Congruent Joy

How To Give a Great Hug

The secret to giving a great hug is to relax.

You can still squeeze with your arms, if your partner desires a squeezing hug. But, you can squeeze with your arms while still relaxing your body.

Our natural tendency when someone gets into our personal space is to tense up.

Tensing our muscles protects us from injury.

Yet the reason why people prefer hugging teddy bears instead of rocks is because teddy bears are soft.

Tensing our muscles makes us stiff and uncomfortable to hug. Relaxing makes us soft, like a teddy bear, pleasant to hug.

If someone would like a hug, open your arms, stand up straight, and allow them to step into your space.

Allowing them to step into the hug (instead of you grabbing them) makes it easier for them to relax as well.

If you don’t know what kind of hug they want, the easiest thing to do is to mirror them.

Some people prefer to lean over and just hug around the shoulders. That’s fine. Do the same.

If they squeeze you, you can squeeze them back. Just don’t pull them towards you. If they might happen to want a close hug, they’ll step up close.

Many people may only want a brief hug, while some may want a longer hug. That’s not a problem. They’ll shift their weight when they’re ready for the hug to end. Open your arms and step back when that happens (or when they let go), and they’ll automatically get a hug for the length of time they desire.

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