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Confessions of a Hugger

I’m a hugger.

I hug people I love, I hug strangers, I hug friends I haven’t seen in a long time, I hug friends I haven’t seen in a few hours, I hug co-workers, I hug animals, I hug inanimate objects, I hug spontaneously, I hug on command, I hug when I’m happy, I hug when I’m sad, I hug to congratulate, I hug to say I’m sorry, I hug to say thank you, I hug to say goodbye… basically I hug constantly. I can usually be found hugging both my boyfriend and dog in some kind of tight embrace (not at the same time, though not to say that hasn’t happened.)

Clearly “touch” is my love language. It’s how I show people I love them, care for them and appreciate them. Sure, I’ve hugged a few waiters in my day, but who hasn’t? (Wait, you haven’t?)

I think it helps that I’m built to hug. First, I’m a lady. So my propensity to hug usually isn’t looked upon as creepy (though I imagine that after this post that might change.) Second, I’m average height. This makes it easy to hug people of all sizes! Third, I’m pretty squishy – not many hard edges here. This makes my hugs lack the sharp angles that some hugs can have.

I was surprised to learn (rather recently) that not all people appreciate the hug. A hug for me is comforting, warm and shows closeness; but for some a hug is just someone getting way too deep into their personal space. I get it. I love hugs, but I recognize the pitfalls and dangers: The ol’ going-for-the-hug-and-accidentally-graze-the-boob, the accidental clashing of heads, and the whole arms up or down thing can be very confusing (unfortunately there is no steadfast rule for this – trust me, I’ve done the field work.)

This aside, I recognize that my eagerness to wrap everyone in a warm hug can create weird situations. You know, like that time at Burke Williams.

My masseuse was an older woman and we chatted throughout the hour and a half (which I realize is already very weird.) Afterward, as we were in the hallway and I was saying my thank yous, she held her arm out. I assumed that a hug was happening and went for it. It wasn’t until I was getting dressed later that I realized she had actually just been directing me towards the locker room (hits palm to forehead). I’m sure that wasn’t the first time she has been embraced by a first time client that was only wearing a robe, right? Right??

Despite the occasional awkward situation, I still think hugs (when applied properly and appropriately) can be awesome and help make people more comfortable. Just ask my cab drivers…

To read more from Sungmi Choi follow her on Twitter.

Feature Image via Natalie Dee

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