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Tonya Reiman

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Are you a man that hugs or have you ever seen two men hugging and wonder why or what it means?

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What are the different types of "man hugs" we are noticing today? Men typically hug with either one hand, one hand with a handshake, one hand with a back pat, one hand with a shoulder bump, two hands (aka bear hug) or two hands with a back pat.

It is interesting how times are changing in that it is suddenly acceptable for men to hug – even in public. Not too long ago this was mostly acceptable in the sports arena only. What do you think the "man hug" says about you? or about both men in the hug?

Let’s go through the basics of these hugs and discuss what statement or thought the hug might offer:

Men hugging in general demonstrates that there is some level of self confidence (of course, if you are not a man hugger this does not make you insecure) as the hug shows that the hugger is comfortable in his own skin. Usually the hugger is a quite extroverted person.

Men have also made it a point to almost perfect the man hug to ensure that it does not appear feminine at all.
Most of the hugs men partake in involve just the upper body ensuring the lower portions of the body never need touch.

When two men hug with a handshake between them it comes across as closeness with a small barrier between the two permitting each of the men to demonstrate their affection for one another while maintaining a sense of tradition.

This differs somewhat from when men hug and slap or pat each other on the back which offers a chance for each hugger to show regard while at the same time confirm their masculinity by hitting the other on the back (quite a manly gesture). 

In addition, there is the two handed bear hug which is the only one in which the lower body has a chance to actually touch (most men, however, will pull back their hips to guarantee there is no contact). This hug is usually reserved for men who are quite close or who have just experienced a life altering event such as a celebration or a death.

Overall, the man hug is coming into it’s own. Men are much more comfortable touching other men today which to some might be alarming while to others it is quite comforting – proving that we can open ourselves up to new things, new emotions and new opportunities for closeness.

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