Apparently I wasn’t the kind of child who liked to be cuddled or hugged. Having two younger brother helped because there are usually only so many hugs to go around. Unless of course you are at a party with lots of aunts. Both my parents were only children, but my nan had 9 brothers and sisters each with their own offspring so there were a lot of aunts.
I’ve noticed that a lot of teenagers especially girls hug each other a lot. That would not have suited me. I’m not sure my best friend at school and I ever went in for hugging. Chatting on the phone half the evening yes, (much to the annoyance of my dad who couldn’t understand the need after a day at school). But hugging not really. A whole group of admin staff at my former office used to hug a lot too. Especially if one of them was off on leave or had just returned.
That’s not to say I haven’t done and received my fair share of hugs. I just need to know the person well and be in some kind of close relationship with them. Or else for one of us to be in a lot of distress. My son loved to sit on my lap and be cuddled, and we still hug on greeting or saying goodbye now. For a while when he was a teenager, I couldn’t get within a mile of him, but thankfully that was a phase. I love hugs with Master and find lying in his arms safe and fulfilling. We did a lot of hugging and holding during the whole breast cancer time. But I am not usually the initiator, I forget because of my overall reticience.
Therefore, I am a respecter of personal space. I like it and so give it. There is nothing worse than someone you don’t know well or don’t particularly like standing too close. Even if they have perfectly fresh breath. I find it threatening when someone in authority does it and prefer everyone respects space.
So, not surprisingly I am a massive fan of social distancing. It’s something I’ve been trying to do all my life. I’m a fan of holding hands with a child, or partner but other than that no thanks. My mum tends to hold my arm and that’s fine. But she then tends to lean in and I find it irritating. I know she needs some support, but strangely she is one person I don’t like too close and haven’t for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why, because she hasn’t really done me any harm. If someone I know and like asks for a hug, I’m likely to say yes, but people often instinctively know.
You should never think though, that just because I’m not a hugger, that I don’t care. I do. But prefer to show it in other ways.