I’ve never liked it and I’ve always felt it was an unnecessary gesture of appeasement to the “getting in touch with your feelings” crowd: the Bro-Hug. I have nothing against men hugging men as a gesture of goodwill, farewell, or an act of sympathy during times of loss. Yet, the Bro-Hug has become this imposition-cum-salutation as I so frequently see now, especially on television. Like it or not, our media does have influence on us and this is one instance where I wish people would just stop. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t want to hug you unless I really know you and feel you are deserving of a hug.
It has gotten to a point now where if I’m shaking hands with someone, I stiffen up to try to non-verbally indicate there would be no hugging. I have gotten some strange looks, actually, and I wonder if this hasn’t, in some people’s minds, influenced their opinion of me simply because I would not play the superficial game. This isn’t the Tour de France and I’m not going to give anybody the peck-on-the-cheek, which is what I believe the Bro-Hug has come to resemble: the facile “Hollywood kiss.”
I’ve also observed that men are simultaneously “blocking” one another with the crooks of their arms as they shake while administering the Bro-Hug. Talk about non-verbal communications – I think this indicates a discomfort in this gesture, so I’m probably not alone in this attitude. Actually, I feel quite certain I’m not since I have heard the complaint from others.
So, not to make too much of this, but enough with the hug! What are you actually trying to say if you are one of these huggers? What next, belly bucking? Full-on male territorial tilts? Give the Bro-Hug a rest. You don’t need it and it will save us all a little discomfort; because, meeting someone for the first time is uncomfortable enough anyway, right?