Stories of Kindness from Around the World

My Experiment with Free Hug Friday


--by MakeSomeoneSmile, posted Aug 31, 2010

My scheduled day of kindness this week is tomorrow (yes, I’m still doing it each week, just haven’t written about them all!) but I was not sure what I would do. While catching up on some of the stories here today, I decided I will make it Free Hug Friday!  My catch phrase tomorrow any time I see someone a little down or frustrated is to say to them “Looks like someone could use a hug!” and then let them have it!

I’ll certainly have to be a little careful so I don’t scare some of the people inmy office. Most of them think I am a little off anyway, so they will just add this to the list of strange things they’ve seen me do. I have noticed how much a touch or hug can mean to people, even if they don’t realize it at the time so I’m going to do my part to help! I love the many FREE HUGS videos I have watched too so I might as well join in for a moment!

I’ll start off with a great big HUG to all of my special HelpOthers friends! :) I’ll come back and let you know how it goes!
 
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UPDATED!

 

Well, Free Hug Friday was certainly interesting! I sent off some cyber hugs first to start things off. I always love doing that to those close to me. Then it was off to deliver the in-person hugs!

The first went to one of my daughter's friends who stayed the day with her.She laughed and smiled. The second was at work. The woman smiled and called me “one of a kind.” The third person literally ran from me. I laughed as they scampered off, shaking their head as they went. Number four wasn't real comfortable, so I just gave her a half side hug. She smiled but I could tell felt strange. Number five was an older gentleman, who smiled and thought I was crazy. The sixth person was a neighbor, who  was over and had dinner with us. I gave her a big hug for helping clean up. She smiled and said it was no big deal. Mrs. MSS and the little MSS’s got theirs too, but they always do and all love them so!

It was fun. Even if everyone had rejected my hugs, it was still great seeing their reactions. I know every one of the hugs made someone’s day just a little brighter. The thought was what mattered. It made me smile too and I’m sure I’ll try it again some time!

 

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Readers Comments

LucyStar wrote: I've always wanted to do a free hugs day, but i'm holding back because i'm worried what people might think. Your story is very inspirational and i hope i will find the courage myself!
Priscilla wrote: U guys r rly nice peepl
KristinP wrote: Sending you a virtual hug!
Aurelia wrote: Oh MSS...I am glad you tried it...Just think ...one person may have walked away after Receiving your HUG and said to themselves...that wasn't so awful....and passed a hug on to someone that they may have been shy about...your hugs may have changed someone's attitude and made them a "hugger". Wishing I could have one of your hugs someday. An "MSS HUG AND SMILE" ... like a perfect cocktail! LOL ~Aurelia
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: Thanks for all the comments! I am always sensitive to those who may not be receptive to a hug and that is fine. I never make them feel bad but also do not let that stop me from sharing a hug with someone who loves the way it makes them feel!
LaguanaLioness wrote: Not sure how old these posts are, but here are my thoughts on hugs: when i was a child (5-7 years mas o menos) i was required to hug aunts and uncles whether i wanted to or not. Now as an aunt and great-aunt i hug only if the person says that yes--especially the children--they would like one. They have the right and need the experience to set physical boundaries. Not everyone is receptive to hugs, from strangers or friends/relatives. We need to respect their space and their reasons for not wanting hugs--especially if not asked first. Times have changed. Or maybe all that hugging back in the 50s and 60s wasn't transparent and people should have been asking. I hug close relatives (sisters, and my parents when they were alive) w/out asking, but that's as far as i go. I have my own history of people crossing physical boundaries with me, so i feel more sensitive to the young ones who need to have a say in getting a hug. They need to know they can say yes or no, and that the other person will listen to them.
tamborin wrote: Thanks for this topic,l hate hugging,l will try and hug a friend.
linda levasseur wrote: I give you credit, for your hugging. I usually give hugs to my family & friends, but now, maybe, i'll go out of my comfort zone & hug a stranger.
cinnamonhead wrote: I love those videos too, but have been a little nervous to get out there and do it. The most i have done is made free hug pins and gave them out at work where everyone got a hug with a pin. Thanks for sharing your story.
elspeth wrote: I'm a pretty huggy person myself, and often give and receive hugs at work, but not with everyone, as i have learned that some fellow employees don't welcome hugs, which is certainly their right. Some people just do not believe hugging is appropriate outside of their family and maybe close-friends unit, and i think one needs to be sensitive to that before dispensing unexpected hugs to one and all. Furthermore, making fun, even in the lightest way, of someone who backs away from hugging or unwanted touching, is being unkind. As far as kbk's comment that teachers hugging kids being "pedophile-ish", i think it is very unfortunate that many people feel this way - my five kids' kindergarten teachers all hugged them, as well as many of the "grandma" aides (seniors, and all women, to my recollection) who volunteered at their school. After that, student/teacher hugging, and in fact, any physical contact, dropped off by some sort of unspoken mutual understanding (or maybe by decree on the part of the teachers' supervisors) which seems to be comfortable for all involved.

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