As a general rule, I don't make New Year's resolutions. Always the same... get fit, get more sleep, get rid of toxic people, yadda, yadda. However, I saw this graphic on Instagram this morning and thought "that is something I could get behind in 2020" and wanted to share because I thought many people here would feel the same.
I have seen on multiple threads and profiles cuddlers commiserating about the lack of connection and touch in the world today. And how they crave and miss it. Be it technology or #metoo or other issues or all of the above, it is real and isolating and sad.
But imagine if we all could commit to trying to make intimacy and emotions "normal." Not a weakness or something only for the bedroom. That we open our hearts, be more vulnerable, and take care of each other. Sounds pretty awesome to me.
Not saying it's easy. Example: I am the "boss" at my work and a good friend is an employee. I was in a meeting and she was having a bad day, so I sat down on the couch beside her and took her in my arms. My two millennials in the meeting about swallowed their teeth. One kept going on and on about how "inappropriate" it was. How is it ever inappropriate to comfort someone? To show them storge love? Never in my book.
So I challenge you if you are looking for a resolution to embrace this one. Happy New Year everyone and many, many happy cuddles for you all in 2020!
Very beautiful post and I am grateful you shared it.
I read a book, The courage to be disliked, and it has a chapter on relationships and thinking of our partners. He draws comparisons of friendships and our SO, and explaining we should be happy for people we truly care about wether they are with us or not, and how love should be unconditional.
"But Adler does not accept restricting one’s partner. If the person seems to be happy, one can frankly celebrate that condition. That is love. Relationships in which people restrict each other eventually fall apart."
If you haven't read it, seems like you may enjoy it too. It was eye-opening and personal growth stimulating for me. By the way, I'm not much of a reader and I couldn't put it down.
@beardedtech thank you for the kind words and the recommendation. I will definitely check it out. I have been doing a lot of personal growth work myself and it sounds like something I need to read and absorb. Happy New Year!
@2dogmom - touching anyone without their permission is strictly prohibited according to my employer's harassment policy. You could say "can I give you a hug?" but you'd probably need a witness that someone heard them say "Yes". I'd strongly advise anyone to restrict such actions to outside the workplace. But I wholly agree with the general sentiment of your post.
@UKGuy I know... I neglected to say in my post that I did say to my friend "could you use a hug?" And there were witnesses. Uncomfortable witnesses. lol I work in animal welfare, however, which is incredibly taxing emotionally so the ability to be empathetic and vulnerable is a huge part of avoiding compassion fatigue and working through the grief that comes with this work.
What a lovely idea @2dogmom thanks for sharing. As @UKGuy mentioned.... It is sad that we have swung the pendulum so far that we need witnesses for verbal consent. It is absolutely a real thing though. I am the kind of girl that opens up her arms and says "can I give you a hug???" Only recently in a cuddle party did I realize that some people feel uncomfortable with that (I mean who doesn't want a hug right??) She said it is best if you keep your arms to your sides WHILE you're asking.... hahhahahaha I get it. CONSENT is a real thing. We are living in a world that has been hurt by so many people. We have to be incredibly creative now. WE can do it though!! We can be the change we want to see in the world!
This teacher decided to work around the system a little to connect with her kids. It makes me sad that our kids can't get hugs from our dedicated teachers but I completely understand that plenty of authority figures have destroyed that by taking advantage of and hurting our kiddos.
@beardedtech I am so curious to read the book you referenced! I LOVE to read and it sounds incredibly interesting. Thank you for your beautiful profile (not interested in serial cuddling hahahhaha) and Welcome to the Site!!! What a fabulous quote. ---"We determine our own lives according to the meaning we give to those past experiences. Your life is not something that someone gives you, but something you choose yourself, and you are the one who decides how you live." Ichiro Kishimi, The Courage to be Disliked---
@2dogmom As much as i hate to say it, i do agree that this is not something that i would do in the work place particularly if i were in a position of management. It does make it different in that you stated the person is a friend of yours, and you asked first , so that adds context to it. But if i were in management and especially with being a male, i would be keeping my hands firmly in place lol
This reminds me of a discussion i had a while back with user @funandadventure . I had mentioned that i worked in hospice at the time. He asked if i cuddle my patients. My answer was unequivocally no i do not. When asked why, my answer was because there are boundaries and limitations that you cannot cross, and roles should not be confused. Once i was actually reported to my office because i gave a patients family member a hug and they called my supervisor and said they felt uncomfortable.
Loving the vibe of this thread. Thanks again @2dogmom
Thank you @sillysassy. I've had a lot of processing needed around when I left my ex. I had found it while browsing Barnes and Noble for hours one afternoon. Therapy put me ontrack for recovery, but the depth the book dives into philosophy of relationships and the image we see our self was deeper than I was ever expecting. I have had a problem with people pleasing and I thought it just circled around that, but the title didn't do it any justice lol. It has been far more helpful than I was expecting.
Also, I'm kind of feeling the same way about you all and this site. I'm glad to have stumbled upon this community and planning on being an active participant as much as I can. I've felt so conflicted by wanting human touch but recoiled by the thought of any new commitment-ownership.
I don't like being negative about touch, but physical contact is a boundary for some people, sometimes ; and a bad guess can have serious consequences.
Females probably have the upper "hand" here, for the same reason that they can give pat-down searches when a man can't.
I'm sure there are many situations when a man would want to give a comforting hug to a female or child, but is so scared of the consequences, that they didn't. They may need comforting after an unwanted touch, by a man, so that would make things worse.
Maybe the answer is for the man to go over, and stand close to the potential "huggee", with a stance that offers them the easy choice to hug or not. In some cases, that might be enough reassurance.
@geoff1000 agreed. One big thing I noticed is giving people the freedom to decide what THEY want. It has been so many years that we've conditioned ourselves to think we know what a person needs without even asking them. Sometimes the best words to say are "You seem sad/worried/anxious/nervous. I'd love to give you a hug but what can I do for you?"
@geoff1000 and @pmvines , I think the issue with hugging strangers we see in distress is not a male or female issue. They're in an extreme state of emotion and if we don't know them well enough, it can be even more traumatic if something in their past is triggered from the unrequested touch. When I was in group therapy, we weren't allowed to hug people in our group as they began to cry - even though half the room wanted to jump up most the time lol - for this reason explained to us - right or wrong.
My understanding of self-harming, is that the person is trying to feel in control of their situation. They harm themselves, more than others harm them, so they get to choose the pain ; like adding ballast to stabilise a ship in a rough sea, makes it less likely to sink.
In the same way, even if a hug might be exactly what a person wants, giving it, takes away the choice ; like the disappointment of finding your favourite restaurant now only serves one meal, even if it is the meal that you always have whenever you go there.
There may be a middle ground though, making it obvious that one is being offered, with the awkward social convention that makes it difficult to actually spell it out.
About 25 years ago, my then semi-significant other had her house broken into ; and when I called round, she almost fell into my arms in tears. For about one minute, as I held her, I have never before, or since, felt so "valuable" ; for want of a better word.
I hope that as and when I platonically cuddle, I can make my partner experience even a fraction of whatever I did for my S-SO that day.
I'd describe myself as an aethist, and once accused a religious friend of being kind to others, only to earn himself a place in heaven. He accused me of the same selfish behaviour, that I was only kind to others, because it made me happy.
To clarify a little for myself, the graphic talks about friends and people you care about which, to me, would be folks who wouldn't mind a hug or physical contact from you... as much?? lol It also talks about words of affirmation and expressing your platonic love for others.
I can certainly see where this concept applied outside of your close circle would be riddled with issues in today's world. Maybe I should not have used the example of my work friend and I totally get the woman v. man dynamic.
That said, I've not done a great job of telling people in my life, on all levels of intimacy, how much I love and care for them. Or wait until it is "too late." So even if we started with just that... just telling the people who are important to us that they are... that would be a great start.
Some things that go without saying, shouldn't always go without saying.
I think men are generally better at saying, by doing, ; and maybe we should do more saying, by saying.
What a beautiful thought. Saying by saying. Yes please.
@sillysassy to quote someone I care for... “Indeed”
This may be only me, but :
A man finds it easier to say "I care about you" by risking their life to slay a ( metaphorical ) dragon, than by saying those words out loud.
Easier to drive 100 miles in the middle of the night, and say "Hi", than to be more eloquent on the phone.
A man's ego is the most delicate part of his anatomy, and they are very reluctant to risk it being broken.
A female co-worker once complained that when male employees needed help, they would usually ask another man, implying she was less qualified. I assured her that it was instead because a man would rather look stupid and helpless in front of another man.
As a real millennial (at thirty years old, I'm right in the 23-38 age range for that), yeah, I kind of think the social setting we're in makes a difference to what behavior's appropriate.
Would I really want to work in a place where it's seen as normal to cuddle a coworker during a meeting? Eh....
I feel like it would make me seem really cold, 'cause I'd definitely turn down every cuddle that was offered. No thanks, I'd rather not behave that way in a professional setting. Even if you're my very bestest friend in all the world, I'm playing a different role right now (or at least trying to).
This might just be me, but I find it easier to focus on work when I know I'm just supposed to be a worker. A cuddle would... uh... throw off my groove. Unless I was a pro cuddler, I guess.
That said, normalizing platonic intimacy in non-work settings seems like a great goal for the new year!
Just reading this post is inspirational. Thank you all. Happy New Year.
Everyone is different. What you love to do, you think others will love too, but that is not realistic. The fact is, some people love hugs and some people don’t.
I’m here because I love hugs and cuddling and I hope to find others with the same mindset. I hope that’s why we are all here.
In the general public you will encounter all manner of opinions about hugs, so always use caution.
@2dogmom - I'm with you there. I let go of New Year's resolutions and found:
Here's to today and what we have and the intentions we act on, instead of think about (I'm looking at you, unused gym membership).
Peace, good people.
@geoff1000 well said. It does make me sad that men, in general, have been conditioned (?) by society to not share their feelings/be vulnerable. I know firsthand it can lead to lots of heartaches.
@DarrenWalker I feel like I may have done a disservice to my OP with my example. It wasn't a statement on ages first. Also, again, I work for a smaller nonprofit, not a Fortune 500 company, and it had been a SHIT week of sadness and death and more sadness. So yeah I was giving my friend a hug. In our world, empathy is everything and showing empathy as a leader can actually be a good thing.
@safensecure4u2 thanks for chiming in and your kind words.
@MrPaul again my thoughts are not to jump strangers in public, but even if we just start opening our hearts and showing more love and being more vulnerable with those who are supposed to be closest to us, that would be huge.
@Sideon you're awesome sauce with a side of super special. "Practicing gratitude and kindness to myself and others as a way of life instead of a reaction and an expectation." <<<< ALL THIS! I am finally, hopefully, learning to be good to myself so I can be good to others as a way of life, as well.
I'm gonna just keep bringing it.
(MOD) Comment removed due to racial reference. Please try again. [SoulcuddlerZ]
I will try again although the person is white.
If people are saying it is inappropriate in the workplace it is harassment.i will leave race out this time but you probably feel empowered to touch whoever you want because you are a woman.if it were a man it would be described as rapey and creepy.that is because it is.
A man can do a pat down search on another man, and a woman on another woman. In the UK at least, a child under about 14 of either gender, can only be searched by a woman.
That is a reflection of the behaviour of some men, and yes, we will have to live with that for a while yet.
The talking horses in Gulliver's Travels never lied, so they had no word for it, and instead referred to "saying the thing which is not". One day maybe, the word "rape" will become obsolete.
Goodness, I TRULY did not mean this thread to turn into a study on sexual harassment. It was simply meant, again, to encourage people to be more affectionate with people CLOSE to you or that you know WELL. I don't know about others, but I've seen blood relatives, brothers and sisters, who don't hug/touch/kiss. Or even spouses. That is sad to me.
@2dogmom - you do you. There wasn't anything wrong with what you initiated.
As is most cases on CC, trash and trolls tend to take themselves out. Sometimes not quickly enough, but it'll happen.
I would, however, kiss your handsome face.