Types Of Hugs And How They Define Our Relationships

by Conscious Reminder

It is commonly believed that hugs are basically a kind of physical touch. Humans usually depend on such special physical touch- right from when we are born till the moment we die.

This specialty of hugs makes it characteristic of various kinds of emotions including security, love, friendship, romantic intimacy, or emotional support.

In order to decipher the kind of relationship we share with each person, we must understand the different kinds of hugs we share or have shared with them.

I: Side Hug

Side hugs are shared by people wrapping their arms around the shoulder or waist of another person. These hugs are typically given when standing beside one another.

Meaning: Side hugs happen between acquaintances who are more than friends because such people are approachable yet not too close emotionally. Julian Colker, an intimacy expert, explains that side hugs do not require complete emotional investment. It basically emotes motivation and support.

II: Friend Hug

All friendly hugs are two-armed traditional hugs that witness the touching of chests of both persons. Mattenson has stated that normally we shift our pelvis in the opposite direction from the person.

Meaning: Such hugs get additional space from the distanced pelvis, representing no romantic or sexual emotions. These friendly hugs are not prolonged and seem heartfelt.

III: Hugging From The Back

Such hugs from the back can either be romantic or simply caring. A romantic relationship witnesses both partners touching each other’s back intimately while wrapping the arms around the torso or chest of their partner. In all caring relationships like parent-child relations, it involves wrapping around the chest of the other person and gently rocking them.

Meaning: Mattentson has informed that this pose characterizes bonding since it needs to stay close physically. Usually, the taller person stands behind that is similar to cuddling or spooning positions. According to Mattenson, hugging from the back provides extra support as well.

IV: Waist Hug

This type of hug involves wrapping the waist of the partner by completely aligning the arms and body with the other person. In this waist-hugging position, we can also lean on one another and look into each other’s eyes.

Meaning: This hug is essentially romantic in nature that offers a beginning for a person to make their next move. Mattenson mentions that hugging the waist falls in the category of a playful and sexual realm. He further adds that this position might also lead to kissing and gazing into their eyes.

V: Bear Hug

This hug is the most prolonged, close, and tight hug. Such hugs can be given standing or lying down. Mattenson refers to this hug as a ‘love blanket’ as one person lies on top of the other person.

Meaning: Colker remarks that bear hugs give a feeling that reminds us of being inside a mother’s womb. As a result, this makes us feel secure and warm. It triggers a parasympathetic system. Such hugs are highly satisfying on a human level. It is appropriate between close friends, family members, and romantic partners.

VI: One-Side Hug

In this hug, both the people face one another. The receiver in this hug is tightly squeezed.

Meaning: Often it is considered as an unwanted or forced hug but it can also be emotionally very supportive. Such hugs can be motivating during times of distress and can cheer up someone.

VII: Heart-To-Heart Hug

Such hugs comprise a strong and generous touch. This can be given in both seated and standing positions.

Meaning: Mattenson says that this type of hug is very intimate and brings the people closer. These hugs are very beneficial and considered to be a form of ‘love language’.

Advantages Of Hugging

Hugging has both mental and physical benefits. It also promotes emotional intimacy by exchange of the energies of the people involved. Since hugging releases oxytocin and serotonin, it helps in reducing stress by de-escalating the cortisol inside our body. Hugging can result in great things and huge well-being and upliftment.

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