How To: Give a Hug

Molly Wallner
Staff Writer

Oh, hello – I didn’t see you there! My name is Molly, and as a senior, I have learned how to do a lot of things. What, you ask? Well, luckily I have all semester to answer that very good, yet slightly abrasive question.

Now, in order to start off this column right, I have decided to share with you rules for fulfilling something that is very core to my being, something I know how to do better than anything else in this world: how to give a hug.

Finally, the years of head-bonking, accidental boob-grazing, and emotionally unfulfilling hugs are over! If you follow these 6 simple steps, you will be giving hugs like it is your job, and you are about to be awarded CEO.

1) The first step to a successful hug is to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that you are, firstly, in the correct context for a hug to be executed. This ranges from greetings, to birthdays, to funerals, to congratulatory expressions. Places not suitable for a hug: in the dorm bathroom when someone has just exited the shower, during a tornado, when they have just exclaimed, “I don’t like when people touch me,” in the middle of a monologue, etc.

2) The second, and arguably most important step is to make eye contact with the expected receiver of the hug. I cannot stress enough how important this step is. You must see the desire in their eyes before you go in for the execution, or else things get messy. Lack of eye contact can result in anything from hospitalization to a future where the only love you will ever receive is from your cats.

3) Once you have established consent through eye contact, you may go in for the hug. Don’t get cocky, this is just the beginning. Make sure you smile, and really exude your desire to hug – perhaps think of something that makes you feel exceptionally happy. If it is not the person, try thinking of a bucket of baby sloths – this is a fool-proof tactic that always yields positive results.

4) While smiling and entering into the hug, make sure that you are aware of your partner’s movements and are open to improvisation. If you normally hug with your arms above, be prepared to place your arms below, and vice versa. It is really partner’s choice when it comes to arm-placement, and you must accommodate with fluidity and ease in order for your hug to be remembered as exceptional.

5) The final step is to revel in the hug. Make sure your arms are firmly embracing your partner, as to make them feel secure and protected. A good hug should last between 4-6 seconds of actual contact, 3 seconds of which should include a gentle but apparent squeeze; if the squeeze is any shorter, it will seem like you don’t care, if it is any longer, they will think you are a serial killer.

6) When you exit the hug, do not pull away too quickly, as to startle your partner. Take a step back in your normal pace, lowering your arms at the same rate, and returning to the eye contact and pleasant smile. You should never end a hug in silence. Never ever. If you are not up for a conversation, add a congenial phrase, such as “good to see you,” “have a lovely day,” or, if you are feeling extra daring, “you smell good.” If they have read this article and you notice these steps in their movements, feel free to say, “You are so good at giving hugs!”

I hope that I have been a help to all of you who foster a desire to share your love, yet no means in which to express it. Gone are the days of limp arms, and awkward embraces. Watch out hug-city – here you come!



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