At my church we have a welcome at the beginning of service. During this time you are supposed to get up and greet your neighbor. I personally am not a big hugger, not with strangers not with anybody really. I am getting used to doing it more as I get older but it is definitely something I have had to grow into.
Our pastor preached in a sermon not to long ago that if you don’t hug people during the welcome then you are being selfish. I could not believe it! Selfish! That seems a bit harsh. He went on to explain by not hugging your neighbor that you are holding back a piece of yourself. The person sitting next to you may not get a hug or a smile into they come back to church the following week.
His main point was community. I can understand that but do I need to express that with physical touch?
Its funny, I wrote this on Sunday and then I was at my in laws yesterday and my father in law asked me for a hug before I left, no problem. My mother in law asked for one, which I obliged and she said that it should be an automatic. Family shouldn’t have to ask for hugs. She didn’t seem to like my response of you can’t make me hug anybody, family or not.
Am I wrong for this? Am I sending out bad vibes? Would you not feel as loved by your family and friends if they didn’t hug you or didn’t offer one first? I didn’t grow up in a house that had a lot of public displays of affection. We were definitely not huggers. I can’t say that I want to pass that down to my son, I want to be more affectionate with him. I don’t want to overdue it either. I’m not sure if I will ever be comfortable hugging strangers. Any tips on how I can be a better hugger? Does it matter? Let me know. In the meantime…