The different types of hugs

Updated April 17, 2017

Man is a social animal. People need connectivity and reaching out and touching someone is the way to do it. Hugging someone is a way to demonstrate caring. Both the hugger and the person being hugged are warmed by the contact. Physical contact between people helps create a bond between two individuals. There are people who are warm, friendly and demonstrative; these people enjoy hugging others to show the extent of their caring. Others may not be so physically inclined, preferring to care in other ways without the physical contact. Society, culture and upbringing can all impact the way a person demonstrates affection.


Couples in love are easy to spot because they are constantly touching each other. A touch on the arm, stroking of the face, holding hands and the biggest give away of all is hugging frequently. When a couple meets, the hug they share can best be described as the union of two bodies. It is an all enveloping hug that shows the joy of being together and the depth of their love. Couples also hug when they are together at the movies, a restaurant and with friends. Hugging is a form of physical contact that helps people in love to constantly communicate this love to the other person.

Fathers and Children

Fathers are always viewed by their children as the tough guys who can take on the world and defeat it. Fathers have been generalised as the nonhugging parent, but this is not true. When a father carries a little one in his arms, it is a form of hugging that tells the child she is safe. Some fathers wrap their arms around their children and give them what is termed a bear hug. This all-embracing hug conveys warmth, love and caring in its fullness. Fathers also hug their children at night; the child may be asleep as the father gently hugs the little one to his chest.

Mothers and Children

Mothers are generally seen as the more loving and demonstrative parent. A small child will nine times out of 10 seek out his mother when he needs to be hugged. Moms are seen as the huggers in the family. A scraped knee, a bruised elbow or a bump on the forehead will all be taken care of and the pain made to go away when Mom hugs the child. Mothers hug their children with a fierce passion to show their love. Teenage and adult children are hugged in a way that shows the parent's support. It could be just a cheek-to-cheek hug, but there's a wealth of meaning in the gesture.


Friends, both male and female, have a tendency to hug each other when they meet regardless of the duration since the last meeting. Men grab each other in a quick hug and then step back as if ashamed of being so demonstrative. Sometimes a man will grab hold of his friend's shoulders and pull him forward into a quick hug. These hugs express the pleasure the hugger feels at meeting a good friend. Women, who are the more demonstrative sex, generally catch each other up in a tight hug while either squealing with joy or speaking rapidly to show their happiness.

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About the Author

Devon Willis started writing in 2002. He has worked for publication houses like Edward Elgar Publishing and Nelson Thornes in Gloucestershire, England. He has a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in mass communication from the University of Gloucestershire and London Metropolitan University, respectively.