I was a former "non-hugger."

I see no reason to hug various people throughout my day just because they are the type that hug all the time.  And while that meant I would spend a lot of my day avoiding situations where the hug might sneak in, I was comfortable wight the tools of my trade, and was able to avoid those possible uncomfortable moments.

There is an article in Time magazine online written by research psychologist Peggy Drexler, who is also not a hugger, in which she articulates these steps I use to take when the opportunity for a serial hugger to pounce would present itself.  From the article:

"If hugging comes up, particularly at the office, here are Drexler's tips to help non-huggers break free:

  • Keep something between you and the hugger until the moment passes.
  • Be direct and say, "Sorry, I'm not a hugger."
  • Take physical control with a stiff handshake and firm elbow that keeps personal space intact.
  • Escape and find something that needs your personal attention.
  • If nothing comes to mind, drop your cellphone.

As a blanket rule, Drexler says, "If you wonder if a hug is appropriate, it probably isn't."

Well, I have another tip for us non-huggers:  A hug makes people feel good, so hug them.  Yeah, you might end up hugging someone when you think it isn't comfortable or warranted, but I think to err on the side of making somebody feel better is acceptable.  And I am formerly the opposite.  But they are harmless…so take these steps for smart hugging.

*Don't hug in the shower

*Don't hug dead people

*Don't hug children that aren't yours when their parents aren't around.

We can do this!

who wants a hug?