Practical Hugging 101.

Monday April 20, 2015

If an on-line hug doesn't quite have the required effect, a mismanaged 'live' hug can also go amiss!

Let's face it, I didn't attend "Practical Hugging 101", did you?

And so guys in particular have learned the "How-to-bring-wind-up" hug. This involves an embrace that ensures the lower regions are as far apart as physics permits. Once there is no ambiguous message conveyed by the nether regions, the process of patting the back begins. If I could belch on demand, I would do this as a response, just to help guys get rid of this horrendous practice!

If you are going to hug someone, then hug them - don't patronise them!

An unusual blog-post perhaps, but I believe this is an important one. You see, as humans, we've done a deal to cope with the ambiguities of attention. Humans need attention. But not the wrong kind of attention.

Ideally, we need physical attention. This, however, is way too easily misunderstood and misinterpreted. So, here's the deal. We swap verbal attention for physical attention. At a pinch, we'll even trade in visual attention - a respectful glance or nod from a safe distance. But these are all poor imitations of the real close encounters of the third kind: direct physical attention.

How can we make contact safely - maximising the impact of our positive attention, but minimising the serious risk of being misunderstood? Firstly, I can speak only for Western Cultures. In the West, the region of the arm from the shoulder down to the elbow is widely understood as non-sexual. This means that it is usually OK to make contact with someone here - much like shaking hands. Of course, duration and pressure also play a part. Hold on to someone's arm for too long, and you'll be sending mixed messages! You've also got to be true to yourself. If you're not a touchy-feely person - or if they aren't, you need to learn, through practice, to recognise the signs.

If you do think a hug is appropriate, go for a brief embrace that is static - no need for patting the other person. Sometimes this is the most profound form of supportive contact - the impact of which goes way beyond anything we could articulate in words.

Surprise a friend with a hug!


Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 21 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.