September 24

Hugger, Not A Shaker


  • Minutes Read

Typically, when I meet people for the first time (and thereafter) I give them a hug versus shaking their hands. Even if it’s that “manly” half-hug where you bump opposite shoulders for a half a second 🙂

I do this in my personal life and business interactions – men and women.

Usually people are ‘okay’ with it, but about 1 out of 10 people will be visibly “uncomfortable” or “weirded-out” by it.

Recently, someone asked me about this.. They asked me why I hugged everyone and if it had a negative impact with the people I’ve met.

I said, “I didn’t know.”

She seemed to be shocked by my response.

So she asked my I didn’t know.

I said, “Because I don’t care.”

She asked “why?”

My philosophy is: if people are “freaked-out” by my hugging them, they probably aren’t the people I want in my life.

She went into the diatribe about how I should be more aware of people’s feelings yadda, yadda, yadda…

I UNDERSTOOD what she was saying, but didn’t really agree…

So she asks, “So what if Richard Branson or some other billionaire wanted to meet you but were uncomfortable with you hugging them, you’d miss out on what they had to offer….”

I smiled and said, “You’re right.”

So, I’m posing a few questions to my readers:

Is it weird to hug people that you don’t know…and what do you think about the idea of ‘not caring’ if people are freaked out about hugs??

Do you think it’s worth it to stop hugging people for the sake of “what they could offer you?”


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  1. Antonio,

    I luv your take on this. I am more of a shaker, but there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with a hug. When someone reaches to hug me I feel that it’s showing love. Rather than feel uncomfortable how about accepting the love.

    It’s fine to respect someone’s feelings but if you feel the urge to express yourself in this way, don’t hold back.

    There are millions/billions of people on earth who love hugs 😉

    Don’t compromise who You are because of what others may think, say, or do in response to you being you.

    Great Stuff!


  2. You already know the answer to this question.
    You said so in the beginning of this post:
    My philosophy is: if people are “freaked-out” by my hugging them, they probably aren’t the people I want in my life.

    So whether they have money
    or not, if they are
    freaked out by what you
    offer- what you bring to
    the table, they are probably someone you don’t want in your life.

    Keep hugging and don’t worry so much about what
    others think about you.


    1. I feel the same way, I am both… If I can tell that the person isnt up tight then I’ll give them a hug. But I kinda care what they are feeling so I don’t try to “step on their toes” if ya know what I mean… But I am told that I am weird anyway so I don’t care….I like who I am.

  3. I’m a hugger..and proud of it weird or not..there is a girl i work w..she and i give the best hugs to each other..u would think we have a it is so nice to lovingly hug someone warmly and feel that is a nice way to continue my and feeling the love…

  4. I am a shaker and understand some people being put off by hugging when first meeting someone. Some people are afraid of getting that close to someone they don’t know. I don’t think it’s really weird to be a hugger, it’s just not what people are used to. And do not ever change who you are just because other people may think you are weird. It takes courage to be different.

  5. We should know if we should shake a hand or give a hug? As we are all on a “Spiritual Path”, we must necessarily be aware of our surroundings and of those we interact with. We must respect our own feelings, thereby respecting the feelings of others. If an action is not honest, helpful or kind, it should not be done. Making another feel uncomfortable or not caring if our actions causes another to feel uncomfortable only causes unnecessary strain to another and to ourselves. It is not helpful to one’s spiritual progress to upset another’s sense of well being. We may get by with it, but we will never get away with it.

  6. I won’t ever turn down a hug but I’m very shy around people so not really one to initiate them.

    I don’t think you’re weird at all either for giving hugs or for not caring what people think of you when you do. If they can’t accept you for who you are, then you’re right … they’re not someone you want in your life.

  7. Antonio, I have always been a shaker. When I shake someone’s hand, I look into their eyes. I also notice the style of handshake from the other person. A lot of Los Angeles Entertainment agents have a weak shake, while some professionals in many industries have a very firm handshake.

    You introduced me to a new way of thinking. From now on, I will be a hugger. I was at a recent James Ray event, and almost every person I hugged during the many exercises complimented me on my hug, both male and female.

    I hope you continue to have more blog and podcasts in the future. I have not seen any new twitter action since July.

    I always look forward to your wisdom and thoughts.

  8. Keep on hugging!!!!
    Pass it on. There’s not enough pure spiritual love in this world…
    I don’t care what people think, yet we do have to give them human respect. Especially the one’s that have more processing to do in their lives. The art of allowing…
    Share the Love!!!

  9. I definitely hug people I have come to know. I definitely would not stop hugging or start based on what someone could offer me. That is a very self serving idea. And I do try to maintain a standard of respecting other peoples personal space. You will notice that those from a deep country area will command a much larger personal space than someone from the city. Such a person would feel very uncomfortable if you were to stand closer than a metre when in conversation, whereas a city dweller might have a much smaller conversation space. A person from Japan may be confronted and offended by you stepping into their personal space uninvited, however someone from Italy may find your greeting quite normal. I guess it comes down to widening your view of someone elses world and thinking about someone elses comfort before your own. That is my way of seeing the world anyway.

  10. Hi, Hug on….
    I shake hands when I am first introduced, then when I am saying good bye, I hug! I never have had a weird repsonse, it maybe that because people consider me eye candy!LOL
    Seriously, love needs to be shared.To much crap in the world!Peace!

  11. I am a true hugger and really look forward tot he day we have the time to hug for as long as we need to connect on a deep level every time we hug. It just makes my day!

  12. Antonio,

    I’m from HAWAII, and therefore, HUGGING is how we were brought up.

    It was so strange to me, when I moved to the mainland, that when I was introduced to someone, they automatically stuck out their hand for a handshake…

    Infact, I just attended my 30th Class Reunion and EVERYONE there HUGGED each other upon first seeing one another, as well as afterwards when they were moving on to see someone else.

    HUGGING is my way…Aloha!

  13. Antonio:
    I’m a hugger, always have been and people have always looked at me strangely for it. Hoever, since I’m a physically large man, most won’t say anything. I’ve also taught my son to be a hugger. We’ll be in the store in the middle of shopping and he’ll say, “Dad, can I have a hug?” and we’ll stop what we’re doing right in the middle of the store and give each other a hug, however long he feels he needs me to hug him. We’ve received some pretty wierd stares; but, more often than not, I’ve received knowing grins from both moms and dads as they pass by us; because with my son, I always end a hug with a kiss on the top of his head. He’s 12 now, the age when most boys wouldn’t even DREAM of asking their Dad’s for a hug in public; but, he’s been brought up right, and doesn’t care what other people think. He knows it’s a spiritual blessing and partakes of it regularly, as do I.

    I used to not use a hug in my business dealings when first being introduced; however, now that I’m in sales rather than being a “bean counter”, I walk right up, grab their outstretched hand, and pull them into a big old bear hug (quite often a one-armed one if I feel resistance at first, but a hug none-the-less). As I said, being 5′ 10″ tall and weighing in at a little over 280 with not much blubber, not many people are going to say much to me about it either. And I’ve noticed it rubbing off on associates of both sexes.

    Keep up the good work!

  14. Hello,

    I am the kind of person who has never cared what people think of me. People will like or dis-like me no matter what so I say forget them. I love to hug.
    I hug heart to heart. Make my heart touch where your heart is not just straight on but the right side of my chest to the left side of the other person. I learned this from an ex-gang member.
    I can feel a heart beat without the other person saying a word.
    Pretty neat, right?
    Try it
    Love you Antonio

  15. I’m more of a shaker than a hugger but I agree with the upthread that I don’t feel uncomfortable in giving hugs myself. Hugs are more “sincere” and personal. Shaking one’s hands is more professional but distant. Which one is more appropriate? it depends when and who.

  16. Hi Antonio.

    Interesting blog. I tend to let people be who they are and deal with them in their comfort zone. I am a hugger, but if I feel that it makes a person uncomfortable, I will shake their hand instead. It’s just easier for people to receive you when they are comfortable with you. That’s my opinion, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hugging at all. 🙂

  17. Hi Antonio,

    I too am a hugger and I’m always sweetly surprised when people welcome my outstretched arms with a sincere embrace of their own.

    I think there are a lot more people out there who NEED a hug than they are willing to admit. I’ve found that there are times when someone lets me hug them that they hold on for longer than expected. They needed that hug a lot more than they even realized. Some are actually willing to admit it and respond with…”wow…that felt good.” Or…”I really needed a hug today.”

    Interestingly enough, my best friend of nearly 35 years is not a hugger. She fancies herself one but she’s always very uncomfortable when I squeeze the stuffins’ out of her. I keep doing it though…I’ll never stop. I just consider her a “hugger in training” and I know that one day…those hugs are going to feel as good and right to her as they do to me.
    Thanks so much for writing on the subject and please stop by to view some of my blogs at

    Luv n’ hugs,


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