Distinguishing Hugs

Recently, I completed a post about my experiences and reflections of hugs and hugging within a classroom or schools called “Ten Years teaching and still feeling New“. Within it I provided some of my understandings ideas and rules about hugging. Not doctrine, just some rules that I follow. During this time I also read a great, actually an amazing post by an administrator of mine which also mentions hugs “Principle, Princepal, Princaball, Prinsiple, Principal Couros“.

The questions still remains is hugging students at school appropriate, and in light of many allegations that have occurred about teachers being inappropriate with students, as well as some cases of teachers being inappropriate, many teachers are hesitant about giving hugs. I have also read that some schools have went as far as banning hugs and physical contact in schools, this is extreme, however this post is not going to dwell on that. actually, I am going lighten the mood while attempting to shed some light on the appropriateness of hugs in school and to distinguish the four different types.

Yes there are four distinct types of hugs. The first is the comforting hug, this is generally given because someone is visibly upset. How does it look well this is when the person needing the hug has their arms under the arms of the other individual and the head is resting in the chest or shoulder area. This hug is hard to escape once initiated, as the individual with their arms above the other individual has no control over the length of the hug. Once in the hug you are there until the other person lets go.

The second is the personal, intimate or individual hug. This hug is generally given to an individual that you have a person relationship with. This hug is most often seen during the beginning or conclusion of an interaction. During this hug one persons arm goes over the shoulder of the other person, while the other arm goes below the shoulder. This hug allows for both individuals to lean into or onto each other providing mutual support. It also allows for the closest contact between two individuals, which explains why it is reserved for those we are close to.

The third is the “GUY” hug. The guy hug is the most common exchange between two males, that are comfortable with each other. It is a simple hug, it starts with a hand shake, then the two males come together, generally still holding the grasp, and at the same time as touching opposite shoulders, they pat each other on the back, with their free arm. If you observe closely, only half of the chests will at most make contact, therefore allowing them to keep their masculinity during the encounter.

The final hug is the awkward or uncomfortable hug. This has two appearances, the first looks like an individual hug, but closely observed you will notice that it is only the upper bodies make contact. There is a great amount of distance in the lower bodies, suggesting that there is a great deal of stretching and unconformability in the exchange. Actually, the reason for the separation is that it allows for quick release and easy departure. The other version of this hug is the side hug, which is easily visible. One or both individuals have turned so that the hip or side of the body is the point of contact. Finally, the hug is completed by one hand being draped over the other person. A key point here is, the more sideways the individual the more awkward the encounter. This however, does not apply when the hug is meant as a consoling gesture.

Good luck in you hugging, now go forth and HUG


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