught to do with everyone we like when we’re children”
    There was no hugging in my household when I was a child. It’s not something that comes naturally to me and to be honest I can’t stand being hugged, it makes me feel awkward and embarrased. Just the way I was brought up I suppose.

    1. I can understand that. I just wish we all had signs above our heads so we knew what to do with each other when we said hello and good-bye.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As a Brit living in the mis-west, the big huggers terrify me. And they’re everywhere. it seems like you only have to meet someone once and they then hug you like a long lost relative. And then there are those who hug and kiss at the same time, but I don’t anticipate the kiss and my head is in the wrong place, so they end up kissing me somewhere on my neck! Sigh.

    1.  The problem is, we have no standards in this country. It’s a free-for-all, so nobody knows what to do.

      I blame the liberal media.

  10. Sparky says:

    Is that why you’re sitting where you are in case someone hugs the crap out of you?! Convenient! *lol* 🙂

    Me, I’m a gentle, but not limp, hugger because I’m old and too many people I know do have physical infirmities and I don’t want to break anything. 

    1.  Ha! You’re the first to make that connection, Sparky! Well done. 🙂

  11. Slommler says:

    I am a huggers hugger for sure!!!  I love a good warm fuzzy hug!!!
    HUgging you

    1.  Oh, I know you’re a hugger, SueAnn! You always sign your comments with “hugs”!

  12. jstlookn says:

    Oh, I’m a genuine grab you with both arms and hug hard hugger.  As a matter of fact, I ran into my ex hub recently…who I hadn’t seen since our ugly divorce some 28 years earlier…and he extended his hand for me to shake… I said, “Oh, for crying out loud, gimmy a hug”, and grabbed him with both arms.  He looked stricken and his current wife looked furious.

    What the heck, those hugs are for ME. 


    1.  His current wife was furious about something that happened (AND ENDED I MIGHT ADD) 28 years prior? *rolls eyes*   Good for you, I say! Thanks, Nellie!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m a good hugger! I wrap my arms around people for a nice long squeeze!
    And I also shake hands like a real person too. I hate that limp wristed shit some people put out.

    Also, people call me Hugger McSqueezypants.

    1.  OOOh, I like that name better!

  14. flop says:

    As a red-blooded all-American man of the male persuasion, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s getting “burped” by a woman when I’m hugging her.  You know what I’m talking about: the hug and then the “patting of the back.”  Grrr.  You know what says to me?  I’M NEVER GOING TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU.  You know why that pisses me off?  I DIDN’T ASK YOU TO!  And you know what REALLY pisses me off?  She KNOWS I didn’t NEED to ask, because she KNOWS I want to have sex with her, whether I asked or NOT.  Damn you all!

    1.  hee heeee! Thanks for that. 🙂

  15. Nicky says:

    Well, Huggy, the day we finally meet, be prepared to have the crap hugged out of your huggy self. And yes, there will actually be a pile of poop behind you when I’m done! 🙂

    1.  Awesome! Then one of us should bring a pooper scooper, I suppose.

  16. Das Santos says:

    A hug, to me, is a sign of so unless I need to wipe my hands on someone, i wont hug them :p

    1.  A hug to you is a sign of what? Did you leave out a word there? Or did you mean SO, like significant other? Is that what you meant? In any case, it’s good to know when others are not the hug everybody type.

  17. Jenjens31 says:

    I LOOOOOOVE hugging! And I too hate the faux huggers of the world!!!

    And now that we’ve met in real life, I’m gonna give you a big ol hug next time I see you.  Unless of course you’ve put me in the cootie category 😉

    1.  LOL! Nope, no cootie category for you! I’d love a hug the next time I see you.

  18. Erin says:

    If I’ve met you before, then yes, you’re getting a hug.  It’s been a learned practice for me, though, as I didn’t grow up with a huggy family, and it’s still a conscious effort.  Sometimes I forget to hug, so I’m very glad that you jump right in there, Margaret!

    1. Since I suck at verbal affection, maybe I’m hiding behind my hugging. it conveys the same thing so that I don’t have to say it. Hmmmm, now I have to think about THAT more.

  19. Pricilla says:

    Goats are not big huggers. Especially little goats like me. Our legs are too short. I do love a bit of a head butt though

    1.  You’re missing out, Pricilla. Ask your publicist. Unless she tells you hugging is horrible, in which case, don’t listen to her!

  20. Jayne says:

    You did a great job over there.  I know these writing tips, but keep forgetting them!    As for hugging, I’m the real deal.  I’ll hug you coming and going and if you’re hurting, I won’t let go.    Big hugs!

    1.  I can’t wait for my first hug from you, Jayne!

      1. Jayne says:

        (((    )))

        Hey, your guest post was so helpful that I did a complete rewrite on the post I posted yesterday, moving the second paragraph to the first so I could make is start with a more visceral sentence and fiddling with some other stuff. It’s so much better.  Too bad everyone has already ready the crappy draft.  

  21. Susan Herman says:

    I give proper hugs but am perhaps too sparing with the number of hugs I offer.  I generally don’t make the first move unless the prospective huggee is a good friend and is crying or about to cry. Don’t know why–shy, I guess. It’s fun to observe and experiment with hugging behavior at church when we’re passing the peace. That’s when you say “The Lord be with you!” and your pew mate looks at you awkwardly and says, “Good morning!” I stick out my right hand (I’m a great hand-shaker, no limp fish for me) but if I notice the other person is going in for the hug I dive right in to the hug.

    1.  There seems to be a whole spectrum of hugs in this world. I’m glad to hear you’re also a good hand-shaker. And that you’ll dive right in if someone else wants a hug.

  22. “They call me Huggy McHuggenheimer.” And people should, I’ve had one of your hugs, and you are indeed an excellent hugger! 🙂

    1.  Aw, thanks! I’m hesitant about hugging people the first time – I never know if they want to be hugged or not so it’s a sort of guessing game dance thing that first time.

  23. Nonamedufus says:

    I guess I’m kind of a tentative hugger. I’ll wait till the woman hugs first before I judge what level I put on the old hug-o-meter. And the woman has to be a friend. Someone I know. As much as I may want to, I don’t hug women I’m meeting for the first time. And while I know women hug other women, I just don’t hug guys. Hugging’s difficult for guys. Don’t get me going on the kiss on the cheek thingy.

    1.  I’m beginning to think a whole book could be written about the whole hugging thing. If it hasn’t been done already.

  24. Ally says:

    I grew up in a family where hugging was frowned upon, so I never really got the basics of it as a child.  The result is that as an adult I feel awkward about the whole hugging thing.  I suspect that I am a bad hugger– with room for lots of improvement.

    1.  Why was hugging frowned upon in your family, I wonder? Did they not want others touching you? Was it seen as declasse? Unsophisticated? The more I think about this, the more I’m intrigued by the whole hugging thing. 

  25. Cheryl P. says:

    I am a selective hugger.   I don’t know the absolute protocol of hugging but, I tend to only want to hug people I really, really like. Those random hugs to people that I casually know just seem insincere.  I think this comes come being brought up in a family of “non touchers” I appreciate the “enthusiastic huggers of the world and wish I was that comfortable with it. 

    1.  Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. It’s interesting about this whole hugging thing. I wonder if psychologists have had a field day with it.

  26. Nezzy says:

    I’m a warm cup of warm cocoa type of hugger gal.  A real hugger!!!

    God bless and have a terrific day sweetie!!! :o)

    1.  I’m glad to hear it, Nezzy!