“Welcome to Sunnyside, folks. I’m Lots-o-Huggin Bear. But please, call me Lotso. First thing you gotta know about me, is I’m a hugger!” – Lotso (Toy Story 3)
Raise your hand if you have seen the animated film Toy Story 3.
Good. Raise your hand if you remember the character from the movie, Lotso.
Nice. Okay, now raise your hand if you know what Lotso was famous for before he turned into the thug who tried to get rid of Buzz and Woody.
Wow. I see a lot of hands of there.
The answer to the last question…hugging. Lotso the bear is known for giving hugs and for smelling like strawberries. Lotso may be known as hugger, but he has nothing on me.
I am a hugger. If you know me personally, you already know this. If you do not know me personally, now you know this about me.
Hugging comes naturally for me. It is instinctual. I see someone after a long absence, I give then a hug. Someone is sad about a situation, a hug. I say goodbye to someone after a nice evening out, another hug. I hug hello, during conversations and goodbye. Yup, I am a hugger.
Hugging is good for you. It is good for everyone. Hugs are healing.
According to family therapist Virginia Satir:
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
When I recently went to my high school reunion I could not seem to contain my hugging. Everyone I met got a hug. Although I love to give hugs, many people do not like to receive them. On more than one occasion, my hugs at the reunion were greeted with the straight armed, stiff stance. The person I tried to give a hug wanted nothing to do with me or having a hug. And yet, I gave it anyway.
I have tried on many occasions to stifle my hugging tendencies. I know some people need their space. Not everyone appreciates my arms wrapped around them, especially if they do not know me very well. Restricting my hugs is feels like I have a straight jacket on. Keeping my arms to my side when I greet someone is difficult. The urge to reach out and give a quick hello hug is just too strong.
Hugging is personal and intimate. I suppose this is why many people do not like hugging. They may not want to be intimate with someone they do not know well. Or they may not want people to misinterpret their hugging intentions. I do not worry about any of those things. Hugging is something I see as a good thing for me and the person I am hugging.
There are many types of hugs. I found several types I like on google. I thought I would share some of them with you.
Huggers stand about a foot and a half a part, bend at the waist…. only the shoulders touch as you embrace. May also include a kiss on one or both cheeks. This is the most common, and acceptable, form of hugging in social settings. This hug is used when I greet someone I have not seen a while.
Huggers stand or sit next to one another, embracing around the waist or shoulders. My most common hugging form. I stand next to someone and give a hug. I like this one because it is less invasive and can not be interpreted as ‘grouping or making a pass’ at someone. A nice gentle squeeze from the side shows I really like the person.
Gently wrap your arms around huggee’s waist and squeeze. Always let your huggee know you are behind them. I did a couple of these at the reunion and they were misinterpreted. This type of hugging is very intimate. I need to remember to do this only with close family members, preferably my husband. Frankly, I would only want my hubby to do this type of hug to me.
This hug requires no arms. Simply face your huggee and press your cheeks together. Face the same way for the Kodak Moment Hug. This is another intimate form of hug. Only close friends and family members get this special type of hug.
This is a full body hug. Hugger and huggee are toe-to-toe and belly to belly. This hug is the one to watch out for. I love bear hugs, but with all the body parts touching this should only be done with someone you want all the body parts to touch with. Bear hugs make me feel loved.
The two men then pull each other in with a loud, “AAAAYYYY” or “WASSUP?!” Only the shoulders and chest touch thereby creating the all-important buffer zone. The hug is punctuated by copious back slapping while the two are still in an embrace.
Because of my personality, most people do not mind my hugs. Even people who normally would never accept a hug from someone, do so from me. I am glad. I hug not to offend, but to express myself.
If you are not a hugger, maybe you need a little incentive. Hugging is good for you. Here are some of the benefits of hugging.
Benefits Of Hugging:
- Reduces heart disease
- Diminishes stress
- Promotes longevity
- Strengthens social ties
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers heart rate
- Benefits the hugger and the huggee equally
I am not the only one who loves hugging. There are organizations founded on the premise that hugging is great. Be sure to check out The Free Hugs campaign. Watch the video and become a hugger.
In the movie, Toy Story 3, Lotso bear ends up being the villan. I think I know why this may have happened. He was separated from the child he loved and was no longer able to give and receive hugs. The results were tragic. Lotso went from being a lover to a fighter.
That will never happen to me. I am hugger. I will always find someone to hug.
Hopefully, they will give me a hug back.