Do You Ever Want to Hug Strangers? I Do.

Free Hugs

I really do want to hug strangers sometimes. Like when I see someone walking by themselves without a smile, I just want to hug them. They probably need a hug. Or if I notice someone being really mean to someone else I just want to grab them both into a big hug and just let the love flow through me to them. If I acted on this impulse I am 100% sure I could single-handedly create world peace. Or get murdered.

Is this odd? People seem to think this is odd. My heart just goes out to everyone. Seriously, everyone (except cute guys because then I freeze up like a popsicle). The man asking for money at the stoplight on my way to work seems like he probably hasn’t bathed in months and is missing his teeth but his sign says “Hungry Hungry Hobo” and I just think that is really clever and he deserves a hug for it. I bet he would really appreciate a hug. And a sandwich. Or the cashier at the lunch spot I usually eat at, every time he takes my credit card to swipe it he says “Aw, dang girl, you have a black card? You must be a 12 millionaire.” And even though I know I’m not a 12 millionaire I want to give him a hug for saying it. Or the women I saw wearing a fanny-pack. I just want to hug her. I don’t know why I feel such affection for total strangers- I just do.

I usually don’t act on my impulse to hug because of several reasons.

1. People will think I am a creepy creepy creepster.

2. Someone will most likely call the cops.

3. The stranger I’m hugging might be a creepy creepy creepster and then stalk me and murder me and wear my skin as a summer dress.

4. I might get punched in the face.

5. I might get shot in the face.

These are all really good and compelling reasons not to hug strangers. But I still want to. And I can’t help but think that if everyone else had this same impulse and actually acted on it, even if it was just sometimes, then the whole world would be a better place. Because hugs cure diseases and broken hearts (and that is my medical opinion). It would be like in Care Bears except everyone would be Love-A-Lot Bear or TenderHeart Bear. Let’s be Care Bears people!

TenderHeart Bear Care Bears

Be just like me!

And then I remember I don’t live in a cartoon (despite all my efforts) and I go back to reason number 5 which is probably what would happen to people if they acted like Care Bears. I guess I will just have to continue sending my hugs subliminally (which no one has proved to me doesn’t work) and hope all these strangers know I would absolutely without a doubt hug them if they wouldn’t shoot me in the face.

37 thoughts on “Do You Ever Want to Hug Strangers? I Do.

  1. I not only always feel the urge… but I actually do it all the time. Its really kinda uncontrollable for me. I wish everyone was like this.

  2. Every time I see a cute girl, I always get a crazy urge to hug her. Too bad I’m absolutely terrified of talking to girls. :(

  3. I’m only 12 and there’s this girl at my school that just want to hug sometimes.( and no I’m not a lesbian) like today in chorus we had substitute so we were doing this music worksheet since we can’t watch a movie without shutting up. I sit by her and she was done so she was reading a book and I just wanted to hug her all of a sudden. Is that creepy?

  4. I like to give hugs to strangers too like it becomes a Regular thing we give them to Pple all the time & we record it too haha lol we do all types of crazy things :o …but I do know what you mean by you not giving hugs but tbh your not gonna get killed it punched or anything like that …lol if so I’ve would have been in te hospital :o ..
    & yeah I give cute guys hugs all the time *_* lol they give Em back …just do it might as well you never know this may be your last hug your able to give …live to love, love I live.
    -London *Hugs* (:

  5. I love giving hugs to strangers when they need it! I used to work in a metaphysical shop and I still hang out there sometimes. You would be surprised at how many people come in in need of help. Usually they just need someone to listen care and give them hugs. I’m a natural energy worker (like Reiki, but a bit different) and I know how much positive energy is created and exchanged when someone gets/gives a hug. It’s great!

    I love giving people hugs, but I always trust my intuition about who to give a hug to. The creepy guy who keeps staring at me at the cafe I like, who makes me want to go home and shower doesn’t get a hug. The nice stressed out looking mother who seems like she is about to cry gets one though. Actually she gets at least one.

    Oh, good rule of thumb, always ask some one if they want a hug first and wait till they say yes. Helps prevent misunderstandings later. Though I usually don’t bother with close friends/family that I know well and whose moods I can read very well.

    • Yes, asking before hugging sounds like a good rule to put into practice. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: Hug freely « Be Nice.

  7. My friends called me “care bear” in elementary school because I would always be there for them. So funny.

    This is a great post. You can definitely find ways to hug people emotionally by being kind and sensitive, thoughtful, compassionate.

    I hug my husband ridiculous amounts of times, and my mom, sister, and I give each other “mental hugs” over the phone (we imagine hugging one another, since we’re a thousand miles apart). And the crazy part? It totally does its job!! :-)

    Really enjoying your blog.

  8. I feel the same way sometimes! I too wish we lived in a world where hugs were appropriate all the time, even hugs with strangers. I remember I was going through some pretty emotional turmoil, and I was at the grocery store. Something made me cry, and I literally walked up and down the aisles crying my eyes out as I shopped. I got many strange looks. I bet if one person had just hugged me, or approached me and even said, “you look like you a need a hugm” it would have made me feel a hundred times better. But instead, people just stared, wondered to themselves what in the world was wrong with me, and when along their business. Oh well….

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I like your fluffy world…full of Care Bears, puppies and kittens, but I’m afraid I’m not a ‘stranger hugger’ either. Most of the people around here I feel like punching for gross stupidity or simple arrogance. I live in an area where people have lots of money, though I don’t, we just rent, and the people are quite horrid. Our neighbours either side are lovely but the people in the surrounding houses are nasty. They don’t even smile back at you, in fact I’m sure I can hear them growling!

  10. no, it’s not just you.

    though your hug-subjects vastly differ from mine. I’d say cranky kids, cute babies and hot guys (though yes, that would never happen cuz i would just prolly move to the other direction.)

    the rest of list would include the biatchy immigration lady, the parking lot attendant who spent the whole day in the sun and is most likely underpaid, and the cleaning lady in the dormitory…

    study did say that 7 hugs a day is beneficial not only for a person’s emotional health, but his/her physical health as well.

  11. I can totally relate!!It happens to me all the time. When I see an elderly crossing the street all by himself, or someone that looks sad or down, the urge to hug them is very hard to suppress. It isn’t odd at all, I think it’s quite beautiful actually. You’re a compassionate person and that’s lovely :)
    Again I love your writing style! Great work ;)

  12. you are sooo not alone… hugs are a very powerful healing tool as well..

    stop, hug, feel, (and i meant a good tight hug). it works wonders. for me at least.

    in my opinion, hugs are the spiritual representation of one’s positive energy flowing through another.

    It can really help someone psychogically. Here i leave you with a poem:

    It’s wondrous what a hug can do.
    A hug can cheer you when you’re blue
    A hug can say, “I love you so,”
    Or, “I hate to see you go.”
    A hug is “Welcome back again.”
    And “Great to see you! Where ‘er you been?”
    A hug can soothe a small child’s pain
    And bring a rainbow after rain.
    The hug, there’s just no doubt about it —
    We scarcely could survive without it!
    A hug delights and warms and charms;
    It must be why God gave us arms
    Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
    Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers;
    And chances are your favorite aunts
    love them more than potted plants.
    Kittens crave them, puppies love them,
    Heads of states are not above them.
    A hug can break the language barrier
    And make your travel so much merrier.
    No need to fret about your store of ‘em;
    The more you give, the more there are of ‘em.
    So stretch those arms without delay
    And give someone a hug today!
    – Dean Walley, (the Messenger)

    So just do it!

    if someone slap you, hug them again!


  13. Random hugs from strangers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. When I worked in newspapers, I had to write a story once about a group of latter-day hippies having a get-together in a national forest, and a naked man named Bear Cub hugged me. I’d interviewed him, and as I was leaving, he said, “C’mon, give me a hug, big guy.” So, I’m kind of wary of the whole idea. Random smiles are OK, though. :-)

  14. Hugs are great and I crave them. Your reasons for not hugging a stranger are very logical and may save your life. But, I think I have a couple of ways you might be able to get your hugging done safely . . .
    I saw a college experiment on the news a few weeks ago .. people walking around with free hug signs, giving hugs to who ever came up for one … and people came to them like magnets … you could try that.
    Or, it is not really the same thing, but there is a man that sits at my local Walmart and hands out these little slips of paper with a hug poem on it.

    I wrote about bear hugs about a year ago:

  15. Oh, and this:

  16. I have the same “compulsion” you do. Personally, I know sometimes I really do need a hug to feel better, it doesn’t always matter who it comes from, and I think other people probably feel the same. In this day of digital everything, I don’t think everyone realizes what they’re missing, or even what they can gain really, from a little human interaction. I will totally help you with your quest for world peace by hugging people who need it!

  17. Glad to see there is at least one happy soul left on the planet. I can’t remember the last time i’ve even been hugged by someone who wasn’t family.

  18. I think people already thought of things like these back in the 60’s. First they gave hugs to each other, then they shared their drugs, then they all started getting it on. At least I think that’s what happened, I wasn’t born until two decades later. I can’t say for sure. This is a good idea though. I read about people who stood on street corners offering “free hugs” to everyone. They gave and got a lot of hugs.

  19. Maybe this will become a show about nothing in the future :)

    And no, I never ever want to hug strangers. I don’t want to have anything to do with strangers. Or most people, for that matter.




    Please don’t hug me.

    • I hope this becomes a show about nothing. That would be everything. Also, like it or not, I am totally sending you a mental hug. Sorry.

  20. I feel like doing this sometimes but with complete strangers, acquaintinces you may say. i always wonder what will their reaction be if i gave them a hug like that out of the blues?? its fun to just imagine doing it

  21. you get so many comments!!!! ur so lucky!!!! i should work on that to : P

    • No luck involved sister. You have got the mad writing chops! I wish we knew each other personally. Then we could hang out and snark on snarky people until we decide to hug everyone. I’ll totally be your hug wing man, kind of like Top Gun only without Goose or scientologists.

      • I could really use a hug wing-man. That might be one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. Yes, I do enjoy snarking on the snarkies. Also, I like the word snarky.

  22. nice one. you can really come up with random reasons to write about(thats a good thing)….im still working on that.
    keep huggin em strangers!!!

    • Thanks! I have a goal to build my entire life around randomness. It’s going pretty well.

  23. I love hugs. They totally make life worth living.
    I also love that that guy says you’re a 12 millionaire. Maybe you should hug him and then buy him flowers and marry him or something….or not…

    • Maybe I should! We’ll see how things go. He is very awesome and very huggable that guy.

  24. I would SO love to live in a Care Bear world.

    I, too, have fought the hug-jones, and curiously enough, reason #3 is exactly my motivation to keep my arms to myself. So, instead, I send virtual hugs. When I see someone hug-worthy, I just send them a little imaginary hug. I hope it’s working!

    Here’s one for you…..

  25. I’ll join you in sending hugs out to people, even if subliminally! Hugs are amazing things. They can always make you smile especially if it’s well meant. Sometimes it’s all anyone needs.
    And Care Bears are awesome-sauce. =)

    • Thanks for reading! I wonder if I should try and organize like a “hug-day” or something…..


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