On Hugging

I love reading the advice page in Elle, "Ask E. Jean." I was thumbing through this month's issue when the following question to E. Jean caught my eye:
Dear E. Jean:

In an all-female get-together, is it appropriate to hug only the ones you feel closest to and say 'hello' to the others? Or should I hug them all so nobody feels rejected? This may seem like a stupid question, but I'm not American and feel insecure sometimes in social or business meetings.
-Faux Paulette

I completely understand where Faux Paulette is coming from. Although I'm technically American since I was born and raised in Miami, FL, my background is Cuban, and as a Latina I'm around people that hug and kiss a lot.

You would think I'd be used to all this hugging and kissing, but I'm not. In fact, I always feel awkward hugging people, male or female. I feel awkward even if they're my friends. (Unless it's my boyf. He is the best hugger. He gives me these bone-crushing hugs that turn my limbs to jelly. It's awesome.)

What's weird is that I also don't mind getting hugs from my female students, but I don't like receiving them from the male students, since I teach high school, so I try to avoid that! But it's hugging women and men who are my peers that makes me feel awkward for some reason. Why do I feel this way? Am I weird for feeling this way?!

Let's turn to E. Jean's response to Faux Paulette to see if it's any help:

Miss Faux, my flower-box:

I personally like to walk into a room, throw my arms around any woman who looks better than I, and ruffle her hair. On the other hand, if I'm already in the room and a female friend I know enters, I screech, hurl my glass of champagne into the fireplace, and embrace her with both arms, and sometimes one leg, depending on the height of my heels.

These are my only two rules. For you, however, it is less complicated: Hug it out with everyone you feel like hugging (except your boss), and shake hands affectionately with those you don't.
I love the "ruffle her hair" bit, hee. Well, that does make me feel a bit better. I can always "shake hands affectionately!" It helped me realize that it's OK not to be innately affectionate and that others won't necessarily think I'm rude if I don't screech, hurl my glass across the room, and embrace them with both arms and legs. ;-)

5 comment(s):

TLC said...

That last picture of the rabbit CRACKS ME UP!!!

You know, I have always wondered this too. For me, I'm not in a family thats really huggy/kissy type. But as I got older all my girlfriends are huggers and it was something to get used to in Jr. high and high school. Now I hug them just as much but for those who are great friends to them that i may not know so well, I do do the hand shake. At church were all about giving a firm nice hand shake greeting So Elle hit it right on the money.

The whole high heel thing is SO me! LOL

Anonymous said...

I feel awkward hugging everybody too, at a party just 'cos I'm supposed to:) As far as possible, I make do with hugging just my friends, that's it...

Marc said...

Hugging I'm good with.

It's the Euro kissing both cheeks thing that really throws me off. I am kissing the air or the cheek here? Are there rules I should be abiding by? Who is this person anyway?

Those pictures are friggin' awesome though.

Hannahkin said...

eep! that lil' bunny face is too cute :) it's making me think of Horton Hears a Who, which i finally watched yesterday - "You mean the nice Vlad? With the cookies?" aaaah, precious :)

i think hugs are special, and i don't like giving them out to everyone that i meet on the street (or at a party, or anywhere for that matter.)

but i LOVE what E. Jean had to say about it!

ElshaHawk said...

I don't think I'm actually brazen enough to ruffle hairs...but I would think about it! I am a born and raised MidWesterner and there is NO hugging going on here! Except for Mom. She is special.