Hugging is not a sign of respect

Both my adult brother and my teenage daughter hate hugs. This fact as been misunderstood by many family members who saw it as a sign of disrespect or excessive shyness or took it personal. The pressure is fierce and it only makes reunions and holiday parties awkward and uncomfortable.

I would like to remind everyone that hugging is not a sign of respect and it’s not about you. Not everyone likes hugs and that’s okay. We should respect their bodily autonomy instead of forcing our traditions on them.

Respect is saying goodbye to everyone and thank their host for having them over for dinner. Respect is not forcing something that they hate just because we want it.


2 thoughts on “Hugging is not a sign of respect

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  1. My father in law remarried late in life, a few years after his wife of 50+ years passed away. My husband and his siblings have always have had mixed feelings about their new “stepmother”.
    We were at a family event, and my husband declined to hug his “stepmother”. She sent him a nasty email about his behavior had ruined what was a wonderful day. Bizarre.
    I’m a nurse. I would say I am more reluctant to offer a hug than my other coworkers because of fear of intruding in the personal space of others.
    What you have said needs to be said more often.


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