Practiced publicly and privately without stigma in many nations across the planet, hugging is something I have ingrained in my interpersonal behavior. I hug everyone, and I mean everyone. I hugged my bosses at the Christmas party last year after four glasses of Malbec and a rum and Coke. I regularly hug my friend's husband, who voted for Bush once... maybe twice, and still, I hug him every time I see him. I've hugged my UPS man, a great waiter that I had once in the North End, and friends of friends of friends. I've hugged countless numbers of random people in bars, of strangers' dogs, of trees. I hugged someone that I saw crying on the subway (unsafe? eh, maybe).
I tend to hug a few seconds too long. I'm not the let-go party, I'm the oh-are-we-done-now-question party. Hugging is something people do all the time and I wonder what they think about it. I wonder how it makes them feel. The reason I am initiating it makes it pretty clear that I enjoy it. It's a good way to reconcile with a person. It's an even better way to show your affection or attraction for someone without taking things too far. Hugging is used as a key component in anger workshops across the world.
Hug someone today. Hug three people today. Don't be afraid of germs, or judgement, or getting a boner.