Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Importance of a Hug

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” —Virginia Satir, family therapist

If the above statement is true, then I'm not surviving. I'm lucky if I get in two hugs a week... make that a month. I can be a very touchy, feely, huggy sort of person. And I can not be. It is all dictated by who I am with and the level of comfort I feel with that person. I have had friends where hugs become second nature. You hug when you first meet up, you definitely hug before you leave and sometimes there are hugs just for the heck of it. Because sometimes hugs seem like a natural part, and it seems strange to not be touching that person in some way. Then there are friends where any time you step within a certain distance, I feel as though I am invading their personal space or that they are invading mine. Hugs seem strange and alien. It's not because I am any less of a friend with that person, it's just because we don't have one of those relationships.

Lately, the number of friends that I don't hug have largely taken over that I do. And I find myself wishing that old friends who were masters at the art of hugging were nearby and could wrap me up in an embrace that is filled with love, friendship and security.

No, hugging is not a euphemism for anything else. I am just talking about a simple embrace.

Except now, I want to talk about something else. Like how the hug is an excellent tool for leading in to other things. (Which I am sadly lacking in, also.)

I was discussing this with a friend the other night. Over the summer I had a friend where joking about NCMOs and other such things were common place. For a while I was worried that he would act on the conversations and whenever he got too close, I would skit away because I wasn't really in to the idea of a NCMO with him. And then, I changed my mind, and I thought, "If he makes a move, he will get lucky." Because I'm that generous of a person.


Anyway, I didn't skit away, and he didn't make a move. Or, didn't make a move from what I could tell. Come to find out later, he had mentioned to a mutual friend that he had tried and that he was sick of trying because I was too difficult or whatever. And I wondered, "When?" When did he try? I mean, I had noticed him invading my personal space enough to feel the need to skit away, but I didn't actually think he was trying anything. Apparently he was?

For the record, the fancy has passed. The window is closed for anything happening. But, I was just thinking... if we had been the sort of friends where hugging was commonplace, it would have been much easier for him. The personal boundaries would have already been breached with the hello-hug and the good-bye-hug and the interwoven hugs throughout our friendship. If it had been a comfortable thing for him to wrap me up in his arms, then it would have been nothing to place a kiss on the cheek and then... go from there.

See! Hugging is brilliant. It's a natural transition. has an interesting article on hugging that says,

The dazzling hug diet is terrific because the act of hugging transfers energy and generates positive emotional stimulation, resulting in happiness. Physical contact and stimulation are absolutely necessary for our overall well-being. Hugging a person by wrapping one's arms around the other's neck or waist or touching faces cheek to cheek is, without a doubt, one of the most common demonstrations of affection.... Hugs come in many different flavors, and each one says something different. For example, there's the fraternal hug, the friendly hug, the loving hug, the sexual hug, and many more. 

I miss getting hugs from my dad. I miss baby Kelsie wrapping her little arms around my neck and squeezing as hard as she possibly can. I miss hugs from Becca. Or other friends where I could just go and put my arms around their neck or their waists and just get a reassuring squeeze that they cared about me.

It's amazing what just a little affection can do for one's morale. I found an article called A Hug... The Miracle Drug. Located here. And I'm going to agree, sometimes a hug is a happy pill of sorts. And I could really stand to get my prescription filled.


  1. This post makes me happy ;) I wish I were more of a hugger, Darling. BUT the weird thing is "mutual friend" always hugged me goodbye until we had that hug. Cuddling was commonplace for our friendship so I'm sure it can be the same for you... if you desire to have that door open again.

  2. I just wrote a blog post about the importance of hugging also. So I googled "importance of a hug" and I found your post. Very inspiring. Thanks.


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