How to Avoid Painfully Awkward Hugs in the Workplace

The above picture is hilarious because it’s so awkward. Prime Minister Narendra Modi loves hugging. Trump, not so much. It’s pretty obvious. Trump isn’t the only world leader to have been on the receiving end of a Modi embrace:

Now, I can talk all day about why people shouldn’t hug the unwilling but sometime’s it’s going to happen. Some huggers cannot imagine why on earth everyone is not a hugger. It’s like dog people who insist that it’s adorable when their dog jumps up on you, practically knocking you over and getting doggy drool on your dry-clean-only pants. They just don’t get it.

So, how do you avoid the painfully awkward hug? Well, sometimes you can’t. The first trick is to extend a hand for a handshake, but Trump tried this and Modi went in for the hug anyway. Huggers gonna hug. And Trump was smart to not jump out of the way–he’s on camera. You’re not on camera most of the time, so you can react differently than Trump did. Here’s what I do to avoid unwanted hugs.

To keep reading, click here: How to Avoid Painfully Awkward Hugs in the Workplace

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12 thoughts on “How to Avoid Painfully Awkward Hugs in the Workplace

  1. Where is the remainder of the story? The post ends with, ” Here’s what I do to avoid unwanted hugs.”

  2. Interesting that only after I submitted my comment, did the link to the remainder of the story appear. Thanks.

    1. Sometimes glitches happen, the obvious reason it appeared after your comment is because it clued EHR Lady to the fact that she posted the article without it. I can’t remember the last time she missed something and I’m a long term reader.

  3. Timely article. Some huggers passively-aggressively use hugging not to attempt to bond or to show affection but to assert dominance. Offering a handshake is a much better move. If, by mutual consent, that morphs into something more intimate — like a hug or an “air kiss” — so be it.

  4. Oops. I am a hugger. I need to stop that. I am always so happy to meet in person people who I have been working with for a year or two. We have this email/Skype relationship but are hundreds or thousands of miles apart. A handshake seems so cold, BUT I need to stop hugging anyhow!

    1. Hugging other huggers is fine! So, if they are huggers, it’s good. Maybe we need badges that declare whether we are pro or anti hug.

  5. I will avoid a hug by saying I think I’m coming down with something and I don’t want to pass it to them….

  6. I don’t mind hugs if I see them coming, surprise hugs make my bad back seize up. Please huggers if you have to hug, at least come at people from the front so they see you.

  7. I don’t know, given Trump’s now (in)famous handshake, I can’t really blame foreign leaders for making Trump be the one to feel awkward…

  8. I had a nightmare with this subject. I few years back i worked at a religious non profit and the other employees were a bunch of loonies (IMHO). They were always hugging or “laying on of hands” for every employee meeting and I hated it. When a new CEO started he heard I was not big on hugging people and made it a point to hug me all the time and draw attention of everyone around each time. Worst 3 years of my life at that job!

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