Thursday, July 28, 2011

Awkward Hugs

I have both witnessed and experienced more than my fair share of awkward hugs. I will contribute this awkwardness to a few different factors, maybe there are more, but these three come to mind.

1. My family is not touchy-feely, we don't do a lot of hugging so I haven't been properly trained.
2. I am tall and a girl, and hugging guys shorter than me can get tricky.
3. Sometimes it's not all me, it's the awkward person I'm hugging.

I shall address the awkward situations that have arisen from these three reasons in this post. Yes illustrations are included, go ahead and get excited.

Numero Uno: Three brothers + no hugging = awkward hug

I think I can count on one hand the number of times that I have hugged my brothers. My sister and I hug more, and because I'm one of the girls I feel an obligation to give the boys hugs sometimes. But unless people are watching and judging how much we love each other by whether or not we hug, I bypass the hugging. Instead I'll give them a fist bump and a "later bro".

Try not to get too choked up at how sentimental we are.

I am lucky enough to have two lovey roommates who are good at hugging. A couple of nights ago my brother Eric stopped into town on his way home from school. He just crashed for the night and joined us for our roommate prayer. (This is our supplemental family prayer, insert "awwWw" here). After praying everyone stood up to go to bed, and my sweetie pie roommates went to give my lil bro hugs. He immediately started nervously laughing and blushed, but gave them the hugs. This is my best stick figure rendition of the moment.
Talk about deer in the headlights. It was so funny. Yes, I definitely have some awkward hugs in my blood.

Numero Dos: Tall girl + short boy = awkward hug

Girls love hugging guys that are taller than them. Girls love being able to put their head on your shoulder or chest. I would say these are two general and widely (though probably not universally) accepted rules. Much to my dismay, these hugs are few and far between for me. More often, it's trying to make sure that I don't end up hugging a guy so he's putting his head on my shoulder, and definitely not on my chest. Oh dear, are you blushing? Yeah just imagine how uncomfortable that would be.

In order to avoid that, when I hug a guy, I've trained myself to always go for criss cross arms, and to always bend down if they are shorter than me.

This is not allowed.
That's not going to work out well for anyone. And I'm sure it would be quite emasculating to the guy.

This is what IS ok.
Okay maybe that is emasculating too. I'm sorry, there's just no winning for short dudes that want to feel manly when they hug me. Oh, and I'm not trying to kiss him, I'm just bad at stick figures. Especially when I try to make them hug. It's hard, you try it.

Now that we know the basics of how I have trained myself to hug. Enter awkward date-hug that was a result of this kind of conditioning. A little while back I went on a date with a tall guy, probably 6'5'' or 6'6'', so even tall in my book. It was just a first date, nothing too special, but I had a nice time. At the end of the night, he went to give me a hug, and I think in an attempt to eliminate the "uhhh what now?" moment that sometimes happens when they're dropping you off, did an over exaggerated hug stance that looked like this.
He was clearly going for the "guy's arms on top, girls arms below" hug. You know the one I'm talking about. Well, my brain did not. Instead it just registered "Incoming hug! Quick! Criss-cross arms!"

Goodness, it was so choppy. Nice Shelly, way to be smoooooth. I don't know if he found it as awkward as I did, but it was definitely a "doh!", forehead slapping moment for me.

Numero Tres: Awkward person + another awkward person = awkward hug

There are sooo many examples that I could give about these types of hugs. The linger-too-long hug, the maybe-side-hug-maybe-not hug, the hover-away-from-each-other's-bodies hug, the go-in-for-a-hug-but-they're-not-expecting-it hug, just to name a few.

Rather than draw illustrations for all of these, I googled "awkward hug" and struck gold. Enjoy.
I think I can remember being stuck in each one of those scenarios at least once. Especially the one with the cats, cats are the world's most awkward huggers right? (ha-ha-ha I made a funny)

I'm thinking that this may just be part one of the awkward hug chronicles, but I can only hope to hold your attention for so long. Until next time...I'll uh, see you later... *fist bump.


  1. My mother attempted to hug me this week before she left to the airport. We never hug so I thought she was trying to reach for something behind me and I sorta stepped to the side before she could start to hug me.
    She still got an awkward hug out of it though.

  2. Out of curiosity, with the shorter fellows, is it an 'A' frame hug, with minimal body contact, crossed arms, and an innate 'please don't make me put my back out' question?

    I sympathize with the issue of hugging via height, because unless you're within 6 inches of their height, it's going to be awkward all round. 'A' framing is often the best way to go, despite what I think of as the inherent insincerity of the hug.

  3. Hello Shelly,
    Did you draw that first awkward hug at the top of the page? Is it copyrighted? Thanks, Margie

  4. Yes all of the stick figure drawings are mine, they are not copyrighted. Did you want to use it?