It feels great to hug someone, isn’t it? But do you know what it means to both of you involved in hugging?
Yes, I know, it does mean a lot!
Right from birth and throughout our lives, we rely on one of the most effective physical touches, that is – different types of hugs. Now, have you ever thought about how many hugs you need in a day? The more, the better – isn’t it?
Hugs are one of the best ways to show your love and affection. It communicates a lot of emotions that even words fail to express. Sometimes, when you feel sad, depressed, angry, and low, all you need is a hug and nothing else to lift your mood. When a hug is heartfelt, it can resolve any differences and heal broken hearts. Also, it is a form of showing friendliness and greeting people. But if you don’t read the subtext, you can, sometimes, misinterpret a hug.
Why Are Hugs Important?
How do you feel when you hug someone?
Yes, we all feel that. And so, we hug in several circumstances. We hug when we are happy, sad, excited, trying to comfort someone, want to show our love and affection, and sometimes, without any reason.
Of course, there are different kinds of hugs, and not all convey the same meanings.
I have already shared the different kinds of hugs and their meanings in the previous section. Now, let me ask you something.
Do you know that there are proven records that hugging can make you happier and healthier?
Yes, and I’m not saying that. This is what scientists are saying. According to scientists, if you hug someone, you not only get to have that warm feeling but also have several other benefits. This includes health benefits too.
So, what are those?
Come, let’s find out!
- Hugs Can Reduce Your Stress
- Hugs Can Boost the Health of Your Heart
- Hugs Can Offer Protection from Illness
- Hugs Can Lessen Your Fears
- Hugs Make You Happier
- Hugs Can Help You with Communication with Others
- Hugs Can Help You Reduce Your Pain?
- Hugs Can Help Babies to Become Well-Adjusted Adults
Types of Hugs and Their Meanings
Do you know that there are a number of hugs that express different kinds of emotions? In this post, I will talk about the different types of hugs and their meanings, so you don’t misinterpret a hug.
1. The Long Hug
This type of hug is most commonly shared between people in long-term relationships. It can be your family member, your friend, or your lover. This strong and comforting embrace from you to your loved one is the best medicine for times when they feel low and crave a hug. Take the other person in your arms and hold them tightly for a minute or so. It means that you are there for them – no matter what. Your loved one will get the much-needed emotional support and warmth. And do I need to tell you that your relationship will be stronger than ever?
2. The Bear Hug
I like the bear hug a lot. It is meaningful and genuine at the same time. Generally, you go for a tight and real bear hug when you want to share your excitement or your moments of joy. It is a lot more intimate compared to a long hug. When you give a bear hug, you wrap your arms around the other person.
But did I tell you that bear hugs are mostly platonic? Well, yes! The tight embrace is all about relieving the other person of anxiety and stress and filling them with warmth. This hug tells the other person how much you love and care for the relationship.
3. The Polite Hug
A polite hug tends to be quick and short. This is generally a formal hug shared between distant relatives and colleagues when they try to create a social bond. But if you give someone a polite hug, you have to be a little careful and pay attention to finer nuisances. After all, you don’t want to make it awkward or uncomfortable for the other person, right?
4. The Side Hug
The side hug is mostly for friends. It is not that intimate but a more relaxed hug. Most of the time, it shows that you are in a pretty good mood. Side hugs can be common in your workplace too. You can even see people go for this hug while posing for pictures. This kind of hug may seem casual, but it can be meaningful and genuine as well. If you have long-term acquaintances with someone and you meet them at some parties or certain occasions, you can share a side hug with them too! Trust me, this will give a positive vibe to the other person.
5. The Tight Hug
This hug is especially for your close ones. Okay, I know, you kind of understood it from the name itself, isn’t it? So, when you go for a tight hug, your full body gets involved. You wrap your arms around your close one completely. And did I tell you that you can squish them a little bit more too? This kind of hug often takes place when you are in an emotional situation, and you don’t have enough words to explain it to the other person. This can be the time when you bid farewell or meet someone after a long time. But, of course, reserve your tight hugs for your near and dear ones only. I LOVE tight hugs. It is so calming and reassuring.
6. The Pickpocket Hug
This hug is for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. It is kind of passionate yet casual. When you go for a pickpocket hug, you put your hands on your partner’s hips – close to their back pockets. And your partner does the same! When you hug this way, it shows that you both have feelings of affection for each other, apart from the fact that your relationship is secure.
7. The Eye-to-eye Hug
Have you just got into a romantic relationship? Then you may already know what I am talking about here! The eye-to-eye hug is common in people with deeper feelings or new couples. This hug is often an expression of passionate, romantic love where you get lost in each other’s eyes. This intimate and personal hug suggests that you and your partner have a deep and strong bond with each other. When you slow dance with the love of your life, it often results in an eye-to-eye hug. Of course, there is an extra squish!
8. The London Bridge Hug
When you hug the other person, and both of your upper body touches each other but the lower body remains untouched, it is known as a London bridge hug. It is a cordial embrace or rather a formal hug – when you maintain some distance from each other. To me, this is one of the most awkward hugs! You can often see politicians and diplomats hugging each other like this. The London bridge hugs are to establish a non-personal relationship or strike a social bond.
9. The Straddle Hug
Do you have someone in your life with whom you share the most intimate relationship? Then the straddle hug with them is a must! In a straddle hug, you embrace your partner with your full body and keep deep eye contact (most of the time). This intimate and private gesture has an underlying sexual tone. It suggests that you two have a good physical connection along with mutual trust.
10. The Back Hug
Did I tell you how I love the back hug? Most of the time, a back hug can be a surprise hug to your partner that often signifies the deep feelings that you have for each other. This is often shared during moments of happiness. The back hug suggests that you have a trustworthy, physical, and intimate relationship with your romantic partner. You hug your partner from the back when you are madly in love with each other. And did I tell you how a gentle backstroke is all you need when you want to make the moment all the more special?
11. The Hug That Involves Twirling You Around
This is a romantic hug that you often get to see in movies – when the hero hugs the heroine tightly and then lifts her and twirls her around. In this type of hug, the one who lifts the other person is the taller one. And the one who gets lifted is the shorter one. This hug is kind of cute.
You often get to see this kind of hug at airports when two people in love meet after a long time.
12. The Hug Where Your Heads Rest on Each Other
When you hug this way, your heads rest on each other, and you embrace each other in a cozy cuddle. This long, deep romantic hug has the power to make you feel secure. When you are in love with a person and want to feel all loved and secure, you rest your head on their head. This hug is an intimate gesture that signifies the deep commitment and mutual trust you share.
13. The Buddy Hug
Have you ever placed your hand around your buddy? Well, that’s exactly what a buddy hug is! This kind of hug is not for people in love or romantic relationships. Rather, it is meant to be shared between you and your mate. Of course, siblings can share a buddy hug too. And did I tell you that this hug is never one-sided?
14. The Quick Hug
Just as the name suggests, a quick hug is when you hug the other person quickly, in a hurry. People often misunderstand this hug as cold or unaffectionate. But that is not the case. And generally, a quick hug doesn’t have any romantic subtext. After all, you want to give the love of your life a long, tight, and passionate hug, and not a quick one, isn’t it?
15. The Patting Hug
When a hug is accompanied by a sweet and gentle pat, it is known as the patting hug. It is meant to cheer up a dejected or sad person. This type of hug doesn’t have any romantic undertone, as it is a platonic one.
16. The Catcher Hug
Are you missing someone? What do you do when you miss that person after a long time?
This person can be anyone from your boyfriend, husband, wife, girlfriend, or best friend.
It may be your partner in a long-distance relationship whom you are meeting after months. The same is the excitement when you meet your best friend who lives in a different city, and you are meeting after years.
That is where the catcher hug comes into the picture. This is that hug you share with your favorite people when you meet them after a long time.
You run towards them with excitement and a smile and then embrace them intimately.
The catcher hug is about your positive energy and the love you feel for the other person.
17. Slow Dance Hug
Are you in love with someone and have been on many dates with them? Has it ever happened that you went on a dinner date, and both of you were dancing to the tune of slow music, being close to each other?
Well, that’s what a slow dance is!
It is a cute and intimate gesture toward the love of your life. You share this hug with your partner, especially on dates. Also, when people do the waltz, you get to see the slow dance hug at weddings.
This hug means you two want to stay locked in an intimate hug. And the entire world tends to fade away if you do the slow dance hug while looking deeply into each other’s eyes.
It shows the undeniable connection and chemistry between the two of you.
18. Sloppy Hug
What do you do when you meet people at a party or a wedding? You hug people, right?
You do this to greet each other. And that is what a sloppy hug looks like.
You go for a sloppy hug when you meet new or old friends at parties, and you must be polite and appear warm to them.
A sloppy hug is not an intimate hug.
It may or may not last for long. And it doesn’t have any special meaning. Also, it doesn’t mean you share a special bond with the person you hug. It is just being approachable and friendly.
This hug is very common between female and male friends.
19. The Ragdoll Hug
Have you ever been in a one-sided relationship? Or, is there anyone in your friends’ circle who feels love for someone who doesn’t love them back?
In both these cases, the shared hug is known as the ragdoll hug.
You may like someone, and then you go and hug them. But that person may not feel the same for you, so they don’t show much enthusiasm when you hug them.
This kind of hug can be very off-putting and cold. And you may feel the not-so-cool vibe while hugging the other person. This is very much the opposite of the happy hugs that we normally share with people.
Of course, there may be times when you misinterpret a ragdoll hug. Maybe the person you are interested in and hugging is so shy that they don’t reciprocate your feelings and walk that extra mile to show their love for you.
Also, it could happen that the other person is not very comfortable with physical touch or showing physical affection.
20. The Hug Around the Waist
Are you already in a relationship with someone?
Then you already know what kind of hug I’m talking about here!
A hug around the waist signifies a strong bond between two persons. It indicates that you and your partner are madly in love with each other and can’t keep your hands to yourselves.
It also means that you two want to spend the entire day and night together. It shows that you are passionate about each other and always want to be with the other person.
So, when you see some couple hugging each other around the waist, you know what to interpret, right?
21. One-Sided Hug
Have you ever hugged someone only to be shrugged off by that person?
I feel you, buddy!
A one-sided hug is one of the most awkward hugs.
You hug someone and then realize they don’t even care to hug you. You feel cold and unwelcoming. And you feel bad about yourself.
So, before you hug someone, it is better that you gauge your relationship with that person closely. After all, you don’t want to feel unwanted. Right?
22. Group Hug
Did I tell you how good and warm a group hug feels?
This hug is shared between your close group of people with whom you share a special bond and who occupy a special place in your heart.
A group hug is the best thing you can share with your favorite people. You go for a group hug when you meet your gang of friends and when you take their leave.
It feels so hearty, fulfilling, and comforting at the same time!
23. The Cuddle Hug
A cuddle hug is a favorite of many couples. When you are in a serious relationship, you start romancing by cuddling with your partner.
It is a sweet way of showing your partner how much you care for and love them. When you cuddle, you fill your partner with sweet kisses. This makes way for a strong bond between the two of you.
You share cuddle hugs with your romantic partner while going to bed at night and again when waking up in the morning. Also, you share this hug when you sit on your couch watching your favorite movies or shows together.
Now, this one is a special hug. As the name suggests, this is a hug where you embrace yourself.
This is a busy world where all are busy with themselves. There may be times when all you need is a tight hug. But no one is available to show you emotional support or to make you feel good.
That is when going for a self-hug can make you feel better. After all, it is you who feels yourself the most, and it is you who can make yourself happy.
The warm feeling of affection when you hug yourself can boost your mood instantly.
25. Flirty Hug
What do you do when you have a crush on someone and want to throw subtle hints about how you feel?
You flirt with them. Right? The flirty hug is one way of showing interest in that person.
Also, when you just get into a romantic relationship with someone, you share a flirty kind of hug with them. That is when you go for flirty hugs.
It signifies that you want to touch this person and get closer to them while being flirty and maintaining the sexual tension between you.
This hug shows how you are deeply interested in this person and how there is a fast-growing chemistry between you two.
Why is Self-Hugging Important?
How frequently do you hug?
Well, no matter how frequently or how frequently you do it, you cannot deny the warmth and comfort when you do it. Right?
Hugs are a great way to feel close to someone you love and care about. It can be anyone, from your friend, kid, and partner. You feel validated and cared for.
But what if you are all alone and in desperate need of a hug?
Well, you can hug yourself!
No, I’m not kidding here. Hugging yourself is normal, and you should go for it.
Touch is something that we need as humans.
And when you are not doing it for a long period, it can actually take a toll on your emotional health. So you don’t want that to happen. Right?
That is when you need a self-hug.
Okay, I agree. It sounds a bit awkward. But that doesn’t make it any less real and important.
Following are some benefits of a self-hug.
Self-Hugs Can Make You Feel Safe
It would help if you recognized how important human connection is and the social support that it offers.
Don’t you feel warm, comforted, and less alone when someone you love puts their arms around you in an affectionate embrace?
But when no one is with you at the moment, and you need to feel safe and secure, a self-hug can work wonders.
Remember, you are the one who plays an essential role when it comes to your wellness. And when you hug yourself, you are reminded of that and your power.
Step out of your comfort zone and take things into your own hands to make yourself feel better.
Self-Hug Can Relieve Your Pain
There was research in 2011 that proved that if you hug yourself, it can relieve your pain.
Twenty people took part in that study. The researchers made use of a laser so that they could produce sensations of pain, much like a pinprick.
The participants reported that they experienced less pain after they crossed their arms. This crossing of arms is how you hug yourself.
According to the researchers, this is because the brain gets confused about the source of the pain. For example, when you are in pain and cross your arms, your brain gets a mixed signal about the source location of the pain.
When your brain tries to come to a solution, its capacity to process other information, such as the intensity of your pain, gets reduced.
Again, another study in 2015 had a different explanation for this reduction of pain.
It says when you hug yourself, your touch soothes you, and your body releases the oxytocin hormone. This works wonders in relieving your pain.
Also, it reduces your feelings of fear and anxiety.
Self-Hug Can Heighten Self-Compassion
Do you want to heighten self-compassion?
Give yourself a tight and soothing hug!
Similar to touch, self-compassion has the power to lower the levels of cortisol and make your overall being better.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., a popular self-compassion researcher, said that stroking, hugging, and physically comforting your body boost the feeling of tenderness and love toward the self.
If you start practicing self-kindness, it will be easier for you to accept who you are. Also, it will soothe you once you make a mistake or go through any hardship.
Accept yourself for your real self, be self-compassionate, and have high levels of self-esteem. You will notice a positive change in your general overview of life.
Self Hug Can Boost Your Mood
Are you having a bad day? Or are you feeling stressed for no specific reason?
Maybe you want to spend some time with your loved ones but cannot. And that is what makes your mood sour.
In that case, give yourself a good, long hug.
Human touch has the power to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that includes your touch too.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have shared all that I know about hugs in this post. But are you someone who still has some unanswered questions about hugs?
Well, the following are some frequently asked questions about hugs. Don’t you want to check if that matches your queries?
A hug not always makes you feel good, especially when someone is hugging you inappropriately.
An inappropriate hug is when:
• You feel uncomfortable.
• The person hugging you is touching you a lot, maybe in places where you don’t want to get touched.
• You don’t want to be hugged, but someone hugged you forcefully.
The frame hug looks exactly very much like the name suggests – like a frame.
This hug is shared when you stand apart from a person and then bend your waist to hug them. In this case, not all your body parts are touching, only your shoulders.
If we speak in general, a hug can take about five to ten seconds.
But that is just a single timeframe. There is no such time limit for a hug.
You can hug the other person as long as you want. Of course, when both of you are comfortable and enjoying the hug.
You can hug the other person as many times as you want.
However, according to Virginia Satir, a renowned family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
Not all hugs are meant for everyone. If you notice that the person you are about to hug is not comfortable, it is better to stick to handshakes. Reserve the tight hugs for your loved ones!
Hey there, Martha here, a full-time mom of two, currently trying to bring a small impact in everyone’s life whom I can reach through The Queen Momma. I usually write on topics related to parenting, pregnancy and motherhood. Having gone through a few rocky relationships myself, I consider myself somewhat of an “expert” on topics related to dating and relationships.
I formerly worked at Special Needs Network Inc and BrightStar Care of Beverly Hills as a head manager. I have a passion for assisting organizations and individuals in achieving their objectives and have had the opportunity to do so throughout my professional career. At present, writing for The Queen Momma is a great addition to my professional career.