Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Have No Idea Who To Hug

I am 31-years-old, and I still have no idea what to do in most social situations. I usually do fairly well despite not truly knowing what I'm doing. But if there is one situation where I am a bumbling buffoon, it is how to greet and say goodbye to people. Basically, I have no idea who to hug.

There are some simple situations. If I don't know a dude, bam, handshake, nothing more, nothing less. It is probably my favorite interaction simply because I actually know what to do. 

Then there are the males you are close to in your life. My Dad is the only male that I can guarantee gets a full hug from me. Some good friends get a full hug, and some only get a bro hug. Where is that line crossed? Shit, I have no clue, and this can lead to my first awkward interaction. If I go for a bro hug, and he goes for a full hug, I could seem like I do not value the friendship enough, and it is much more that I am too awkward to figure out how to interact with people. But seriously, thank god for the bro hug for giving me something between a hug and handshake, because there really needed to be that middle ground. Still, interactions with the fellas rarely end in disaster.

Now, much like all of my interactions with the opposite sex, there is always a chance of it ending in disaster. Who do I hug without coming across as a pervert? This is a question that has plagued mankind for generations. 

With people from work, it always starts with handshakes, but eventually, you do develop a friendly relationship, and what is the point where you give a female coworker a hug for special situations (obviously, you don't give handshakes and hugs to people you see very day; that would be exhausting). I have no idea where this line is crossed. The President of where I currently work went to give me a hug at our Christmas party, but I had already gone for the handshake, and it ended up with me believing I would be fired by the end of the day. I went out of my way to give her a hug later and probably saved my job at the process.

With female friends and acquaintances, it is almost too complicated to fully comprehend. At what point do ladies go from a handshake to a hug? Like, if I am meeting an acquaintance's significant other, I can only greet with a handshake, but after conversing with them, do I end with a hug? And how good of a friend does my buddy need to be for me to greet his lady with a hug despite never meeting her before? Are they going to think I'm a pervert? I really don't want to be labeled a pervert, but I also don't want to be the weirdo who only shakes ladies' hands. These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night.

Anyway, I'm really hoping that I'm not the only person who struggles with this. Maybe we could start a support group and figure this shit out together. Oh God, I just realized how big of a loser I am, because I basically want to create The Game, but instead of having sex with women, it's just to figure out handshakes and hugs. Thank God I'm already married, because I am not a catch.

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