There are no universals, so please ask.

The other day I read a post that offered up information about hugs and hugging. It seems the optimal time for a hug is 20 seconds and  we should be giving or getting 8-12 hugs a day – all in the service of better health.

Just reading that started to trigger a panic attack for me.  I do NOT like to hug or be hugged, particularly by strangers or near-strangers or friends or family or people I don’t know or people I do know …Please, just don’t.

I particularly hate hugs that are launched at me without warning – my brain and body interpret that as a physical attack and I sometimes react accordingly – try to explain jerking away from someone and pushing them away, and then there is that right hook to the jaw.  Basically – don’t touch me without permission.

Quite obviously I don’t do massages.

And yes, I am claustrophobic.

And then there are those horrors called weighted blankets – I can’t even. Being held down, unable to move – OMG – screaming-jesus panic attack.  It makes me anxious just reading about them.

Yet – I am a big hand-holder, at least with my husband. I am also a leaner, I lean into/on my husband whenever we are standing next to each other – don’t know why I do that, but I do. Then again, I don’t recall doing that with anyone else.

Please people, be aware that not everyone likes hugs, or likes to be touched. Some people experience that as a physical attack – can you get that? Please, get that.