I am a hugger. I come from a long line of huggers. I hug people — male or female — friends, family, or close acquaintances. I can usually read people pretty well and know when a hug would be appropriate.
Hugs mean so much to me. It’s an expression of love — a non-verbal way of saying ‘I hear you’ or ‘I understand’ or ‘I love you more than I can express’. Hugs to me break down the walls that keep us alone in our grief and allow us to allow others to share the pain that we are feeling.
I often wonder how non-huggers survive without the benefits of hugging. There are many articles that suggest that hugging elevates our serotonin levels, boosts oxytocin and stimulates the thymus gland which regulates the production of white blood cells among other things.
I remember when my father passed away I was so devastated that I would never feel his hugs again. That was until I realized my son hugs the same way he did.
I respect non-huggers. I know personal space is big for people so I never knowingly invade a person’s personal space unless they welcome the hug or the touch.
So, weigh in. Are you a hugger or as my sister-in-law put it, a ‘touch-me-not’? I think we learn to be one or the other from our parents or the people who raised us. At least that holds true for me.
One isn’t better than the other. We are all different. I guess being a hugger, I just wonder how I would survive in a world of limited touch.