Hugs have become very important to me as of late. Maybe it's something to do with stress or lots of life changes or just living alone, but . . . Hugs mean the world to me. I'd rather have someone give me a good hug than a 20-dollar bill.
I didn't always love hugs. I used to be very concerned about who came into my personal space, actually, and would rarely give hugs or let anyone hug me for longer than a second. (My sister thinks it had something to do with being in an incubator for the first two months of my life.)
Taylor Giddens changed all that. He was my best friend in the mid-2000s, and he hugged everyone. Everyone. Women and men, old and young. But he didn't just hug them; he held them. Through the power of touch, he somehow let people know that they were worth something. That they were worth holding. I don't know how long it took, but eventually, Taylor taught me how much it meant to connect with someone just by hugging.
Now, I notice good hugs. I know which of my friends are exceptional huggers. Here's a list (in order of appearance):
- Taylor (obviously)
- Adam (a.k.a., "Ehdem")
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones who immediately come to mind.
"But Sara," you say. "What makes an exceptional hug?" Here, dear readers, is what makes an exceptional hug:
- Front hugs only. There is no place in the world for side hugs or semi-side hugs. If you absolutely do not want to hug someone, then don't hug them at all.
- No time limit. Hold on to someone until it feels natural to let go, even if that means the hug lasts for a whole minute or more.
- No patting. Do not pat someone on the back while you're hugging. If you must do something with your hand(s), give a short, light stroke on the shoulder blade or middle of the back.*
That's it. That's all. That's all there is to it.** Am I missing anything???
Now, go out and hug someone!
*If you're Ehdem, you put one hand on the person's neck . . . Now that is a great hug.
**If you're me, you talk to people while you're hugging them. It makes for a longer hug, but I personally think it also makes for the best kind of hug.
Thing I'm thankful for: Taylor Giddens, a master of human connection