Are You as Awkward a Hugger as I Am?

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with a reviewer who was briefly in St. Louis for business. We ate a treat at the excellent Nathaniel Reid Bakery, and then I drove him over to his meeting. Great guy, great chat–I’m happy to have met him, and I look forward to sending games to him in the future, whether or not he likes them.

When we got to the destination, he asked if he could get a photo of the two of us, which he did. I then went to shake his hand goodbye, but he must be a hugger, because he went for a hug. That’s fine–I’m happy to hug when people prefer that.

However, when I got back in my car, I thought, “Did I just briefly rest my head on his shoulder during the hug?”

I think the answer might be yes.

The reviewer probably didn’t notice (it was a hug), but I’m still amused by this. It doesn’t help that I think I’ve done this before when hugging men and women alike–it’s simply my instinct to get in quick nuzzle.

I’m trying to figure out why that is. My hypothesis is that I don’t hug people very often, but the people I hug the most are those where a head-on-shoulder is completely appropriate and normal. This is coupled with unexpected hugs–like today, I thought a handshake was about to happen, so when a hug happened instead, I didn’t have time to think.

It all happened so fast.

Anyway, I had to laugh at myself, and I thought you might find it amusing as well. I’ll try to break myself of this odd instinct, but if you ever give me a hug, please don’t be alarmed if you find my chin briefly resting on your shoulder.

Are you an awkward hugger?

7 thoughts on “Are You as Awkward a Hugger as I Am?”

  1. Ha, I would definitely not notice a chin on my shoulder since hugs are already so close and personal that’s not something that would make the feeling of a hug any different. I am only an awkward hugger when the person I’m hugging is in an awkward position like sitting on the floor or sitting across the table when I go in for a hug. It usually turns out to be more of my arms around them and gently patting their back at that point. Beside those non-ideal positioned hugs, I prefer close and tight hugs just like I prefer firm handshakes. It’s never awkward for me, but I can’t say for those who receive them. 😊

    • “I am only an awkward hugger when the person I’m hugging is in an awkward position like sitting on the floor or sitting across the table when I go in for a hug.”

      I’ve definitely had that happen before. 🙂

  2. Interesting. I’m not a hugger, but like you I don’t mind them when people prefer that. The one thing I hate however is shoulder squeezing: my team is often the first one in the office, and it’s customary for people to shake hands with everyone else when they come in. Because I’m usually sitting down when that happens, a lot (like 15-20%) of my coworkers grab me by the shoulder when shaking hands, and… sort of massage it? It’s weird and I hate it. Please hug me instead.

    • That’s good to know, Jon! I sometimes do a shoulder pat as a show of camaraderie, but it’s a good reminder that not everyone likes that.

  3. Jamey,

    That’s hysterical! As a hugger, I’ve been the recipient of many a chin-on-shoulder encounters. Don’t sweat it…and thanks for sharing.


  4. I don’t think i’m an awkward hugger but having different type/style of greetings for all the person I know, I do get in awkward situations when I meet many at once. 😁
    Doing some kind of embrace with some, regular handshake with others… Awkward!


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