Hugging someone nowadays has sort of transformed into a sign of showing the other person how close they are to you, or how close they want to be to you. Since hugging is a form of physical intimacy, you can tell a lot about people’s closeness just from the way they hug, especially hugs between ladies and guys.
My male friends and I used to argue a lot about this hugging business, because there were some hugs that I gave them that they felt were too impersonal, and there were some hugs that they were happy with because they were more relational and affectionate.
So I started paying attention to the kinds of hugs that I give, and I’ve also started paying special attention to the kinds of hugs that I’m receiving from my male counterparts. Now speaking from the perspective of a receiver of hugs, you can tell a lot about where you stand relationally by the type of hug you’re receiving.
When a guy hugs you and he closes his arms around your upper back and he stands at a bit of a distance away from you, it means that he’s willing to be friendly with you even though he doesn’t really know you. He’s not too keen to get you into the friendship zone, but he is willing to keep you at the acquaintance zone until you work your way up the ranks of the different personal zones.
I don’t really like the upper-back hug, but I do understand why one would give them because I tend to do the same when I’m getting used to someone. Don’t expect any real affection from these hugs.
Now you know that you’ve made it past the acquaintance zone when brother-man gives you the waist hug. His hands wrapped around your waist and very little distance between the two of you is a very good sign of affection, and you have definitely made it into the friendship zone.
And if this hug lingers for a while longer with ear chitter-chatter in the mix, brother-man is probably thinking ‘ooohhweee! Flirt time!’. The waist hug is always good because it’s more personal, more affectionate and ultimately says ‘I like you as a person and I’m well on my way of getting to know you better’.
The most dreadful hugs ever are those side hugs where only the shoulders touch, and if the hips happen to touch, it’s like a miracle. Those are the most impersonal hugs ever, and your heart should sink when you receive them. The guy is just hugging you to at least acknowledge your human presence, not that he’s keen on knowing you or being well acquainted with you.
And the worst that can happen is when you get this impersonal hug from a guy, and then he goes on to hug your girl friend who’s standing next to you with a waist hug and a bit of chitter-chatter. Not cool at all! It’s like a sly mode of rejection.
And if you get a high 5 or a ‘hola-heita’ handshake, well then you must be a tom-boy that’s fitting in with the homies, because brother-man is not relating to you on a ‘hey girl!’ kinda level. If this happens, stage a protest or just be strong.
So do suss out the kind of hugs you receive, and you’ll be able to tell the level of relationship that you are at with the guy who’s hugging you.
Body language is an interesting language on its own, and in the same breath, sometimes it takes a while to get used to people, so if you getting high 5’s and upper-back hugs, don’t beat yourself up too hard over it. Just be strong!
*pic sourced from pinterest