When meeting someone for the first time, how do you know if it's okay to hug them?
- Sarah Chan, Social Advocate & Piano Teacher
“Great question, especially in this day and age when it is so important to balance friendliness and openness with being respectful and appropriate.
My suggestion is this - as a general rule, it is usually best to not try to hug anyone unless you know them well enough to trust that they would both be receptive to the hug and see it in the context that it is meant; or unless you have asked them first and explained that you are a hugger but you also understand and respect that not everyone else is.
Give people the option of a hug, a handshake, or a friendly fist bump - whatever is safe and comfortable for both people involved. And never make assumptions that you know what they prefer - ask/clarify to be sure - the process of asking helps you connect even more!”
- Kim Silverthorn, B.A., R.P.C., M.P.C.C.