The 100 Day Writing Project
I am a hugger. I am officially a hugger. I hug people when I’m first introduced to them. And I’ll hug them goodbye like I’ve always known them. As a child I used to be fascinated seeing grown ups hug each other, men and women included. I had only seen these things in movies! So as I grew up, I officially declared myself a hugger as hugging xoxo was so cool. I still think it’s a warm, friendly gesture and means no harm or doesn’t have any underlying motives.
My problem is with unsolicitedly hugging women . When it comes from close family and friends in times of need of consoling it is acceptable. When it’s a manner of greeting or a happy moment, it is acceptable. But when she is raging and pointing out how and why she has been outraged, if you hug her in that moment, you are not consoling her, you are patronising her. Women do not need you to smother their voices with your hugs. Women need to be heard. They need for their opinion to be listened to, understood, accepted. Believed.
Sounds given and not even something we need to ask for, right? WRONG. You will be shocked at the number of times a woman has been “hugged to silence” when she is fighting for herself, or others, or what she believes in. When her anger has been belittled and tossed away with two outstretched arms.
What exactly are you trying to achieve when you hug a screaming woman? To calm her down? Well, good morning, if you asking her to calm down would calm her down she wouldn’t be angry in the first place.
Hugging her is not going to pacify her. On the contrary it’s going to add fuel to the fire. It’s a suppressant, not a support.
At the cost of sounding sexist, it takes a lot to make a woman lose her cool-we have been conditioned to be the more real, pragmatic, understanding, sophisticated, polished, and sympathetic humans that we are and in fact more often than not we assume its out fault such is male entitlement-so when she does lose her cool, it means she has been really, truly enraged. And she does not want to be hugged. And no, she is not PMSing.
Let her lose it.
Hear her out.
Don’t. Hug. Her.