What to do...no hugging situation

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by thinkerbell, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. tarheelmjfan

    tarheelmjfan Proud Redhead

    May 10, 2001
    I'm also not a hugger. I will/would willingly hug my Dad, DH, DS, my nephews & a BIL that is more like a second Dad. That's the only men I want to hug. I feel similarly about hugging women. I'm only interested in hugging close family members. Over the years, I've learned to accept a hug from others, by detaching myself from the situation long enough to not offend well meaning people. Most of us have learned to fake situations. This is a perfect time to use that knowledge. It may not be easy, but it's possible.

    ETA: If he's a totally creepy person & not just trying to be friendly, I would avoid him.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Searc likes this.
  2. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

    Aug 24, 2016
    My initial thought is that you may need to seek out help as it seems like its gotten much much worse over time.

    My thought about the hugging situation is just be honest.
    If it makes you physically ill and like you're gonna have a full blown attack then just say that (no need to bring up "you are creepy" just say you are really sorry but you are not a hugger because interactions like that give you anxiety.)
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  4. kimblebee

    kimblebee now my thoughts will be worth 5 cents

    May 28, 2009
    Next time he goes in for a hug, don’t reciprocate. He might get the hint if he hugs you and you just stand there. I am not a hugger either and my husband LOVES to hug me. He knows he only has about five seconds before I start to squirm.
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  5. cayennews

    cayennews Mouseketeer

    Jul 9, 2009
    I like the idea of texting or emailing her. I way you won't have the added anxiety of waiting for the night you are getting together to confront the behavior. Maybe start by saying that you value her friendship and this is why you are confiding in her. Let her know that you have some issues with anxiety and one trigger is hugging. Maybe say that you should have mentioned this years ago, but you would appreciate it if she could let her husband know that you are not comfortable with any hugging. Since you have known her for 25 years she should realize that you are not being trivial and take your request to heart. I hope this helps.
  6. tzolkin

    tzolkin DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2008
    I was thinking the same thing. It’s not a long-term solution, but if you’re really that stressed about the confrontational aspect of telling them you don’t want to hug this is an easy excuse for this one interaction.

    I would definitely work with your doctor on your anxiety issues. I understand it’s awkward to tell someone you’re not a hugger, but it should not be causing you this much stress.
  7. Skywalker

    Skywalker Elementary, My Dear Mickey

    Apr 15, 2004
    Well if he's a hugger it's probably just second nature for him and he's not thinking too much about it. Personally I don't like unnecessary confrontation with people I know I will have to spend time with so in a case like this a big lie would be my friend. Something like "My doctor said I have a weak immune system and I have to limit physical contact so hey hello from over here!". No harm done and lifelong excuse for them to back off LOL.
    thinkerbell likes this.
  8. barkley

    barkley DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a

    Apr 6, 2004

    tell them you've been exposed to head lice and they won't be coming in for hugs. seriously-my non huggy adult kid reminisces that when she had it as a kid it stopped huggers dead in their tracks...then they slowly backed away.

    on preventing it long term-email the wife. if it happens after that i would cut ties b/c if someone doesn't respect my personal space i don't want to spend time with them.
    thinkerbell likes this.
  9. kuhltiffany

    kuhltiffany DIS Veteran

    Dec 28, 2011
    I would contact the wife, as you have a long-term relationship with her, and have her talk to her husband. She can prep him before they arrive so that you can all avoid an awkward situation...
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  10. aprilgail

    aprilgail DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 2001
    If it has progressively gotten worse you should be in some type of therapy/medication because it may continue to get worse and worse. I can't imagine only having one couple as friends.
    ashley0139 and quandrea like this.
  11. disney junky

    disney junky BWV

    Dec 16, 2004
    That says to me there is more to this than the hugging. That borders on harassment. You have to weigh the pros and cons of this. Perhaps this relationship isn't worth the anxiety it causes you, and it has impacted your husband as well. I'm not going to analyze your anxiety. You have to know how to deal with that, but I do think if this triggers it, it's up to you to set the boundaries, and I don't mean just telling him to stop hugging. The anticipation of that could be more traumatic than necessary, you and your husband can control the situation.
    thinkerbell likes this.
  12. anniemae

    anniemae Either she is eating a delicious

    Jul 31, 2007
    Personally, I would not email the wife. I think it will be awkward for her to talk to him, then you will know she talked to him and it will be like the elephant in the room i.e. will he acknowledge it or not the next time you see him. Too much anxiety for me. I have been in a similar situation and I did the "I have a cold" thing and it only worked for a while and I couldn't keep saying that.

    What I finally did was give a quick wave when we walked in and said, "Hi Tom and Ginny!" When one moved in for the hug/kiss on the cheek I just put my arms up and said, "I really am not a hugger or kisser, I'm more of a waver." I said it with a smile and that was the end of it. Now when we see them it's just a quick "hey how are you?" Then we move on. You have to stand up for yourself IMO and if he does not respect you, cut ties. It may feel a little strange the first time you do that, but if you keep it light and don't dwell on it, things should improve.

    ETA: If you are too uncomfortable to speak up, I would put up my hands in the "stop" position next time he tries to hug you and say, "No more hugging for me, I caught a terrible (cold/flu bug/virus-just pick one) from hugging (-insert person mom/aunt/brother- last month.) It was awful!" Then just start talking about something else.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 12:06 PM
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  13. Andrea

    Andrea DIS Veteran<br><font color=<009977>I couldnt decid

    Jun 16, 2005
    Well if you don’t want to tell him ( I totally get it). When he tries just put your hand up and say oh I’m sorry I’m getting sick. That worked for me once.
  14. Wishing on a star

    Wishing on a star DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2002
    Ohhhhhh, I feel for you!

    I would also suggest addressing this anxiety. It sounds like this is much more than a social preference. And, that it is seriously affecting your life.
    There IS help out there. I would absolutely not hesitate to talk to somebody and to look into some meds. They really can work to 'take the edge off'.

    The one angle that I see here is that this type of issue can, and most often does, come off as RUDE and stand-offish.
    People will be offended. Everybody is just always so offended anymore.
    Just moving physically back, and continuing to be vague and make excuses, will def. come off that way.
    So, is going to end up jeopardizing the friendship?

    And, since this involves your husband with this other couple. especially since you mentioned the word 'creepy' ( not saying it is, but...)
    I would very much hope that your DH should have your back here.
    If you are so paralyzed with the social anxiety that it is hard for you to deal with this and step up and explain... Then maybe your husband can have your back and talk to this guy, or preferably both him and the woman... and explain, and just kind of request 'no unnessecary physical contact' would be appreciated. That this is is simply a personal preference, and a small favor... and that the two of you hope it wont be taken as any big deal.
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  15. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    I guess we all just need to be sensitive to how others feel about hugging and personal space.
    Our HR department put on a seminar about how you should not hug a co-worker without asking first.
    This was a few months before my mom passed away. After she passed and the day I returned to work, the most comforting (to me) thing that happened were the spontaneous, genuine hugs co-workers gave me......without asking.
    The most awkward? The girl (okay woman) whose parents lived across the street from my mom, whom I have known for nearly 50 years, went to high school and college with, car pooled with and even briefly dated.....SHE ASKED FIRST if she could give me a hug. However, she is the wedding and funeral coordinator for her church, so probably deals with this much more frequently than I do. But just seemed awkward
    PollyannaMom and MrsCobraBubbles like this.
  16. MrsCobraBubbles

    MrsCobraBubbles Life's too short to wear pants all the time

    Jul 24, 2013
    Uh oh! I ask before hugging. I guess that is awkward but I am not a hugger and I value my personal space, and I don't like other people to invade it with hugs and touches--I want their consent before I touch them. Also, if I am really upset about something and someone tries to hug me and be nice to me I will probably cry, the wedding/funeral coordinator probably has experienced some of that and maybe didn't want to set you off?
  17. Kitty 34

    Kitty 34 Hums in her sleep

    Feb 16, 2000
    My one sister is sooooo not a hugger but she point blank tells people when a hug could happen. She's never had many problems (she's almost 60); most people listen to her and are respectful of her wishes.
  18. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2004
    I don't see any need to explain your anxiety at all, and I wouldn't email his wife and ask her to tell him. If you don't want the man to hug you, he has no right to and you should just say so. I wouldn't say, "Sorry, I think I'm getting sick". If you do that, are you going to keep saying it every time you see them? I would think that would make you nervous all over again the next time.

    Given what you posted above, I would probably just go out with them anymore at all. If the wife asks why, tell her. You don't have to make a huge deal about it, and you don't have to make excuses for it. Her husband said something inappropriate to you and insists on hugging you, both make you uncomfortable, and you don't want to be around him.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:15 PM
  19. morgan98

    morgan98 DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2010
    Generally, I am not a hugger (except for my husband and very close family and even then it is not overly so). Friends and co-workers know this too. I do hug (and generally ask first) if someone is going through something hard, or just needs a hug, so I am not completely against it every.

    That being said, I have made the fact I do not like hugging others sort of a fact about myself and while sort of just describe it as one of my quirks. No one seems to have a problem with that. When I do hug someone, the reaction is generally something like, "Wow, Christine is going to hug you. Something big must be happening."

    OP, I know that it may be hard to back pedal at this point, since you have hugged this guy before, but I agree with those that stay step back or step aside and announce that you are not really a hugger.

    I mean you do not have to embrace him or have him touch you if you don't want to.
  20. Wishing on a star

    Wishing on a star DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2002
    I am now seeing how you are afraid that your husband might say too much or over-react if he were to talk with them.
    Is this just because he is more expressive and assertive... Is it because he knows about how you were uncomfortable with those off-color comments. Or, is it maybe just your anxiety in general.

    If these are your only ongoing friends... Then I can see that you wouldn't want to jeopardize that!

    Perhaps you can go over it all with your husband, and he can understand that it would be best to just be very simple, up front, and have your back.
    Perhaps it could be expressed as The two of us are just not 'huggers' who are big on a lot of physical contact. A basic request.... a 'doesn't have to be any big deal' kind of approach.

    It shouldn't have to be necessary to bring up issues about anxiety, and/or the comments that you felt might be off-color.

    I probably shouldn't ask.... And of course you have NO reason or obligation to explain or even respond.
    But, I truly was curious about what type of comment that was. Wouldn't have to be verbatim... But just some idea.
    I think that knowing that those comments might have been more than off-color, and perhaps inappropriate, might change how best to handle this.
  21. thinkerbell

    thinkerbell DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2000
    I am so overwhelmed by all of the very thoughtful responses. My husband is definitely more expressive and assertive. He is very aware of my quirks and dislike of social situations. He is also very protective of me in all situations. He always has my back. I sometimes wonder why God blessed me with such a wonderful husband.

    To answer your question... it may not seem off color to others. Maybe I am overreacting. Y’all can let me know. Several weeks ago, we went out to eat with this couple. My husband and his wife both got up to go get more ice and drink in their cups. Something was said about ice. He asked me if I liked to chew on ice. I said not really. He then said, “I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve heard that people who chew on ice have something missing in the sex department.” Like I said before, if we had all been at the table, it wouldn’t have bothered me at all. It is just that we were alone that it was so awkward. I just kind of got flustered and said something to the effect that I hadn’t heard that before.

    Some folks have said that I should get some help, and I probably should. The only thing is, I am able to mainly deal with it by just not going to anything where I have to make small talk with anyone. I function very well at work. Anything I talk to anyone about is job related. The only times I get bent out of shape is when I have to conference with my boss. Any social situations that I have to go to like funerals, weddings, family get togethers... my husband is always with me and carries the conversation. But, we don’t go to many things. Only when it is absolutely necessary. I also enjoy hugs from my husband and children, just not anyone else. I do feel like it is progressively getting worse so I will need some help at some point. Just not now.

    Thank all of you for all of the ideas to think over. I think I am just going to have to either hit it head on and say no hugging or touching or let my husband stay between us and say it. I’ll probably opt for the latter since I’m a big chicken.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 7:49 PM

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