Hey, America: Stop Hugging Me

Do we really need to touch this much? asks Juliet Lapidos
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 13, 2011 6:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – We’re facing a hugging epidemic in America: not only do we hug our friends constantly, we’re also expected to hug our friends’ girlfriends’ coworkers, writes Juliet Lapidos in Slate. Sure, there are times when hugs are called for: when the hugger is your boyfriend, or your mother, or when you haven’t seen someone in a very long time. But “why is it that when I go over to your house for dinner, you wrap your arms around me, even though I saw you last Friday?”

story continues below

The problem is that “it’s such an awkward interaction. One arm or two? Should there be space between us? And for how long, exactly, should we be touching?” These “obligatory hugs mock true intimacy,” Lapidos notes. The hug “descended from the American ethos of hyper-friendliness,” like our first-name obsession, says an etiquette expert. But according to the website of authority Emily Post, they’re not a part of the standard greeting—unless you’re meeting “a relative or close friend.” (Read more hugging stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.