Friendly hugging

Post length: 494 words, just over 2 minutes.

Something’s been eating at me for the last month.  Something someone said at my friend’s housewarming party.  Just as she was leaving, Jess, who I haven’t known all that long, said “I won’t hug you, I know you don’t like it”.  I know she was just trying to do the right thing — she didn’t want to invade my personal space if I didn’t like it — but it made me start thinking.  It’s not true and don’t want people to think that about me.

My friends from back home are all theatre types and they’re all very touchy-feely.  Some of my university friends are the same and hand out hugs quite freely.  My friends down here, around London, aren’t quite so tactile.  I can see a difference between the behaviour of different groups within theatre itself: actors and “creatives” are much more likely to dash up to each other and embrace than producers and those people doing backstage work.  I appreciate it’s this latter group who, dispite still working in theatre and entertainment, I have been mixing with more since I moved to London and this might explain why my friends round here aren’t so keen to get all luvvie with each other.

That said, I think there’s something else going on with me personally which is giving the impression I don’t like being all huggy with my friends.

In fact I’ve often been a bit envious of my friends when they greet each other or part with a hug.  I never get that and, while I know my friends are as much my friend as they are the other person’s, it feels like I’m a bit left out.

So what is it that I do which makes people think that?  I often feel nervous about approaching people and hugging them.  Maybe it’s my family — we were never a very huggy type family — and so I didn’t learn that was ok from an early age.  Or perhaps it was my experience at school — being a bit different to other people at the comp I went to might have made me more protective of myself and weary about showing other people what I really feel.  Or perhaps a combination of the two.  Something I have noticed, which backs up the feelings I have (if they need backing up given I’m pretty sure I know what my feelings mean), is that my behaviour when I’ve had a bit to drink is much less controlled on this front.  Now I know that’s the case for most people, but they do say that you’re more likely to show your true feeling when you’ve had a bit to drink.

Either way I think I’m going to do something about it. Obviously I’m not going to start leaping on everyone I see, but I’m going to try harder to get in contact with my tactile side from now on. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Posted on Thursday 12th August, 2010 at 7:15 pm in Life & Love, People.
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