Science Reveals Why Some People Don’t Like Hugs

Some people appreciate and love hugs, while others absolutely hate them! For those who are fans of hugs, it can be impossible to understand why others could abhor them.  And, for those who are hug avoiders, understanding how anyone could love hugging is equally confusing. A research done recently has revealed some secrets behind this huge discrepancy in preferences.  Here is what science has to say about it:

Lena M. Forsell and Jan A. Åströmeanings published a paper in the journal Comprehensive Psychology. Entitled “Meanings of Hugging: From Greeting Behavior to Touching Implications.”  This research reveals some of the reasons why some people don’t like hugs.

The article used previous research and studies to form a clear explanation. It focused on the origins, meanings, and kinds of hugs as well as the reasons why people perform them.  The team of researchers used various potential reasons for the discrepancy in preferences when it comes to hugging. Here are some of the explanations:

  • Upbringing

Upbringing has a lot to with one`s hugging preferences. Children who were raised by parents who hugged them on a regular basis are more likely to like hugging, while those who didn’t receive hugs from their parents may grow in people who abhor it.  Interestingly, this can also go the opposite way, though.  Generally speaking, hugging is a very important and positive part of raising children.

  • Gender

Women are more likely to perform hugs and embraces compared to men, mostly due to the social norms that consider men who embrace to be homosexual.  Men are more into shaking hands than hugging, which often asserts dominance.

Women may accompany their hugs with kisses while men are more likely to put their hands over the shoulders, backs, or arms of the man they hug.

  • Culture

Different cultures have different norms when it comes to hugging. For instance, Western cultures are fond of full embraces while women may kiss each other on the cheek simultaneously.  Russian and French tend to include the kiss regardless of gender.  Some cultures prefer to shake hands, while others are more into verbal greeting.  It all depends on the culture, similarly to upbringing.

  • Emotional Factors

We all have different boundaries, don’t we?  Some people consider hugs to be something special and reserve them for close friends and family, some people are extremely friendly and tend to hug everyone, and some may keep hugs for situations when the person next to them seeks solidarity and support.

Other reasons why some people dislike hugs:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Attitudes and fears