hugging, eye contact...

wil

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I'm interested in religious, social and local implications....

Me, I'm a hugger, have been for decades...

Mark Victor Hansen says three a day for maintenance, seven for growth.

Now since I'm a hugger I often end up in groups, locations where hugging is acceptable...so I can get my seven a day...the heart to heart connection with another soul is valuable....plus handshaking spreads germs.

In my business relationships I don't always hug...but I am serioiusly working on replacing the business that doesn't allow/condone/encourage it.

I also like direct eye contact...gazing....listening intently...it bothers some...most grow into it.

I know some societies are more huggable than others. I think a lot of people miss that personal connection in their daily lives. I think we'd be a better world if we were all huggers....

A muslim woman at a recent retreat during a session says, "You people are very close. I find it disconcerting all this closeness, hugging, eye contact, discussing innermost thoughts to strangers. But I while it seems so foriegn and disconcerting, I am feeling I am learning to enjoy it."

thoughts?
 
Nice thread

I'm not a hugely tactile person but like, or would like to hug friends who I haven't seen for a while, certain family members (we're not a close family), and of course my wife.
I don't think it's a bad thing if people don't hug, but I do think it's bad if people wont hug.

Taiwan is not a hugging place. I havn't hugged any of my in-laws, hell I haven't even had any kind of physical contact with them, hand-shake, pat on the back or shoulder, nothing.
The general view is that if a man hugs a woman then there is something going on between them. if a man hugs a man they are obviously gay. even girls hugging girls often makes one of the huggers nervous.
A lot of the kids I teach are obviously starved of affection, and that has to be a bad thing.

Eye contact is not really practiced here either. I guess this is due to the strong Confucian influence in this society. He taught that a relationship can only be stable when based on inequality. Couple that with the idea that making eye contact with superior shows disrespect and you'll have an understanding.
 
Namaste Cav,

Wonderful to have input from your corner of the world. I remember going to a big church in Pheonix, and receiving five hugs before I sat down. One at the curb, one at the corner of the building, one at the entrance, one at the other side of the vestibule, and then down the aisle.

I've had a number of people who indicated that over time they became more tactile...more of a hugger and that I had a role in it.

There is a real comfort running into another hugger...lingering for a couple breaths is like an instant meditation.

Hug Therapy hadn't heard of it..but just found it.

The thing about hugs I have found....is that I can't give them away, or take one from someone...it is always an exchange...and I always end up with an extra for the next go round....sorta like sourdough starter, except it is really a betterfeelings starter!
 
wil said:
Now since I'm a hugger I often end up in groups, locations where hugging is acceptable...so I can get my seven a day...the heart to heart connection with another soul is valuable....plus handshaking spreads germs.

For years, I hugged everyone I could get my hugs on. It just came naturally to me. But over time, I began to notice that not everyone was comfortable with this. So I decided to hang back a little, until I could sense the comfort zone of another person.

Some of the people I have loved the most in my lifetime were just not huggers. One of my best friends ever in this life, after many years of me hugging him every time we got together, finally told me, "You know, Deb, I love you with all my heart, but I just don't like hugging". I owe him much for this bit of knowledge, because now I have a son-in-law who is the same way.

And then, there was the lice epidemic at my church...:eek:

InPeace,
InLove
 
A really interesting thread.

Some of the people I have loved the most in my lifetime were just not huggers. One of my best friends ever in this life, after many years of me hugging him every time we got together, finally told me, "You know, Deb, I love you with all my heart, but I just don't like hugging". I owe him much for this bit of knowledge, because now I have a son-in-law who is the same way.

Heh, I guess I would classify myself as one of those people. I've got nothing against hugging, really, but unless it involves my girlfriend or my family, I'm the last guy to initiate any physical contact such as that. Some of my friends do hug me sometimes (only girls, really), but I always seem to have that reaction of feeling surprised or kind of taken back, even if I don't show it. Surprise, really...that's the better word. It's strange. I have a theory about this, so I'll run it by everybody.

I think much of it has to do with people being afraid of imposing themselves. Many men seem to have grown up getting subconsciously fed the idea that they are basically unattractive or undesirable. They tend to reveal this by habitually avoiding physical contact. The idea being that, subconsciously, they feel like people don't want to touch them...as if hugging is some kind of special bond that requires two decidedly willing participants. Especially in the case of men hugging girls that are not their significant other, there is sometimes this awkwardness on the part of the guy, as if he's saying to himself," Wow, she actually doesn't mind touching me!"

Frankly, women seem to have much less trouble in this department than men. If they feel like hugging, they seem to just do it. Many guys, on the other hand, would never think of hugging a girl that hasn't, in some obvious way, 'okayed' it ahead of time. Not all guys, but a good deal of them, I think. Guys are especially terrified of being rejected, in more ways than one. In terms of hugging, few things will make a man curse his day more than initiating a hug and getting turned down, or it becoming clear that the other wasn't really cool with it. It's like a microcosm of the 'fear of rejection' that gets played out in the most painstakingly trivial way.

So far as men hugging men...well, that's a conundrum wrapped in paradox, and sealed up with irony. I can't say I have ever hugged any of my male friends...ever. Not that I go out of my way to ensure it doesn't happen...it just doesn't. Guys I've been friends with for a decade...no hugging, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Much of this is cultural, I think, more than it is based upon a person's intense dislike of hugging. It's seen as 'touchy-feely' (to characterize with slang), and many a insecure man tends to steer away from it because such a feeling seems to get rejected by the 'manly man' stereotype under which so many live. After a while of being subjected to this kind of uncertainty as far as where 'touchy-feely' meets 'stoic and manly', guys just started to turn away from the whole business, even if they weren't sure why.

-jiii
 
Great stuff....

I don't remember hugging a ton as a kid. I do remember growing up with the manly stuff...not crying, being strong, tough it out.

I don't remember when hugging started, but I hug and get hugged by men and women, young and old. And not that typical male hug, 60's handshake between us shoulders hit, slap on the back, hips an ergonomic nightmarish two feet apart. I hug my brothers...(not my brothers, my sister's husband's family brothers) and my other not brothers, the guys I ran with in the 70's, we were close as theives...and still are. Male and female alike in church, spiritual, holistic health, and family arenas...we hug as a standard greeting. Many express verbally or with their eyes disappointment when a hug is missed.

Truly interesting the feeling, not sexual, male or female of a good hug.

Now eye contact...that can be even more intimidating than hugging for many, holding each other and looking into each others eyes you can feel the tension if one is not used to it...the comfort mounts so fast you can feel the moisture in their hands increase. But when a hug and a gaze is expressed with surrender and love...it is incredible, the endorphins or whatever are instant and lasting.
 
Bringing this interesting conversation back up again because it stayed in my thoughts. I remembered that I wanted to address something concerning the subject of eye contact.

Not too long ago, there was a big trend in the media that more than suggested that if a person does not maintain eye contact, he/she must be hiding something. The idea seemed particularly targeted toward people accused of breaking the law.

Personally, I don't think it is a fair assessment.

Thoughts?

InPeace,
InLove
 
I always rely upon the old adage that "the eyes are the windows to the soul". Lots of times a few looks and you just know what's there. It can be an unnerving experience for the viewer and the viewee. I can understand why peope shy away from it at times. It can be just too intense of an experience for some who have the gift of extreme sensitivity, a blessing and a curse. My 2 cents worth I guess.

flow....;)
 
Flow can you elaborate on....It can be just too intense of an experience for some who have the gift of extreme sensitivity, a blessing and a curse.

Does anyone have a couple of friends who you are not in an intimate relationship with that you can experiment on?

The thought/challenge.

Tell them you are in this discussion, tell them you would like them to provide some background for you. Tell them that you would like to hug them for a period of time, and when you release the hug spend some time looking into each others eyes. Ask them if they feel this is something they would be willing to go through...participate in, and discuss afterword. Tell them this is non sexual, not a come on, simply an experiment in connection.

Hug heart to heart, belly to belly, cheek to cheek, for five slow deep breaths....non verbally allow your breath to coincide with that persons...go through the stage of uncomfortable and sink into it. Express love with your thoughts, see this person and this connection in the brighest of light.

Slowly release the hug, allow them to follow suit, slide down and hold their elbows and look into their eyes. Whatever happens happens, smiles, giggles, darting away...again go past uncomfortable and express appreciation with your eyes, and acceptance of who they are, where they are.

Same sex hug and opposite if you have the ability. Let's discuss it. I don't get my three hugs every day....most days 5-10 and somedays I get 20 and on Sunday's I get 30-50.

And yeah, if I don't get eye contact I do feel there is something I am not being told...but I don't discount that there are also societal implications.
 
The onliest place I've seen animated trees was in The Wizard of Oz, and they threw apples at Dorothy and her companions...no hugging in the script I suppose... but then that was pre-environmentalism times.

wil...you're very fortunate to be in a situation where you experience so many hugs and eye contacts. Most of us out here don't get even one a day. I do but that's because I came out to the high desert to take care of my parents in their later years. Except for that it would be slim pickins for me. I could just see myself suggesting that to my co-workers. Pretty much a recipie for a split lip probably.

flow....;)
 
yo and flow....

Tree huggin is ok, takes a while to get your breath coordinated though. Pine trees while occasionally sticky are great, the needles are like antenae suckin out what ails ya and enfusin you with the ethers...other trees are fine, I'm just partial to pine.

Contra dances, Dances for Univesal Peace...great places to connect with people...
 
I guess you can look a potato in the eye, or even a needle, but not a pine needle, and a tree? Well you have to maybe look them in the knot? Or not?

Don't blame me--wil started it all. :rolleyes::)
 
I have been in situations where eye contact is imperative, and others where eye contact has been considered a sign that "this person wants a fight, so I'll give him/her one s/he'll never forget."

Concerning hugs: I have had contact with people who wouldn't greet you and/or leave you without a hug and others where the only hug you'll get from them comes from Hershey's. One of the huggers (one of my maternal aunts) came to Milwaukee for a special event and tried to give/receive a hug from my brother. Problem was, my brother just groomed a dog that was covered with fleas.

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
 
Ok Wil, a question.

What if you visited a society where, for deeply rooted cultural reasons, hugging and eye-contact made people very uncomfortable, or even deeply offended them?

How would you conduct yourself?
 
InLove said:
I guess you can look a potato in the eye, or even a needle, but not a pine needle, and a tree? Well you have to maybe look them in the knot? Or not? Don't blame me--wil started it all. :rolleyes::)
When hugging a tree it is imperative that you focus, and not allow thoughts to branch off in different directions. You should feel rooted, be sure to leave your baggage behind, the tree will keep its baggage in the trunk. Express yourself, go out on a limb, just don't leave yourself there, especially in fall.
Cavalier said:
What if you visited a society where, for deeply rooted cultural reasons, hugging and eye-contact made people very uncomfortable, or even deeply offended them?

How would you conduct yourself?
I'm often in unhugging situations, at the office while it isn't always appropriate...sometimes it is. In a society which frowned upon this...I would respect their ways...however I would dare say I'd get in some hugs.

I thought of this discussion last night when as I left a meeting in which I got/gave hugs on the way in and out... there is something about that connection.
 
wil said:
yo and flow....

Tree huggin is ok, takes a while to get your breath coordinated though. Pine trees while occasionally sticky are great, the needles are like antenae suckin out what ails ya and enfusin you with the ethers...other trees are fine, I'm just partial to pine.

Contra dances, Dances for Univesal Peace...great places to connect with people...

Wil, I might try what you are talking about.

Are there any instructions on how to hug a tree properly?

Hope I dont see none of the "homies" when im doing it though...The jokes would not end for years.:)

I can just hear it now,
"Yo, we are going out tonight, would you and the tree like to come?."
LOL

By the way, where can I find a contra dance? Sounds like a lot of fun.
 
wil said:
When hugging a tree it is imperative that you focus, and not allow thoughts to branch off in different directions. You should feel rooted, be sure to leave your baggage behind, the tree will keep its baggage in the trunk. Express yourself, go out on a limb, just don't leave yourself there, especially in fall.
wow :)

wil said:
I'm often in unhugging situations, at the office while it isn't always appropriate...sometimes it is. In a society which frowned upon this...I would respect their ways...however I would dare say I'd get in some hugs.
Sounds good.
Just realised my "How would you conduct yourself?" might have sounded a bit funny, I didn't mean anything untoward.
I've known a few touchy-feely guys over here who have definitely crossed a few people's boundaries, seems like you could be too open to people's sensibilities to do that though.
 
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