Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reading People

     I have recently met someone for the first time. A close and long time friend of a person that I think the world of. I was excited to meet them.
    It ended up being a longer evening than anyone anticipated. We met for a drink and appetizer, only to have it become appetizers, dinner, and then back to my place for conversation and drinks. The clock ticked away and everyone got comfortable. We talked about life, travel, people and family. Lots of laughing, and the body language seemed very relaxed for all. Everything seemed positive and they were smiling and stated several times what a good time they were having.
     Now, I am a hugger, and after spending all this time with them, as they were leaving, I gave out my usual, what I consider, very sincere hugs as everyone headed towrd the door. There they stood, last to go. They had their arms crossed in front of them and their body turned sideways. Not exactly a welcome for any type of body contact, let alone a hug. I wasn't sure what to make of this. After all, this was after about five hours of talking and laughing. Yet their words were upbeat and kind.
     What is is about some people that makes them put up barriers from the outside world? Within the next 24 hours, I did hear from my friend saying that the other party apologized for not giving hugs. Funny, no one said or indicated any need for an apology. That means that they thought about it and yet something in their chemistry couldn't take them there. Were they tired, was it alcohol, ( a few drinks at most) or something else that I missed?
     Next time, I will invite them for an opportunity to exchange a hug. And allow them respect if they need space and refuse or if they need that invitation. Somehow, I think they would want the latter.


  1. There can a lot of reasons, but I know of a couple for sure. My wife is half Japanese and even though her mom has been in this country for decades, she isn't comfortable with that close up, person to person contact. She now does it, but you can see the discomfort dripping off of her. In Japan, hugging is very rare.

    Also, some come from a family that is made up of plain old cold fish...

  2. i never know how to intrepret such things. i have one particular friend, a generous and friendly lad who i know comes from good friendly stock, that will look at me like i'm crazy if i want to give him a hug goodbye at the end a day spent hanging out. at first i thought he just didn't like me, but then another friend said the same.