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Does hugging ever make you feel uncomfortable?

25 Comments

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25 Comments
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Only if I don't know the person...

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Hugging doesn't seem to feel right in Japanese culture. I've seen so many cases where foreigners tried to hug their Japanese friends when saying goodbye, hello or whenever, and the Japanese have always looked uncomfortable. I did it when I first came to Japan and the response was always stiff.

What I really don't like is the American style of blowing air kisses beside the other person's cheek when two people hug.

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It does if I get too excited and then have to pull my lower half away. It usually makes the other person feel uncomfortable too.

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Hugging doesn't make ME uncomfortable. It's when my Japanese counterpart stiffens up like a corpse that makes both of us look silly.

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Depends on the person: Sai Nakarai form the NHK 7PM news - No prob - squeeze away Eiko Koike - great, as long her husband isn't watching Waka Inoue - bring her on

Taro Aso - get your frickin' hands off me!

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I have never been hugged or hugged someone in Japan.Am always comfortable though<. .>

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I myself do not mind it but sometimes it makes me feel uncomfortable if it is a bit hageshii. I mean this kissing part, as in Italy and france for instance, is a bit too much for me. I hardly try to hug my acquaintances but I can not escape doing it with my close friends.

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I really don't enjoy getting hugged by people I don't know well. And I feel extremely uncomfortable if I get hugged in Japan by younger people who think they should be automatically doing it around "Western" people.

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no

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No. I hug on occasion with a few of my Japanese friends and it feels natural. With non-Japanese it pretty much always feels natural.

I'm a little touchy-feely, though (in a good way, not a Saikyo-sen way!)

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same sex/gender huggin'makes most expat men uncomfortable. unless of course it's 2 hot ...

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No problem, unless they start getting a boner mid-hug, then I must exit, stage left...

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I really don't enjoy getting hugged by people I don't know well. And I feel extremely uncomfortable if I get hugged in Japan by younger people who think they should be automatically doing it around "Western" people.

Hugging doesn't make ME uncomfortable. It's when my Japanese counterpart stiffens up like a corpse that makes both of us look silly.

I agree with both comments. If somebody I barely know comes up to hug me I am usually taken aback, but if someone I've known for years tries to hug me and is as stiff as a board, I feel just as uncomfortable. Still, I understand it's not really part of the culture here and it does make some people uncomfortable, so I dispense my hugs wisely!

I do feel that people, especially in Tokyo, need some form of physical contact from time to time in order to stay sane (no, getting squished in between people on the train doesn't count).

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Hugging is very good(Man & Woman)brings you closer to each other and may lead to a more exciting and meaningful life...Farakh Malik

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I love to hug, but don't like hugging "itchy people, or my ex-wife." Eeeeessshhhh! That makes me wanna hurl.

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I have to say, there's much more physical contact between friends when it comes to Koreans and Chinese. I myself have only hugged one Japanese friend (and I only do it if I know that person will react to it well), but she's a very outward-looking internationalized type of person. I've hugged friends from Korea, India, China, so it's not a western concept as such. Maybe it's just a non-Jp concept.

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As I understand it, Japanese people rarely hug their own children after a certain age, and most of them wouldn't think of doing it in public. If you are going to post on this, please also include your country of origin so that the differences in culture can be observed. It's quite interesting. I'm an American, and it doesn't bother me at all. My wife is Japanese and she says that hugging other Japanese does make her uncomfortable, but hugging Americans is "ok." But, I haven't asked her if that's only while she is in America. That will be interesting to find out too.

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I feel comfortable to hug anyone as long as I get a good response which is not always the case. Because not everyone expected it. Its the warmth of a welcome or goodbye and it takes the edge off the loneliness. It lingers in my mind, the warmth as our cheek touches, the light pat on my back, it feel so good. I am for it.

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What I really don't like is the American style of blowing air kisses beside the other person's cheek when two people hug.

huh? who does that? i'm american and have honestly never encountered that before...?

as for hugging- i actually like a hug here and there, but i am never sure about other people so i never initiate it. my family is not very touchy-feely, so i've never been quite sure when hugs are supposed to happen... then the moment passes and is gone. sad really. good old social awkwardness!

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If it is not someone very close to me, yes, makes me very uncomfortable. It is a very important physical contact with the ones you are close to. French style is also very nice when it is someone you really care about. I am Asian.

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I don't mind being hugged at all. What pushes my buttons is a hard hand shake. I have to stop myself from slapping him (it's always a man).

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Not unless it's from someone I don't like or gives off horrible vibes.

I've hugged strangers many times, along with old friends and new ones. I've hugged Japanese people, Chinese...pretty much most Asians. I don't know how it is in their own native countries, but I'm Canadian and from Canada...I grew up as a hug just being a safe way to say "I like you" or express "I love you", "I'm glad to see you", and "I missed you."

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Often, yes. Living in Japan for so long I have lost the habit of hugging people, so it rarely comes naturally any more, except with my daughters.

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Agree with above poster, hugging no longer seems natural with strangers, etc. Ditto for other bodily contact.

Said that I do like a good hug from the right person. :p

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It feels good. I take hugging as a "nice to meet you" or "I will miss you" message. What I have learned is that an Italian hugs like he/she is almost in love with you, while a Japanese will hug like you have thorns - carefully, cold, distant.

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