Remember Chandler and Joey from the cult classic, Friends? The bond they shared in the show made them the ultimate favorite duo of anyone who has watched them act out their antics. But what was more iconic about Chanoey (as Joey liked to call their pair) was the countless number of hugs they shared!
Known as Dr. Love, neuroeconomist Paul Zak suggests to enjoy at least eight hugs each day to cultivate better and happier relationships.
There’s something very comforting about a hug. For you it could be the warmth in it, for me it could be the positive vibe and for a third person it could be a sign of friendliness.
Do it right and you will be awash with a warm and fuzzy feeling, like a bear hug. But do it wrong and nothing could be more awkward on this entire planet, like the one-sided hug.
When I say so, does it remind you of the countless “good hugs” and the many “awkward one’s”?
The way you hug, indeed (or get hugged for that matter) says a lot about the relationship you share with the person concerned. For example, a side hug shows pure friendliness. Some could show intimacy, care, formality, comfort and a lot more! In fact, each hug is different and holds its own speciality. Call it the silent language of hugs if you will.
You may not be quite aware of this but each kind would be giving you a message crystal clear.
The kind of hugs the human race shares are –
- Group Hug
- Self Hug
- Lingering Hug
- Tight Hug
- Back Hug
- Straddle Hug
- Bear Hug
- Pat-on-the-back Hug
- Side Hug
- Pickpocket Hug
- One-sided Hug
- Flirty Hug
If you’re curious and you want to clear any doubts, you need to keep reading as we’re about to enlighten you on the different kinds of hugs we do and what the language they speak.
The 12 ways we hug and their meaning
1. The Group Hug
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Perhaps one of the most common, a group hug generally takes place between three or more people. And despite the number of people involved in one, it is by no means impersonal. Group hugs are seen in playgrounds before matches, meeting up with many friends after a long time or to pump up a group’s energy before a stage performance.
A group hug is a sign of showing support and togetherness. Depending on the context, it can also be a celebratory or a motivational hug. For example, you and your friends or colleagues plan to embark on a new journey and get into a group hug – that becomes supportive and encouraging. If you do the same after achieving a goal, it is celebratory. No matter what the cause, group hugs are super fun, enjoyable and cute!
2. The Self Hug
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The direct opposite of the group hug is the self hug, which involves only one person and that is you. Contrary to what you may think, there’s nothing weird about hugging yourself! It means something personal and definitive for you. Reassurance of oneself with a self hug is rather, very comforting and needed for!
When you really need a hug but there’s no one around, you can wrap your arms around your body and get the same feeling as a two-person hug. Self hugs are actually quite calming and therapeutic. Also, they come as a sign of a longing to hug someone who’s not physically there to embrace you when you need.
More like a fantasy hug!
3. The Lingering Hug
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Sometimes you just fall into an embrace with someone special (like a click!)– an embrace that doesn’t end. That’s the lingering or the long hug. It holds a very deep meaning in such a relationship.
The person who holds you this way is letting you know, without words that they are there to protect you and support you. It carries an in-depth meaning, as we’ve mentioned above, to let your person know that they are deeply missed whenever you’re away. Sometimes it could also show that the hugger has had a long day and wants your love and support to feel lighter and better.
If the hug involves eye contact, you can be sure that the one hugging you, loves you deeply. Intimate as this embrace maybe, it does not necessarily take between partners. Close friends too indulge in this hug and anyone can as long as the feelings are deep and true.
4. The Tight Hug
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Ever had someone hold you so tight like the world’s going to end? That’s a tight hug! And it is one of the best hugs that you can get in your entire life!
If someone gives you the tightest of their hugs, you can confirm to the fact that they are truly, madly and deeply in love with you. The tight hug is a powerful expression of an individual’s profound feelings for you, which cannot be expressed in mere lines. It also showcases that the person hugging you, values you and cherishes you more than anyone else; he or she is immensely loyal and committed to you.
Also known as the squeeze hug, if you get one from your partner, count yourself lucky!
5. The Back Hug
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Isn’t the back hug one of the most wonderful embraces out there?
This loved up hug, certainly, is a favorite of ours and we can’t get enough of it! Read on to know why…
When someone holds you from behind, they want to let you know that you are the center of their world. It is a kind of relaxed hug that signifies the comfort level, trust and security shared between you and the individual hugging you. More so, literally because you cannot see the person hugging you! You trust that he or she is the one you love and no one else.
Back hugs can also be naughty depending on the placement of your hugger’s hands. Flashbacks?..ahem ahem!
6. The Straddle Hug
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The naughtiest of all on the list, the straddle hug takes place only between people who are in love with each other. Or those who are extremely attracted to one another, to say the least!
Nothing less than a hug set on fire!
The straddle hug is very intimate and private. It reveals the sexual tension existing between the partners and is usually the beginning of something special. Since the foundation of this hug is built on a great deal of trust, you should be careful of the person you give this hug to. But, if you trust the person you give it to, the hug ensures that you and its recipient will enjoy a strong physical connection!
7. The Bear Hug
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Sometimes don’t you just feel like wrapping up someone in your arms (just so!). When you do, you end up giving them a huge bear hug.
Also known as the koala hug, because well koalas are bears, the bear hug is a symbol of protection and warmth. When you hug someone this way, you are letting them know that you’ve got their back and that you’ll keep them safe come what may. It’s a rather strong hug in which you can’t really move as the hugger holds you tight, sheltering you from all the hurt and pain.
8. The Pat-on-the-Back Hug
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Ever been in a position where you had to hug someone even when you didn’t want to? You likely ended up giving them the pat-on-the-back hug,without even realizing it!
A sloppy hug by nature, there’s an element of formality to this embrace. It is more like you not wanting to be a part of this hug but you have to, because everybody else is. The person you hug this way is not someone you care about. It is just politely hugging them because you’d rather get done with it sooner than later.
9. The Side Hug
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Oh the side hug! It is so pure and innocent. There’s nothing like it, really! Consider yourself on the luckier side if you’ve gotten the side hug from a person you really care about.
Let’s put the doubt at rest, for once and – the side hug is purely friendly. So don’t get ideas into your head if your crush gives you one! You’d have to do a lot more to get their attention and make them see you differently. Having said that, the side hug is extremely relaxed and sweet. It displays that the hugger is by your side, ready to take care of you and support you when you need them. It also makes for a great pose for pictures!
10. The Pickpocket Hug
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If you’ve slid your hand into the back pocket of the one you’re hugging, congratulations! Because, you have done the pickpocket hug. And despite its name sounding like that, it is one of the sweetest hugs that exists.
First of all, you can’t give this hug or accept it from anyone else but your partner. Yes, it is kind of naughty as you’ve got your hand on your partner’s derriere but that’s what makes it a sign of comfort!
If your man hugs you this way, be confident that he loves you deeply. The pickpocket hug is just his way of showing that love and the affection he feels for you.
11. The One-Sided Hug
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The one-sided hug is the most awkward of all!
Popular by the name of the ragdoll hug, you’d likely want to run to the other end of the room if you’re about to get a hug like that.
The one-sided hug is proof that all hugs do not feel so good. Some of them might be unwelcoming too!
If you’re a recipient of this one, it might be an indication that you’re part of an one-sided relationship. Of course, it is rather sad for the hugger because no matter how hard they try, they simply cannot win you over, if they hug you this way. The recipient then, just doesn’t seem to reciprocate or care. This kind of embrace can arise in one sided friendships too!
Be careful of who you give this hug and who you receive it from.
12. The Flirty Hug
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Every stage in a relationship demands a different type of hug. But in the initial chase period that’s laced with flirtatiousness and fun, flirty hugs are fresh and countless.
A flirty hug is characterized by a close body language that reveals and hides, at the same time. By giving your crush a flirty hug, you keep them guessing about your real feelings. But the way you lean into them, you are then, giving them a hint of your expectations and desire.
As a giver of this hug, you want the one you’re hugging, to know that you’re interested in them! And if your crush returns the hug, it oozes sizzling chemistry that cannot be matched by any other.
Real hugs mean a lot and hold a lot of emotions and value. Instead of indulging in a ghost or virtual hugs, get out there and squeeze tight, the one you care about! Give them a big bear hug or a bunny hug or the back hug, if you want. Even a hand hug will do!
Just let them know you’re there for them.