Sunday, July 27, 2014

Let's hug it out

I was never much of a hugger. I always found hugs to be a very personal experience - yet I felt that people were too lenient with them, giving them away to anyone and everyone. I noticed that some acquaintances, especially girl friends, would want to hug every single time they saw you (Um...but we just saw each other we really need to hug?) This annoyed me. A hug should be special. It should mean something.

Things changed after "knee-gate" (2012-2014). After 4 knee surgeries and countless hours on my couch, heavily medicated, I became...well...kinda sucky. Please hug me. I'll take a hug from the Courier dude. Girl Guide wants a hug? Sure thing. Stinky stragglers exiting detox in the morning - why not? Let's hug it out. I guess I was craving some sort of human contact that demonstrated that someone genuinely cared for me. I turned into a hug whore, I suppose.

Now that I'm healthy physically and emotionally, I've reverted back to my theory of saving hugs for genuine personal experiences. In the last few weeks, I've done a lot of hugging. Hugging is a powerful nonverbal way of expressing, "I care for you," which is appropriate when you are saying goodbye to someone who means something to you. It's strange though. It seems as though some people feel compelled to hug you when they are saying goodbye. There are some acquaintances who are simply that...acquaintances. Although we've never really shared any personal experiences together, we have to hug now?  Hmm...That's awkward. A hug means crossing someone's physical space and in some instances, it just feels more like an obligation. On the other hand, I've found myself recently hug-seeking with Evan to feel a sense of security, a way of feeling safe amongst all this chaos.  The other night, as I lay wide awake at 4am, mind swirling with activity, I poked Evan repeatedly in the shoulder until he woke up.

"Are you awake?"

"I am now. What do you need?"

"Just a hug."

Poor Ev. How annoying! Luckily, he's able to multi-task - you know, hug and sleep at the same time.

Since I have been engaging in an excessive amount of hugging lately, I thought I could share some hugging observations with you.

Here are some things I've noticed about hugging:

1) Almost everyone goes to the left for a hug. I read somewhere that if we hug right, our hearts touch. Perhaps the thought of myocardium to myocardium is just too much for us to tolerate? Go hug someones - $5 says you went left. See?

2) Some people can't commit  to the hug - 1 arm? know what, don't bother. You don't really want to hug, do you? haha. How about a "high 5" instead?

3) Some people go in for the extra squeeze as the hug is terminating. That squeeze tells me, "It's hard to let you go." The squeeze is saved for very meaningful relationships. In the right circumstance, the squeeze feels amazing.

4) When a hug is really special to me, I close my eyes and soak it up. I always wonder if my "hugee's" eyes are open or closed?

5) Most people hug for 3-5 seconds. Any hug that lasts more than 10 seconds can result in a very calming effect. Scientists claim that after 20 seconds of hugging, the "love hormone," oxytocin is released, creating a "high" in your brain and feelings of trust with the person with whom you are hugging. So hold on for those extra few seconds, people!

Side Note: We move to Cayman in 2 weeks. Every morning I wake up with a brand new zit on my face. Either a) I'm stressed to the max and/or b) I'm going through puberty...again. Man, I hope I get boobs this time around. Haha.
Hugs: They're Grrrrrreat!

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