Why would someone not like hugs?

Have you ever had a friend who just recoiled at the thought of hugging? You reach out your arms, emotions high, but they back away from you like an uptight hedgehog. It can be confusing and awkward. But fear not! There may be reasons why someone might shy away from hugs.

What is a hug anyway?

Before we dive into the psychology behind huggers and non-huggers, let’s define what a hug actually is. A hug involves wrapping your arms around someone while pressing your bodies together briefly or for an extended period of time – this depends on how tight you squeeze them until it gets borderline uncomfortable.

Maybe They Just Don’t Want to Smell Your Funk

Okay, don’t get offended too quickly! Hear me out!

Everyone knows personal hygiene is important wink wink. And sometimes, people are more comfortable keeping their distance because they’re afraid that their hugger friend might smell bad (awkward). So before jumping to conclusions about anti-huggers feelings towards intimacy with others entirely, consider that there could be other underlying factors at play.

Hugs Are Restricting

Let’s face it; hugs can feel suffocating: sometimes literally. For anyone who isn’t extremely tactile (touchy-feely), having somebody else hold them down while pressing against their body doesn’t promote comfort or relaxation- especially if being physically restrained isn’t enjoyable in general.

Additionally some individuals prefer personal freedom without overbearing physical contact and opt-out for things such as maintaining space between yourself and others (sometimes referred to simply as “personal bubbles”) . To sum up I bet no one likes feeling trapped inside another person’s embrace whist attempting graceful breathing manoeuvres reminiscent of childbirth class taught by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop-approved wellness guru.

Nobody likes feeling trapped or forced into a situation they don’t want to be in, this includes hugs too (obviously). No matter whoever the person is-whether it’s your significant other, friend/bestie (I absolutely refuse to use ‘best friend’ as it sounds bogus) sibling or even mom- asking for consent before approaching someone for a hug always sends the message of openness and positivity. Believe me; you’ll receive brownie points and extra coolness points with audible consent!

Trauma & PTSD

In some cases traumatic experiences such as physical assault can trigger feelings associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which permanently rewire an individual’s responses resulting in adverse reactions like avoidance behaviours . Neurological evidence closely links social touch and emotional regulation i.e., if someone has experienced trauma through unwanted physical gestures-infused touches may lead them towards triggers or flashbacks from their past experience.

Keep them fingers crossed that there awareness around mental health remains prevalent so these people obtain the necessary support needed to overcome their challenges.

Introversion shouldn’t be mistaken for pure shyness. Sometimes introverted individuals find themselves drained after a long day, requiring much needed- “me-time”. Social settings especially crowded ones mixed with strangers rapidly zap out energy levels-the entangling arms are probably not helping (just saying!).

Introverted huggers also need love but at the same time require sufficient space (a happy balance between human contact vs distance) something non-introvert chatterboxes might struggle wrapping their heads around!

Sweating!! Ew!!

Are sweaty armpits enough explanation? Maybe…too personal?

On-top of increased anxiety surrounding odour issues,…adding more bodily fluids(freshly squeezed sweat)to any embrace encourages greater social distancing amongst people already prone towards anti-hugging sentiment.

Germs & Imposter Syndrome

Not all-phobic huggers totally repel from touching others, it can be closer to than driven apart by them. The stigma surrounding transmitting germs during the winter months causes anxiety for a portion of germ-avoidant individuals which – combined with phobia-inducing feelings associated with physical touch in general could result in harmful behavior like highly avoiding human contact altogether.

On-going pressure to embrace new social norms i.e., activating ‘adulting’ mode describes millennials and near-millennials quite possibly dealing with imposter syndrome, i.e struggling balancing their deservingness/emotional capacity or even perceived obligations accompanying any form of validation that comes along with going out into the world.

Last but not least! Previous matters may eventually boil down to trust issues arising due as a result of abuse.Wondering whether these experiences limit safetyability levels within inter-personal relationships doesn’t automatically provide permission towards probing pain-points attached.Instead supportiveness and gentle reassuring approaches helps create healthy spaces for survivors,to work through there concerns over-time after-all everyone has differing healing time periods.

So how do we approach honest conversation (i.e casual chats) about why someone isn’t comfortable embracing hugs while also standing firmly against problematic made-for-tv manipulative tactics regularly present on certain corners of the internet encouraging further enmity?

Instead positive communication never goes unappreciated; creating productive conversations framed around empathy lifts people up..people willingly listen without feeling judged–an effective stepping-stone towards healthier bases built upon mutual trust honoring boundaries designed by each individual respectively etcetera.


At this point you already know better than anyone: shrouds surround us constantly depending on various painful experiences we endure solely based off circumstances outside our control including developing feelings rigidly coming into fruition when adjustments undergo numerous trials (baby steps).

You are encouraged never force anybody who is not comfortable granting hugs at this point in time rather let them hug you on their terms-if they’re willing & only if consent is given. Working towards empathy by understanding our varying differences creates positive changes capable of healing the moments we’ve build inner fortresses around.

So go ahead and put your hugging skills to good use-while respecting each others boundaries , of course!

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