Thursday, December 29, 2011

the hugging guide

Please don’t shake my hand. I would rather hug. It’s true. There are so many advantages, for starters -- no messy germs going back and forth. And think about this, hugging has health benefits like lowering your blood pressure and raising your mood. But hugging can prove to be elusive to those who have not spend as much time as myself breaking down each variety, hence, “The Hugging Guide.”

1. Victory Hug

This hug is best appreciated with a total stranger during or after a major sporting event in which both parties express equal amounts of passion for said team. I first experienced the “Victory Hug” in Chicago during the 2006 opening weekend for the Cubs. Wrigley Field was packed with fans wanting a good show, and of course a win. And the players delivered. And then the hugs poured down. Monstrous, burly, happy, enveloping hugs. And I must say it was all quite nice.

2. Referee Hug

This hug is executed by one person standing straight as an arrow, arms to their side, and the other placing both palms on the huggers hips. The hug has a lot of hushed tones, whispering and deliberating.

3. Cheek Hug

Hands down, this is the best hug out there and easy too! Simply hug, then press your faces cheek-to-cheek. Kids naturally give cheek hugs, but as we get older we seem to shy away from our faces touching. Don’t! This hug holds heavenly harmony that a vanilla hug cannot achieve.

4. Pat, Pat, Pat Hug

The “Pat, Pat, Pat Hug” is common between men, especially brothers. This hug can definitely be partnered with a hand shake to avoid looking “too huggie.”

5. 3-Second Hug

Just try to hug someone for three full seconds. It is AMAZING. Actually, it is a tad uncomfortable at first, but then you get used to it, and see that this hug is the magic! If you are single this hug works well at the end of a 1st date to show you are interested in a 2nd. It is important that during this hug that a lot of feeling be put into the embrace. Grab hold! Tight! But not too tight! This is the way you give a “3-Second Hug!”

6. Side Hug

What can I say about the “Side Hug?” It is really just a cousin to the fist bump. There is so much awkwardness associated with this hug. Arms get all mixed up trying to get in position, and worse yet, the only way to totally free yourself from the “Side Hug” is to end it with a real hug. If you must do a “Side Hug”, it is best achieved while both parties are walking side by side, stride in stride.

7. Hug from Behind

This hug works best to let the person slaving over dishes and/or a hot stove know that you love them. The “Hug from Behind” is a step up from a casual hug, and should be respected as such.

8. Missed You So Bad Hug

Being apart and together again is much sweeter when a hug is shared. This hug should include jumping up and down, or, the hugger spin for the full effect. This hug will bring on the waterworks, lots and lots of them, so hugger beware.

9. Catch and Release Hug

The “Catch and Release Hug” is all about speed. In most cases, one party is more interested in having a “3-Second Hug” than the other. Get best results from this hug by swiftly completing the embrace, keeping at least two fists of space between each other, then firmly planting your palms on the shoulders of the other hugger, push away, and deliver a compliment. Works every time.

10. The Just One More Hug

If you have ever fallen in love, this is the hug that you could not give enough of. Filled with sparks, tangible chemistry, and magnetic energy so strong that you have got to have “Just One More.”

Whatever hug you love, and whomever you love when you hug, always remember -- never be the first to let go.

First published in the Box Elder News Journal, Atmosphere, November 2011. Read more 'Atmosphere' from Amy Wilde on her blog,email her at, or follower her on twitter @wildeatmosphere

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