Ever since the day you told me that I should hug under your arms instead of over because of my height, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I often find myself second-guessing hugs that I ordinarily would have given freely without a thought! After a lot of time laying in bed at night working out the details, I think I can now properly defend my hugging strategies.
First let me explain my three categories of hug.
- Upper Back or Neck Hug: This hug can be given by children, adults, and those who are short in stature standing on their tippy toes. It is often a hug between friends and sometimes distant relatives. This hug almost always lacks intimacy but makes up for it with it's prompt and convenient application.
- Middle of the Back Hug: This hug entails hands reaching around to the middle of the back. A certain amount of intimacy must be involved and the embrace usually lasts several seconds. It can, however, be used for the "Hugging-You-but-Hitting-You" Hug between men.
- Lower back or Butt Hug: This hug is reserved for flirting, newly dating partners or those with few social boundaries.
My arms should go UNDER that of the person's arms I am hugging because I am almost always shortest. Therefore, I should never reach up to give a hug; only move straight forward so the taller person may Neck-Hug me.
Friends require an Upper Back to Top-Middle of the back Hug. You never hug middle-back unless you know the person very well or have been drunk with them enough times to have given a Sloppy Drunk Hug (whole different category, it includes repeating "I love you" and "I'm sorry").
The trouble is, if I go straight forward and hug under the arms of a taller person, I am almost definitely going to be forced into a MIDDLE-BACK HUG! All the while, the taller person is resting comfortably in Friendly Hug Land up by my neck. I am left no choice but to apply a hug which makes me uncomfortable and does not fit the situation. Our hugs are therefore on two different levels of relationship.
Now, when the taller friend chooses to go under the arms to administer a hug, his/her hands naturally fall to my upper-middle back simple because of the physics of where my back is in relation to his/her arms. If I reach up, I am able to comfortably Upper-Back Hug while the friend Top-Middle Back Hugs me. This seems to make more sense to me.
If a friend is uncomfortable with reaching under the arms of a shorter person to hug, a Combination Hug is the only alternative. This is when I reach one arm towards the neck and one arm under the arm of the friend and visa versa. This picture is a good example...except I would never hug either of these people.
While this hug is not always physically comfortable, it gets the point across and does not require more than a second to complete if done properly.
The only snag in this scenario is if both people raise opposite arms, essentially forming a high-five position. This can lead to embarrassment.
In conclusion, I feel that my method of hugging is not only appropriate for my height and relationship to you, but it is superior in quality as compared to most. In the future, I would like to further discuss your feelings about the hug, but would like to refrain from hugging until it has all been worked out. In the mean time, we can dap.