The Hug Initiation Protocol

When I read Steve Pavlina's blog post Just Frakkin Hug Me, I was inspired. I like hugs! Why couldn't I just hug people more often instead of being all shy and inhibited?

Well, for one, I'm shy and inhibited. Also, hugs are unusual, at least among guys, and so people might read more into my actions than I really intend. But mostly, I just don't know how to go about it in the first place. How do you give someone a hug, especially if they're not used to it?

So naturally, I did some research, and put together this handy Hug Initiation Protocol that breaks the process down into clear, concrete steps. You might think that this is a bit much, but socially awkward nerds like me need all the help we can get. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. ;) You tell me.

Hug Initiation Protocol

1. Make eye contact with your intended hug recipient.

2. Stand still. Do not rush at your intended hug recipient.

3. Hold your arms out, in front or to the side, palms open and up, in an inviting gesture that clearly signals your intent to hug.

4. Keep a neutral or positive facial expression. Do not scowl at your intended hug recipient, unless you are a little kid who looks particularly cute and huggable while scowling.

5. If your intended hug recipient does not respond, you may either abort your hug attempt or verbally offer a hug in case your intended hug recipient did not recognize your intent to hug.

6. If your intended hug recipient responds by hugging you, then congratulations! You have successfully initiated a hug.

7. Attempt to sustain the hug for at least one full inhalation and exhalation of breath. A quick hug indicates that you are hugging out of a sense of obligation rather than a sincere desire to connect.

8. But if your hug recipient attempts to disengage, you must respond with immediate disengagement as well.

9. While hugging, do not rub or pat your hug recipient on the back. Patting is a sign of insecurity, and rubbing is just awkward. Don't do it.

10. That's it!

Yes, I know I'm silly. :p

Have fun putting it into practice. And I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving today! :)