Yes, it is scary –

 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.

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.