So while I was growing up, I was really not into physical displays of affection. My friends and I rarely had that bff’s-hugging-each-other-away-all-the-time kind of thing going on.
But then, I met one of the most amazing persons I’ve ever known – my best friend since summer school in England in 1998 – Ariana Salavert. We were about 15 of us on a Student Exchange program that summer, deep in the heart of England, in a county called Shropshire. And I happened to strike up a conversation with a girl coming out of the girls’ dormitory all alone. Never did I imagine that that would be the start of a lifetime of sisterhood. But to cut a long story short, Ariana quickly became one of “us” that summer, and when the time came to say goodbye, we couldn’t stop crying and hugging.
And I will always credit her for turning me into a hug-addict. Ariana’s hugs – changed the stone cold me into a real person.
Today, as I woke up and felt the need for a long, big, teddy bear hug, I thought of blogging about the importance of affection display. Unabashed at that.
Towards a family member, a friend, a colleague, a team mate, a pet animal. Why should we feel embarrassed about displaying loving feelings towards anyone, anywhere, anytime?
So here are my top 5 personal favourite ways of displaying affection. Sweet, innocent, and with marvelous after-effects.
I strongly advise using them anytime, anywhere, and as often as possible. : )
Number 5. The Head Pat / The Hair Ruffle
Since I’ve grown up with dogs around me, I’ve seen the happy, dreamy looks that this brings.
And guess what, it works just the same on us!
If I’m feeling an uncontrollable urge to display affection towards someone that may or may not be a very close friend, I tend to gently give a hair ruffle.
What I’m trying to say by doing that is – aww, you’re cute! / you’re kinda crazy and I like! / you’re sweet! / what you just did or said made my day so thank you! / I don’t know you well enough to hug you so here’s a hair ruffle to tell you that I would if I could!
Generally, it always get a smile in return.
Number 4. The Back Hug
This is such a favourite! Not only does it make one feel like you’ve got their back, it also indicates I don’t want to let you go (in case it’s the romantic type), or you’re so awesome I want to give you a tight squeeze (for the non romantic person in your life). Could be used a lot on your partner, your BFF, your siblings, parents. Always works!
Best thing about this – it doesn’t look overly PDA-ish, and yet manages to communicate feelings effectively, so it can be used very very often in public, without making other people around you uncomfortable.
Me personally? Just makes me feel protected. : )
Number 3. Eye contact with a smile.
This may not count as a “physical display” of affection to some people but I think it ranks way up there when it comes to effectively communicating an emotion.
And I always believe that you don’t need to ‘physically’ touch a person to really touch them. Eye contact is about the souls communicating. Add a smile to that, and it works as strongly as a tight hug would!
Can be used on every person that means a lot to you, anytime, anywhere, no holds barred, totally acceptable by one and all!
Me personally? Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Brangelina do it all the time!
Oh, and don’t forget to make eye contact when saying “Cheers!”
You know what they say about that.
Number 2. The Classic Hug.
Hi, my name is Jyoti and I’m addicted to hugs. I try to stop myself but I can’t. I’ve tried everything, but I think I’m doomed for life.
Seriously, don’t hugs just make all your problems in the world melt away?! They do mine!
I mean, everyone from Winnie the Pooh to Calvin & Hobbes are all about the hugs…
Even the animals get it..
…so why not us people? Why do we hold back? Just go ahead and hug someone today! Hug lots of people today. Why?
These people are doing humankind a huge service. Spreading love like that, how awesome!
And I think it should be a mandate in every family: Everybody gets a hug when they wake up in the morning, and before they leave the house.
Hugs are the easiest way to communicate, heart to heart.
And even if the person you want to hug isn’t around, use these a lot. It’ll also make their day : )
Number 1. Holding Hands.
Hands down – top of my list! No pun intended.
Now, I know a lot of people will say that hugs are better than holding hands. But I disagree. I also know that you can hug anyone from a friend to a colleague to a family member to a partner. But you can’t just reach out and hold everyone’s hand. But that’s exactly why this makes it more special to me. Because not everyone’s touch works the same way.
Holding hands to me is the most intimate and romantic thing ever. It tells you so many things all at once… and so subtly.
I don’t want to start sounding cheesy or mushy, but try it and you’ll see what I mean. When someone holds my hand, I instantly feel calmer, happier, more loved, and just more at peace.
Remember Jhilmil in Barfi? She had to hold the little finger at night to be able to sleep? : )
Whether you’re trying to comfort someone, or just listen to them, or just be with them… nothing works like reaching out and holding their hand.
So there you have it. My 5 favourite affection displaying gestures.
Damn – I feel awesome after just writing about them!
Until next time – keep spreading the love and keep Being Awesome : )