Jump to content
HalfFull

What would you think of enforced hugging at work?

Recommended Posts

HalfFull

The only times when someone has ever greeted me with a hug or kiss upon introduction was in France with their 'air kissing' protocol. I was 25 at the time and it was only ever young women (usually fellow students). In the UK, only once did I ever come close as it seemed that the host of a party was kissing everyone on their way in including strangers, but I actually left the building and re-entered the room a different way lol. I have however seen people kiss upon introduction. Literally a case of "Its nice to meet you, Muah".

With work colleagues whilst I've never been subject to this practice, I was once in a situation where a graduate trainee brought his girlfriend out after the Christmas meal. She had never met anyone. My supervisor shook her hand so I followed suit, then the graduate trainees female supervisor arrived and upon introduction hugged the girl, then because she did so, the team manager also female did so. This shocked me.  I realise the gender of the manager and supervisor are somewhat irrelevant but had they been male it may have shocked the girl even more. Fortunately she seemed fine with it. I wouldn't even offer a hug to a friends new girlfriend, but then again I would never offer one to anyone not expecting it. Its in rare cases that I offer hugs to anyone I'm not romantically involved with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RiRi

When meeting someone new, they usually try to shake hands. I don't know why but they do and I have to shake hands with them, sometimes because it's so uncomfortable, I give a weak shake. Back in the day, I was told that weak handshakes at interviews were not good, that you had to give a strong shake and I believe to every interview I went I did give a strong hand shake despite the fact that some people didn't seem too happy to give me a handshake. There has also been times when someone extended their hand to give me a handshake and their handshake was weak. Like, why do you want to handshake someone if it's going to be weak? It makes me think that people don't want to shake my hand in the first place, so why initiate it? 😩

I think I have been greeted with a hug and a kiss from people I know but I feel like it's usually been a female that does this. And while it does feel uncomfortable but I don't think it's as uncomfortable as if it was a stranger that did it.

I was hugged once or twice by a guy that I liked. It was random but I actually enjoyed it. 😂

Edited by RiRi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow
17 hours ago, HalfFull said:

Yeah it's worked this time. 

It's quite vague on what his practice was in terms of these 'forced hugs', but in any case, the word 'forced' suggests negative connotations. I actually quite like hugs and pretty much always hug my friends when I see them, and when we say goodbye, but I don't think hugs can translate well to the workplace, in any situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sanctuary

Hugging is generally only done where there is a closeness of relationship such as family members, friends or romantic partners and even in the first two cases it isn't used by all (and even romantic partners may avoid hugging in public). Therefore to apply it to work colleagues hardly seems appropriate. Physical contact can be positive and supportive but it also has the potential to be invasive and even abusive or threatening. This is even more so when it is tied-up with power and gender differences - a boss or manager hugging a junior member of staff is likely to cause concern and men hugging women the same unless they are already close. So much depends on the relationship of those involved but i would say it is very unwise for any physical contact to occur in these cases except perhaps for a handshake as mentioned below. A junior worker hugging his or her boss or a woman hugging a man or another woman has less potential to cause concern but is still best avoided unless it is clear it will be appreciated by the intended recipient. Even then it can be argue that this kind of public display of affection is not really appropriate to the workplace. Of course there can be exceptions such as when a person is very upset but even then it's often best to leave physical contact to those already close to the person.

Handshakes are much more part of a social ritual when strangers meet on a formal occasion such as when being introduced, e.g. at a job interview. These don't come with the connotations of hugging or other forms of touching. However even these can be subject to confusing variations and interpretations. Not all people expect handshakes and while it is generally seen as a friendly gesture - indeed sometimes a necessary one - it can also be disconcerting to others. I'm often anxious about whether to do this and tend only to shake hands if the other person initiates it. Refusing to shake a hand that is offered is the action likely to cause offence and I would always shake hands if invited to do so. I tend to be wary of any physical contact unless it is initiated by the other person but other people are more assertive in this regard. As regards "strength" of handshake this is too much for me to worry about and I just go through the ritual without thinking about it. While a strong handshake is often encouraged by "experts" it can be done wrong and be misinterpreted as odd or even aggressive. I would hope that no person such as an employer would be so shallow as to reject someone because of his or her handshake but maybe it does happen. All these issues make me appreciate even more the benefit of interacting through writing or even on the phone with no physical or body language issues to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aeolienne

It's always struck me as sexist that guests on TV chat shows receive a handshake from the host if male but are kissed if female. Why is it automatically assumed that women prefer a greater degree of intimacy? It's the same as if the men were addressed as "vous/Sie" and the women as "tu/du".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HalfFull

I literally have no idea how to control the strength of a handshake. If I initiate, I think my style is to hold out my hand to the other person and see what happens. If its in a business situation I assume that the person knows how to shake hands. If a weak handshake results I never know if its me or them, although I guess that that person must have a weak handshake. I've had people (usually women) initiate a handshake, and it felt more like a finger wiggle, as if their boss told them to shake hands and they wanted to get it over with as quick as possible. I think mine is probably fairly firm but I've no idea if it would be enough to impress an employer who is after 'dynamic' interpersonal skills. I've had one or two people who knew me personally criticise me for not giving a firmer handshake although this is when I hadn't anticipated a handshake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.