Not A Hugger? Science May Know Why
A recent study proved getting a hug from someone can boost your mood for as much as 24 hours, and blunt the effects of a bad day. But science be damned, there are some people who just don't like being hugged.
Now scientists think they have a hold on why.
Suzanne Degges-White, a professor of counseling at Northern Illinois University, says how a person was raised has a lot to do with whether they like being hugged or not.
Long story short, if you got lots of hugs from your parents, you're probably a hugger, and if not, you're probably not. "Our tendency to engage in physical touch -- whether hugging, a pat on the back, or linking arms with a friend -- is often a product of our early childhood experiences," Degges-White tells TIME. She cites a 2012 study that notes that, concluding, "hugging is an important element in a child’s emotional upbringing."
However, Degges-White also expressed that some people who weren't hugged a lot as kids can actually go the other way: hug starved, they, as adults, seek out doing so even in social situations.
Long story short, unless you know a person is comfortable with it, maybe stick to a handshake.