You should not be ashamed if you, too, are a hugger like me (yes I even hugged a tree). My question to men is ths: Why is hugging another man seen as a less then masculine? Why are there still men who see two other men embracing one another and will say out loud what they are thinking “that is so ***.”
I cannot speak for women—there might be a group of women who do not like to be hugged. However, we are here today to help the men out.
This conversation started when a friend of mine was having a bad day. When anyone around me is having a bad day, I go into “fixer” mode by trying to get them on track to the happiness train (OK even in my head this sounds, well um, unmanly to the perspective of traditional male stereotypes.) I asked my friend if he needed a hug. You might already imagine this was the wrong question to ask. Then I had to ask what was the big deal? What is the big deal? Is it me?
Maybe I am very naïve when it comes to treating others as they want to be treated. Maybe it was the fact that my parents raised me differently. Maybe it is that I do not care what societal expectations are.
In my observation of when it is OK by traditional male stereotypes to hug another man:
Your team won __________(fill in the championship).
Well there you go, this is the only time it is OK to hug another man.
Lucky for you I am a trained parenting coach and certified hockey coach too. With those two credentials let me honestly tell you that hugging another man is not going to harm your masculinity. There you go. Do you feel better?
My dad taught me some great lessons that have helped me in the world of fatherhood. To this day as we are getting ready to hang up the phone or if I am in town we (wait for it) hug and tell each other that we love them. With not only my son but with the bonus daughters (this will need a better in-depth behind the curtain sometime because I do have a different relationship with the two ladies) we hug and tell and say “I love you.”
Many times on my podcast the question to the guest is “are men still living in the past?” My point is that the role of the dad back in the 1950’s was not to show love, or say to their son “I love you” but was OK if he says it to his daughter or wife.
We have seen in the past people giving hugs after some type of social injustice. There is even a website called “Free Hug Project” that has inspired me to hug more. Please click on the link to learn the wonderful story of how Free Hug Project started.
This piece may or may not change your view men about hugging. Personally, the stigma of it being an unmanly thing needs to stop. The way to work up to hugging another man might be to start with a tree or is that also too unmanly because of the “wood”?
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