By Nadia Hammoud
Bring It In
I adore a good hug. Who doesn’t? They’re cosy, cushy, help us establish connection, and science tells us they’re great for our wellbeing. After a lovely conversation or encounter, I almost always open up for a hug.
Let me be clear, if you’re not the hug-y type, I respect that. I will usually follow someone else’s lead in initial encounters and if you don’t initiate one, I won’t force one upon you. Just please, don’t offer open arms unless you’re willing to commit.
This is essentially about the Non-Committed-Committer. The NCC is someone who offers their arm outward, signaling a motion to embrace, but instead carries out a strange, awkwardly choreographed gesture consisting of a light chest-bump and a half-arsed, barely-there pat on the back, with their face fully turned outward away from yours at a 90degree angle. “I’d rather not”, is what the NCC would like to say mid-embrace, but for some ungodly reason cannot. This moment of arduous middle-class torture, of the NCC’s gaze-averting, detached, monstrosity of hug is, in my opinion, absolutely criminal.
I do acknowledge that not everyone wants a hug from someone they barely know (or even people they know quite well), and that’s okay. I just personally love a decent squeeze. Perhaps it’s something to do with my Mediterranean upbringing and affectionate mother. I love connecting with, and getting to know, people. Secret: occasionally with close friends I’ll cling on for an unusually long time (sometimes, admittedly, for my own amusement). Try it. It’s surprisingly heartwarming and is known to induce smiles, fits of laughter, and rarely, but wonderfully, the odd happy tear.