Tag Archives: hugging

Pet peeve: promiscuous hugging

Last week’s commentary in the Strib, Hugs all around: A trend I can’t quite embrace (originally from the Washington Post, Bubba Watson and the hug epidemic) resonated with me.

Master's huggingWhen did hugs become compulsory? You meet someone for the first time, you shake her hand. You meet her a second time, and she expects a hug. Sometimes she expects the hug before the first meeting is over…

In standoffs, the person who wants a hug always wins. If you really want to avoid hugs, the only way is to carry around something large and unwieldy at all times… When did the good old-fashioned handshake become a sign of standoffishness, rather than a sign of "hello, I have just met you, and I am unarmed"?

I enthusiastically hug my wife and grown kids. I hug my relatives. I hug friends at those life events that are special: weddings, funerals, graduations, etc.  For me, hugging has an intimacy to it that I want to retain.  So when others treat it like a handshake, I cringe.

obama-fist-bump V54-665989
Thanks to the Obamas and Michelangelo, I’ve learned a defensive maneuver that often works when I sense that a promiscuous hug is imminent: the fist bump