I have been called a hugger. I’m not sure I agree with that. One of my colleagues, Michelle, is not a hugger, and she’ll tell you that. Once, pre-hug, she said, “I’m going to hug you now because I know you’re a hugger.” She hugs with disclaimers.
I respect non-huggers and actually, am pretty put off by the premature hug. I don’t want to hug you if I don’t know you very well. If I know you’re not a hugger (non-huggers are pretty vocal with their warnings)
I think hugging comes from how you were raised. My dad? Not a hugger. My mom? A hugger. My sisters are one of each, I think. I really think I fall somewhere in the middle.
I get a lot, and give a lot of hugs at work — it’s only not weird because it’s because mostly it’s because I haven’t seen my co-workers in months. Every return to the office is a reunion. Every goodbye is for quite awhile. If hug-lovers were greeted the way I am on every return to the office, they’d be in heaven.
This morning I attended a business networking event. As I was introduced to a stranger, I held out my hand for the expected handshake. Imagine my surprise when I was engulfed in a hug, instead. In a flash, I thought, “Does he think he knows me? That I’m someone else? Is this his gimmick? Is he a MAJOR hugger?” and, “Oh, this is SO inappropriate.” I’m definitely not a stranger hugger.
Are you a hugger? If not, how do you react to people entering your personal space with open arms?