I’m a person who really loves hugs. In fact I’ve only recently realised that this is quite unusual. Having been through times where a hug would have made a huge huge difference to my mood (as evidenced by the few times I did get offered a hug), I’ve been in the habit of offering hugs to people, when I sense that they do really need one.
I just found myself offering a really unexpected hug to one of my housemates, in the shared house where I am currently living. Unexpected in the sense that they were completely taken aback and emotionally overwhelmed that I had even thought to offer them a hug, and unexpected in that I didn’t expect to be standing in my kitchen at 1:30am, hugging my housemate of 4 weeks–– for around 5 minutes!
I had to re-assure said housemate a few times that they didn’t need to feel bad, because I was definitely also appreciating the hug! Two of us in one house experiencing a hug shortage–– isn’t right!
After the hug and conversation (we were chatting whilst hugging which was pretty relaxing), my housemate was visibly feeling much better, and so was I. Gone were the ruminative thoughts of earlier, and anxiety around being up too late, unable to sleep. Circumstances had conspired in that particular arrangement, to lead to a very positive thing…and to another blog post!
A few months ago, outside the jobcentre, I saw a woman distraught, who had been treated terribly by the staff there, and had been shunned out of the place. I asked her how she was, and she started describing suicidal thoughts to me, asking the easiest way to get onto the train tracks…I saw myself in her–– myself from a few situations that I’ve been in during last year–– isolated, feeling as if I have nothing left to lose, losing it in a public place and having people judge me as crazy. So I offered her a hug.
Since that day, I’ve lost any remnants of embarrassment that I may have previously felt in offering hugs to people, as well as losing those final bits of self-doubt about whether I am judging the situation correctly. You just cannot do wrong–– with a chance of making a real positive difference–– by offering someone a hug!