What to do...no hugging situation

thinkerbell

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
So...I am very introverted/anti-social...whatever you want to call it. I don’t like any kind of social situations. We only have one couple who we are friends with and really, I’d rather not. Makes me very uncomfortable and anxious when we get together. The woman of the couple worked with my husband about 25 years ago and we got to be friends with her and her husband. We would even go on mini vacations with them. I wasn’t quite as anxious back then. It has progressively gotten worse.
Anyway, the husband passed away about 12 years ago. She remarried about 5 years ago. The new guy is a hugger. I am 100% not a hugger but I didn’t want to seem rude when being friendly in the beginning. Now, I have to somehow stop this hugging before I have an anxiety attack. I don’t like to even touch. It doesn’t help that he gives me the “creepy “ vibe. It makes me feel sick and super anxious just thinking about getting together. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks. Opinions please. I thought about texting or emailing her and trying to explain but I don’t know what to say. What would you do?

Just to clarify, I love to hug my husband and children. Just no one else.
 
  • hereyago

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2008
    I am not a touchy feely person. I would be

    honest and say' hey Creepy Hugger Hank, I am not a Hugger, personal space is my friend.'
     

    Hrhpd

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 12, 2012
    So...I am very introverted/anti-social...whatever you want to call it. I don’t like any kind of social situations. We only have one couple who we are friends with and really, I’d rather not. Makes me very uncomfortable and anxious when we get together. The woman of the couple worked with my husband about 25 years ago and we got to be friends with her and her husband. We would even go on mini vacations with them. I wasn’t quite as anxious back then. It has progressively gotten worse.
    Anyway, the husband passed away about 12 years ago. She remarried about 5 years ago. The new guy is a hugger. I am 100% not a hugger but I didn’t want to seem rude when being friendly in the beginning. Now, I have to somehow stop this hugging before I have an anxiety attack. I don’t like to even touch. It doesn’t help that he gives me the “creepy “ vibe. It makes me feel sick and super anxious just thinking about getting together. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks. Opinions please. I thought about texting or emailing her and trying to explain but I don’t know what to say. What would you do?

    Just to clarify, I love to hug my husband and children. Just no one else.
    Is there a reason you have to hug him? You have a say over your own body.

    Try stepping back when he comes in for a hug and be frank, saying you do not hug. If minor conflict makes you as uneasy as the hug, just say something like "sorry, I think I am coming down with a cold." After you have had a perpetual cold when trying to hug, he should get the idea.

    I understand. I am not a touchy feely person either.

    That said, have you had any counseling for your social anxiety? Trust me, it works wonders and makes life so much easier in a world of outgoing people.
     

    Turksmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    I'm not a social requirement hugger either. I would tell him as much, but put the responsibility on yourself. "I'm sorry, I'm a bit of an odd bird and physical contact makes me uncomfortable" Not that you should have to apologize for wanting your own space, but in a situation that is likely to be ongoing, sometimes it's easier.
     

    thinkerbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2000
    Thanks for the kind replies. I do know that my body is my own. It is just awkward to say don’t touch me now after I have let him hug me for several years. Just can’t handle it anymore. I am also, as hrhpd said, not a confrontational person. I really don’t want to talk to them about my anxiety. I feel like that will bring more questions and an even more uncomfortable situation.
    Might try the perpetual cold idea. Sounds like something I can do.o_O
     
  • thinkerbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2000
    I understand. I am not a touchy feely person either.

    That said, have you had any counseling for your social anxiety? Trust me, it works wonders and makes life so much easier in a world of outgoing people.
    I have not seen anyone about my anxiety. Thought about talking to my doctor on my next visit. Thinking about talking to her induces anxiety.:rolleyes:
     

    low-key

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2011
    Im not a huger at all , but if someone just hugs me and means it I feel better about things
     

    BrinkofSunshine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2010
    I understand not wanting to be confrontational and wanting to avoid an awkward conversation. If you can’t find a way to decline the hug or avoid it, perhaps just try and get through it? Honestly, if a simple hug is enough to trigger an anxiety attack it might be time to look into ways to cope, whether that be therapy, medication, or just working through it on your own. I don’t want to sound harsh or anything- I have anxiety and am medicated for it.
     

    Sleepy425

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2011
    My sister married a hugger. My family is NOT the hugging type. My sister tells him this all the time, but he won't quit it. (It doesn't help that he has a drinking problem that is treated like it's "just" PTSD from multiple deployments). He tries to switch to constant hand shakes and high fives. I'm a germophobe, and absolutely will not touch anyone while I'm eating, and if someone gets too close to my plate I won't eat anymore. I've told him this, my sister has told him this. Yet he won't stop.
    OP, I'm sorry you're dealing with all of this anxiety. People think it's just a matter of "tell the person." But unfortunately that just doesn't always work.
     
  • #1hoosierfan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2010
    Is the guy capable of picking up on cues? Don’t position your body for hugs. Discreetly turn the other direction if you think he is going to hug you. Hopefully that will help.
     

    Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    You can just (physically) make it clear you don't want to hug. When he comes in, step back. Or keep your arms folded, or even put up your hand to wave to stop him and just say "hi XXXXX" and turn your attention somewhere else. Hopefully he gets the hint.
    You could also speak to his wife since you are friends, tell her how you feel and ask her to pass the info along to her dh.
     
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2004
    How does your husband feel about it? Is he aware of your feelings? Obviously the dynamics of your friendship has changed since the death of the husband and her remarriage. It's hard to know what to tell you. To tell him to knock it off could result in more awkwardness...oh, that's right. You don't like when I hug you....that sort of thing.
     

    thinkerbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2000
    My sister married a hugger. My family is NOT the hugging type. My sister tells him this all the time, but he won't quit it. (It doesn't help that he has a drinking problem that is treated like it's "just" PTSD from multiple deployments). He tries to switch to constant hand shakes and high fives. I'm a germophobe, and absolutely will not touch anyone while I'm eating, and if someone gets too close to my plate I won't eat anymore. I've told him this, my sister has told him this. Yet he won't stop.
    OP, I'm sorry you're dealing with all of this anxiety. People think it's just a matter of "tell the person." But unfortunately that just doesn't always work.
    Thank you!! I feel like you get me! I am truly struggling with how to handle it. That is why I turned to you guys for ideas.
     

    thinkerbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2000
    How does your husband feel about it? Is he aware of your feelings? Obviously the dynamics of your friendship has changed since the death of the husband and her remarriage. It's hard to know what to tell you. To tell him to knock it off could result in more awkwardness...oh, that's right. You don't like when I hug you....that sort of thing.
    My husband is very aware and wants to call and talk to them himself but I told him not to. I’m afraid that it will make things more awkward. He might go a little too far in his explanation. The husband has also said something a little off color to me. Something that wouldn’t have been bad in the presence of all 4 of us but made me uncomfortable because we were at the dinner table by ourselves for a minute when he said it. He isn’t very happy about that either.
     

    Lynne M

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2001
    Lots and lots of people aren't huggers, and there are many ways to subtly avoid it without making a scene. Stepping out of the way, turning to say something (anything) to your husband, positioning yourself behind your husband so it's not easy for him to reach you, giving him a quick pat on the arm and saying "Hi Hank, nice to see you" as you walk past him. The idea is to act a little oblivious or distracted, like you didn't realize he was going to hug you, and then it doesn't look like you're avoiding the hug.

    That said, I think it would really help you to get some professional help with your anxiety. If just the idea of socializing with a couple you've seen many times before is causing you this much stress, it's impacting your life in a really negative way. There's medication, there's behavioral therapy, and either or both can make a real difference in your life. Also, a good therapist can give you suggestions, even scripts, for handling situation like this. It really takes the stress off if you feel prepared. :)
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Tell him you think you're catching a cold and you don't want him to catch it.
     

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