How to Give a Hug
The hug is a universal interaction between two people that is a way to say
hello and good-bye and even comfort in times of need, worry, pain or disappointment. While
it's kind of hard to mess up, here are some pointers that will help you give a hug and
send the correct message.
Be intuitive. You can get in quite a lot of trouble for randomly hugging people
(especially at the office); make sure it is a situation in which people are accustomed to
hugging--like greeting one another, saying good-bye or comforting a loved one. If it feels
like it might be awkward to hug, then the rule of thumb is that it probably is. If you
have never met the person before, hugging is probably inappropriate. Also, in business,
hugging is rarely practiced. Stick with a firm handshake and warm smile for those
purposes. Keep hugging for close friends and family.
Clearly open your arms. Don't sneak up on someone and hug them, as that will not only
startle them, it will also be perceived as a little creepy. Open your arms wide in front
of them so they can clearly see your intention.
Place your head to one side. There's nothing worse than hugging someone and banging
noses. After you reach your arms out to the side, tilt your head to one side. It really
doesn't matter which, just so long as your intention is clear, and the other person can
compensate by tilting their head the other way.
Approach and wrap. With your intentions clear, approach the other person and wrap your
arms around them. This is where the hug again becomes intuitive. You are simply saying
hello, and this should last a second at most. However, if you are helping someone grieve
the loss of a loved one, take your cue from them as to when they are ready to let go.
Congratulations--you have learned how to properly give a hug!
How Article: How to Give a Hug