Hugging occurs in many various conditions.
What was the final scenario during which you hugged somebody?
There are a whole lot of totally different solutions individuals may give to this query. For instance, some individuals will say, “I hugged someone else as a greeting just lately,” and others will point out a heartfelt hug by their romantic companion. However hugging may also occur in unhappy conditions, comparable to when making an attempt to consolation somebody after one thing dangerous occurs.
Furthermore, many people additionally hug a whole lot of totally different individuals, from buddies at a celebration to household and companions. Resulting from this excessive range of hugs, a number of blogs and leisure web sites have posted articles that characterize several types of hugs. A few of these often-mentioned varieties of hugs embrace “the awkward males hug,” “the romantic hug,” and “the facet hug.”
In a latest scientific article (Ocklenburg et al., 2022), a workforce of worldwide hugging researchers argued that categorizing hugs into such varieties will not be optimum for psychological analysis (Observe: I used to be the primary writer of the article).
On the one hand, a majority of these hugs might promote dangerous gender stereotypes. Why ought to a hug between two males be extra awkward than another mixture of genders? Certainly, there are additionally awkward hugs involving individuals who determine as non-male.
However, categorizing hugs into varieties focuses very a lot on one dimension (e.g., the gender or the romantic standing of the concerned individuals). Nonetheless, hugs have many extra options that get misplaced when they’re categorized like that. Due to this fact, we prompt that we will perceive hugs higher if we assess a number of options that characterize a hug.
Which options characterize a hug?
So, what are an important options of a hug? Within the submit, we focus on the next ten options.
1. The variety of concerned individuals (or animals).
The primary vital characteristic of a hug is how many individuals are concerned. Most hugs happen between two individuals, however generally individuals would additionally have interaction in self-hugging. Group hugging can also be not unusual, for instance, in sports activities groups after a profitable purpose. Lastly, some individuals would additionally hug their pets.
2. The length of the hug.
Folks differ rather a lot in how lengthy they hug. The common hug lasts slightly longer than three seconds, however some individuals would hug for a number of minutes. Prior analysis has proven that the length of the hug is linked to how individuals really feel about it, with five- or ten-second hug being perceived as emotionally extra constructive than one-second hugs. Thus, a fantastic hug can be round 5 to 10 seconds lengthy for most individuals. Nonetheless, there’s additionally an higher restrict to the length of a nice hug. For most individuals, hugging can get awkward after a while, so be sure to not hug too lengthy.
3. The motion of various physique components.
A hug between two individuals can look very totally different – from solely a slight contact to full-on physique contact. Thus, it is very important characterize the motion of various physique components concerned in a hug. These embrace the arms (are each arms used, or just one?) and the fingers (the place are they positioned?) of all individuals concerned within the hug.
Furthermore, the higher physique (do individuals present chest and/or shoulder contact?), the decrease physique (do individuals present leg contact, or is there a spot between their decrease our bodies?), and the top (is there some type of head contact, e.g., by kissing or placing the top on the shoulder of the opposite individual?) present be thought of. Whereas one may assume that extra physique contact could also be associated to a extra heartfelt hug or stronger feelings, this relation will not be effectively understood scientifically. Seemingly, it’s strongly modulated by preferences relating to private area and getting touched.
4. The quantity of strain utilized.
It has been prompt that better strain in a hug signifies extra constructive feelings in the direction of the hugged individual. Due to this fact, the tightness of the hug and the quantity of strain utilized to the opposite individual must be measured.
5. The sidedness of the hug.
It has been discovered that most individuals want hugging with the fitting arm main the embrace and whether or not the left or the fitting arm is main the embrace is a crucial characteristic of the hug. Analysis has proven that in emotionally vital conditions, there’s a leftward shift of the cuddling arm, so sidedness is a crucial characteristic of a hug.
6. The connection between the those that hug.
The connection between the those that hug is one other vital characteristic of the hug. Most individuals that hug one another know one another beforehand, however not all. Individuals who hug could also be romantic companions, mother and father, kids, members of the identical household, or buddies. Nonetheless, generally we might additionally hug individuals we didn’t know beforehand, for instance, when hugging someone simply launched to us as a pal of a pal at a celebration.
More often than not, we might have an emotionally constructive relationship with the individuals we hug. Impartial relationships may also be the case, for instance, when hugging someone we barely know as a greeting at a social occasion. Typically, some individuals would even hug others with whom they’ve an emotionally destructive relationship. For instance, this may increasingly occur when hugging an estranged member of the family at a funeral as a result of social strain of one other member of the family to take action.
7. The emotional significance of the scenario.
Impartial of the character of the connection between the cuddling individuals, hugs can occur in emotionally constructive conditions (comparable to giving your companion a heartfelt hug), emotionally impartial conditions (comparable to giving a short hug as a greeting), and emotionally destructive conditions (comparable to hugging a mourning pal at a funeral to make them really feel higher).
8. The cultural background of the those that hug.
Which tradition we come from strongly impacts how we hug. Cultural conventions (e.g., how conservative or liberal society is) have strongly affected how a lot social contact like hugging individuals present. Youthful and extra liberal individuals in much less conservative international locations hug greater than older individuals in conservative international locations.
9. The personalities of the those that hug.
How lengthy generally enjoys hugging one other individual strongly relies on their character. Individuals who present excessive interpersonal openness additionally get pleasure from social contact like hugging to a better extent than much less open individuals. In distinction, those that present excessive neuroticism have a decrease choice to the touch different individuals than much less neurotic people.
10. The function of trauma.
Lastly, it is very important contemplate that not all individuals get pleasure from being hugged by others. Some might have skilled trauma that may make a hug really feel disagreeable and even set off anxiousness and panic. For instance, sufferers with an anxiousness dysfunction or PTSD have been proven to want an even bigger private area round them to really feel comfy than wholesome controls. Thus, if someone doesn’t wish to be hugged, it’s extremely vital to respect that want and take into account that it doesn’t imply that the individual doesn’t such as you.