07/22/14

Hug Someone For Sanity's Sake

By Melanie Spring

I love hugs. I think of myself as a hug connoisseur.
I give fantastic hugs. Seriously. Come hug me. 

Watching the movie Her, I saw the future of humanity walking around talking to little earpieces. They weren’t interacting with each other at all. No one was touching anyone else, not even shaking hands. It was isolating, which led to the main character buying an OS he could talk to. He needed something he wasn’t getting.

We need touch. Having someone hug you is one of the best ways to feel welcome quickly. (Creepy, lingering hugs excepted.) Many of us walk through our days without it. I can always tell when I haven’t been hugged or touched in awhile - I become miserable and start putting up walls.

Sisarina was built on a culture of hugging. We hug each other before the weekends, before vacations, when we’re having a rough time, or just because. When we interview, we ask about personal space. We’re not all kumbaya about it, but we want our crew members and clients to know they are part of the Sisarina family. We have dogs to snuggle when we sit on the couch for meetings. 

One of my coworkers had a tyrant of a previous boss. He made his team cry. Her compassionate, loving soul was able to reach out to them through the comfort of a hug. But her boss didn’t like it. She was reprimanded for hugging her colleagues. He told her it wasn’t part of her job. Her humanity was squashed. She didn’t last very long in that workplace. 

Not every company culture is open to hugging. Tim Sackett even wrote 11 Rules for Hugging in the Workplace, just to keep hugging in perspective. Have you ever found yourself yelling “HR" across the office when the guy in the cubicle next to you hugs you from behind? Yikes. 

“We need four hugs a day for survival.
We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.
We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

We need touch. We need 4 hugs a day just to survive! I’m VERY behind on my hug quotient. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  1. Hug your friends.
    Next time you’re out with friends, make sure to hug them all. When you arrive and again when you leave. They get hugs and you get hugs. Win win.
  2. Hug your acquaintances.
    t your next Rotary meeting, hug your fellow Rotarians. At your next accountability group meeting, hug those holding you accountable. Whoever you get together with on a regular basis, start hugging them.
  3. Hug your pets.
    Or find someone with snuggly animals and hug those ones. Dogs need touch and crave your attention. They’ll love you holding them.
  4. Hug your family. Your significant other, your kids, your parents and siblings, your nieces and nephews, your grandparents. Hug them. Hug them numerous times while you’re around them. Don’t hold back. 
  5. Hug a tree.
    Ok, not literally - but go outside and take off your shoes. Put your bare feet into the earth (it’s called earthing) and just sit. Being touched this way will get you grounded.

How many hugs have you had today?
Go get a few more. You’ll thank me for it.

Melanie Spring
Chief Inspiration Officer
Read Melanie's bio


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