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How Long Is Too Long For A Hug?

Justin Bieber & Ron Burgundy
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

To give you some background on why I surveyed friends on Facebook, I was at National Night Out with the KROC crew. We went to a neighborhood party and at the end as I was leaving a woman yelled for me to come back and give her a hug. I think, why not, she looks innocent and nice? Of course! I run back and she hugs me really tight. I pull away after a few seconds and she pulls me back in real close stating “20 seconds hugs! You have to hug longer than that!” Of course I complied as I was locked into her strong embrace. Lol! It made me think, what’s your comfort zone? How long is TOO long for a hug? Here’s some responses from some friends. Some are hilarious and some really really sweet.





Hard to imagine a scenario where I’m hugging a person I don’t know…unless my goal was to creep them out. In that case…as long as it took.






If you pull away, and they pull you close, again… Awkward.






If it’s someone you don’t know in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, I would say 20 seconds is good….But I’ve generally found that the hug ends by the time they press that last #1 on their phone when they are calling 911.






Depends what it is for and what country/culture. Europe is more touchy feely than America for instance






Peripheral friend or passing acquaintance, 1 second. Good friend, 3 seconds. Someone you wish to show interest in, 5seconds. Someone you are involved with or just haven’t seen in far too long, go as long as you need.






Often that time is determined but how many adult beverages I’ve drank before the hug………….







I like long hugs. Awkwardly long hugs. You are going to get one in about 35-45 min.






Focusing on loving thoughts has neurological benefits. Neurophysiologists have found that when people practice loving kindness or compassion meditation, the left frontal cortex, which is deactivated during trauma, lights up. This brain activity is correlated with subjective feelings of happiness and peace. Other neurological studies show that a 20-second hug stimulates the production of oxytocin, the hormone associated with feelings of love and safety. When we simply imagine being hugged or sense our own tender touch on the cheek or the chest, ocytocin is released. Through visualizations, words, or touch, meditation on love changes brain activity so that positive emotions arise and traumatic reactivity is reduced.






When my son died, I couldn’t get enough or long enough hugs. Now I am happy with any hugs at all.






Am I hugging my best friend and his girlfriend is also standing there? Apparently all of our hugs are too long for her


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