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The Definitive Guide To Hugging You Never Knew You Needed

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Arianna Rebolini: So first question is: Where do we stand on hugs in general?

Grace Spelman: Good. Not opposed.

Krystie Yandoli: 99% of the time, I like hugging. I'm a hugger.

Michael Blackmon: I like hugging people, especially if I haven't seen them in a long time. Also, people have told me I give good hugs, which made me like doing it more?

Jean-Luc Bouchard: I'm pro-hugs, as long as they do not make people feel creeped out or invaded.

Katie Heaney: I'm not a hugger, but I like hugging people who I have safely and cautiously decided I love.

Arianna Rebolini: Hugs for the MOST part, with some exceptions, make me anxious, and it took me a long time to accept that about myself. I feel like teenage girls are very into hugging.

Joanna Borns: I'm only into hugs if know the person well, and haven't seen them in a long time. If I JUST saw you, or I don't know you, then I'm gonna feel weird hugging.


AR: What about hugging at every hello, even when you see each other like every day?

KY: I grew up around a bunch of huggers. My family is VERY touchy-feely (in all the appropriate/good ways lol) so I always thought it was normal to hug and kiss people hello, hug and kiss them goodbye, hug them when something good happens, hug them when you're happy. For us it was always a natural sign of affection. So now i've brought that into my daily life as a [semi] adult. or at least, i mostly do.

MS: I don't think it's necessary. I have friends who want to hug each time we meet, so I do it so that I don't make them feel bad.

JB: I force myself into hugging a lot because I know it's expected.


JB: I would like to ask— where does everyone stand for people who like to hug upon FIRST MEETING?

JLB: A very complicated dance. For people who hug on the first meeting, it seems like such a power move to me. Like you did it, you went there. I belong to you now.

AR: I'll hug someone upon first meeting if they know the people I'm with, or I know the people they're with, you know, like at a party. And those people hug. I'll do it, but I have to acknowledge it. "Hey, ok, let's hug, too."

KH: Oh I've been there, like at the end of a hug line, and the person hugs me because I'm in that spot but not because I'm me. And it's just embarrassing.

JB: I am usually horrified when a person I've never met wants to hug me, but I've learned the hard way that you have to hug everyone in a group. You can't just hug one person, and shake hands with the others.

KY: I shake hands but like, after that I'll hug them goodbye if we say goodbye. Because I want them to know I'm a hugger and I'm comfortable taking our relationship to that level. Unless I don't like them. Then I won't even say bye.

AR: That's a good move.

JB: I have this problem— you know someone on the internet, then meet them in person for the first time, and they want to hug, but it's still so weird!

JLB: To be safe I just hug everyone I meet.


KH: I THOUGHT I was very against first-date hugs and then I accidentally did one the other day because I thought they were trying to. But then later we were both like, "Oh, I hated that too." A handshake just seemed too weird.

AR: Is there something between hug and handshake? For like meetings in which neither are optimal.

KH: Hmmm... no. Hahah.

JB: Gentle kiss on the forehead.

JLB: You can clap your hands real loud in their face and scream "MEETING."

MB: I think a nice wink would suffice during situations like that.

AR: I like a wave from an appropriate distance, which establishes "this is our greeting."



GS: I'm never gonna turn down a hug.

AR: How would you even??

JLB: "no hug"

GS: Just cross your arms. And be like "no."

JLB: "hug no"

AR: "No thank you." Conversation over.

JLB: "unhug me, you scoundrel"

MB: You could pull out your switchblade.

GS: Rip a huge fart.


AR: So what makes a hug a GOOD hug?

JLB: NOT doing that hovering hands or spider-leg fingers on the back thing. Like, if you're gonna hug me, hug me.

KY: If you don't knock heads. If it's tight.

JB: You have to be all-in on the hug. If you're half-assing it like a robot person then it just feels bad for everyone.

GS: It depends on what the situ is. Like, if I've been crying or am REALLY sad, I want people to hug me for a long time. But if I was meeting someone, just a quick hug.

KH: If you're so happy to be hugging that you're LAUGHING? I think that's the goal. Like the hug standard.


KY: I hate hugging people who are bad at hugging. I'd rather not hug at all.

JB: Yeah, a bad hug is worse than no hug.

KY: Like, when I go to hug them and they don't even put their arm around me or barely touch me, or whatever. It's like, k, let's not.

AR: So what makes a hug a BAD hug?

JB: Loose arms. A weak hug is like saying, "I hate you."

MB: But what if you do hate them?

JB: One arm hug is for hatred.

JLB: Hugging someone I hate is a terrible feeling. Like kissing Satan.

AR: I....don't think I ever have?

JB: You're lucky.

JLB: It's so awful.


KH: I prefer hugging girls because I'm used to where their heads come to, which is just under my head. So I, like, know what to do with my arms.

MB: Ah, I love hugging men! I like a strong hug. Not saying women can't be strong huggers. But maybe I'm just being super gay.

JLB: I like hugging women more, 100%, because they actually know how to hug. But I also think it's hilarious to hug some men, and get the back pat that signifies "we're over now, this is over."

AR: The "I'm straight" pound on the back.

MB: I hate that.

JB: I like giving men I don't like that much a half hug, they seem more into just half-assing hugs.



AR: Do any of you have awkwardness about whose arms go up and whose go down? Does that make sense?

KY: I'm 5'2" so hugging someone really tall is usually easy. I just hug their waist with my arms, and my head kinda leans in. But hugging shorter people gets trickier, and those are usually not the best hugs for me.

JLB: I get so scared hugging taller people.

AR: I get scared hugging shorter people!!!!

MB: Yeah, that awkward bend.


KH: Where do you guys stand on face placement? Because I've got a few friends who seem to put their faces in my, like, chin/neck crevice. And I get there are maybe not a lot of options, but. It's a lot.

JLB: I get mad when they keep their head/face up and keep eye contact during the hug. It scares me.

JB: I avoid face touching.

KY: I try to go over the shoulder, but I'm short so sometimes I fall... short...

MB: I bury my head into their clavicle.

AR: I feel like I do the cheek-to-cheek thing.

KY: If it's been a long day and I'm hugging my best friend, I'll rest my head on her shoulder and be like uhuhgughguhghghgh.

JLB: I usually rest my chin on top of their skull like a jerk.


JB: I get weirdly emotional when I see people hugging who haven't seen each other in a long time. More emotional when I see other people do it than when it happens to me.

KH: Same. Like military returns kill me.

JB: Military return hugs. Good lord.

GS: Omg! My dad came home from Iraq twice. Those were good hugs.

JLB: I get very emotional watching parents hug their kids goodbye. Like just to school, not Narnia. But still. It's so cute. The idea of holding someone to your body because you cherish them, and then having to release them.

JB: This is getting too deep for me. I'm not ready to examine these emotions.


JLB: I love when dogs join hugs, like they know some shit is going down and just insert themselves.

JB: I am most comfortable hugging dogs. I wish cats liked hugs. They HATE them.

JLB: If there is a big hug pile and one of the members is a dog, I go for the dog.


JLB: An odd hug moment is when you hug someone who is sad and then the second you make contact they start to cry. And now you're there.

KH: Oh my gooddddddd.

JB: And you can't stop the hug. I mean, you have to, but then you're abandoning a crier.

JLB: It's a whole different ballgame. Potential back-rubbing and shit.

KH: But it's nice because they needed it.

JLB: Right, but it's also happened to me with someone I didn't know very well, and didn't like, and it was odd.

JB: Hate-hug of comfort.

JLB: I think I literally said "there there," which is the dumbest English phrase.



JLB: How about the handshake that turns into a hug? Again, power move, where someone's like AW COME HERE. And they fucking pull you in.

GS: That’s rude. Honestly that person is not your friend.

JB: I hate when you think someone's going for a hug and they were really going for a handshake and then you both feel weird. And you're both like, "either works."

JLB: Or when they were just lifting their hands up for any other reason.

GS: This is the worst part of hugging. When there's even the slightest bit of confusion going in.

JB: That moment of hesitation is the worst. Because then it's like, "Here's proof we're not close and never will be."

JLB: What about surprise hugs? Like your friend sneaks up on you.

JB: That sounds rude.

JLB: In that first moment, I fear the end. Like, someone found me, oh god. But then it's cute.

GS: Oh those are fun.


KY: I wish Drake would hug me.

KH: Yeah, I feel that way about Harry Styles, more than anyone on earth. You can tell from pictures that he's great at it.

JB: I don't want any celebrities to hug me because I don't know them and it would be awkward.

KH: I know Harry Styles. In the way that matters.

JB: Touché.

JLB: I don't know if there are any celebrities I'm dying to hug, Maybe Weird Al. I'd hug him so hard.


AR: Is there anyone who is strictly off-limits for hugs? Like your boss.

GS: Uhhh, strangers? Or like, ANY MAN who you've met within the last 24 hours. Or any man who asks the question "where's my hug?" automatically becomes someone I will never hug.


KH: Firm agree. Exes, off limits as well.


JB: I guess hugs are like a lot of things— when it's good, it's VERY good, and when it's bad it's VERY bad.