Yesterday’s ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic made me a little angry.
One can infer therefore that those of us who do not like hugs are lesser beings. Or I could be just projecting and being too sensitive.
I’ve written about this before because it is something I feel strongly about.
I don’t perceive a hug as something positive. I perceive a hug as a physical assault. Let me repeat that – I feel like I am being physically assaulted when someone hugs me. Most especially if I don’t see it coming or the assault is by someone I don’t know or don’t like.
I have been threatened by people who know hugs make me uncomfortable – “I don’t care if you hate being hugged if we ever meet I’m gonna give you the biggest hug” That is a threat to me. That makes me angry. Thankfully I’ve never met those people in real life. I have no idea how I would react but I’m guessing it wouldn’t be pretty.
Why? Why would anyone do that to another person? It is cruel. It is criminal. It is assault.
There have been too many times when I have tolerated a hug from someone because it was the thing to do. An arbitrary act that people think is expected or required. I have no idea what they think when I do not return that hug; when I hold myself as far away from them as I can; when my body goes rigid; when I move away as quickly as possible and never make eye contact.
Please – don’t hug anyone unless you know that hug will be a welcome gesture instead of a trigger. I suppose you could ask, if for some reason you have a need to hug someone, “Can I have a hug?” but don’t get bent out of shape when they say No.
Stephan Pastis may feel that people who don’t like hugs make the world a scary place but there are those of us who feel that rather it is the hugs that make the world a scary place.
I might feel enormous affection for you, I might even love you, but I’m not going to hug you.