Is it really so unusual to have never had a hug?

I posted on another forum that I have never been hugged and a Finn called me and my family autistic because he found it so unusual. I have a really nice family and I don’t recall any other relatives ever hugging each other, so it’s not like they’re avoiding me because I smell bad or because they hate me or something

Wait, you’re saying that you’ve never had a hug, ever? Not even from someone outside your family, or just within your family?

I would say yeah, that’s pretty unusual to never have a hug, even if its just an uncomfortable, formally informal greeting or parting (my ex-MIL did this, thus that oxymoronic descriptor).

I wouldn’t say “autistic”, but I do think it’s kind of odd. I’m not sure how universal my experience is, and I’m not American (I’m half “Russian-Australian”, for want of a better descriptor), but it still strikes me as really weird.

Doesn’t sound that unusual to me. I have some of WASP friends from university that were never hugged by their parents though they did vaguely remember hugs from nannies during their childhood. It just wasn’t something their families did and they seemed perfectly fine with it. They all had good relationships with their parents also. I used to envy them actually. Every time my mother forced a hug on me, I wanted to stab her.

I certainly can’t say I’ve never been hugged. It very likely happened when I was a small child before my conscious memory, for example. And of course there’s the explicit contradicting fact that when any of my sisters comes into town they tend to want to hug me once when they’re leaving. (I never know what to do with my hands.)

But we, as a family, simply tend not to hug, and haven’t for as long as I remember. We’re not a touchy-feely bunch and usually don’t talk about our feelings, and in the average day a situation that might seem to merit a hug simply doesn’t come up. And, on average, every day is an average day. So no hugging happens, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. And no, there’s no indication that we’re all autistic or anything.

For me and my peers, it’s extremely unusual. I cannot imagine any of my friends or family never being hugged.

It strikes me as highly unusual, but not wrong, per se. The comment about your family being autistic seems out of line.

As someone on the autism spectrum, I’d like to point out that it shouldn’t be taken as an insult. We’re not wrong, we’re just different.

Although it doesn’t apply to me, it’s a common characteristic that autistic people don’t care for hugs or touching. My first thought on reading the thread title was that you must be autistic.

And it sounds unbelievable to me that someone would have never in his life had a hug. One step short of saying that you’ve never shaken someone’s hand. I can’t imagine how you could get to adulthood without any hugs at all.

Sorry for the careless remark. I certainly don’t see it as an insult, but the context suggested it was meant as one. I’m not autistic, but I have my share of neurological diversity, believe me.

Hugs are are rare in my family. They did happen occasionally.

I’m assuming the OP hugs their SO. It’s a prerequisite for initiating a desire for sex. :wink:

I mean, my Mom hugged me rarely, but my friends hugged me all the time. I can see a family unit choosing not to hug for whatever reason, but the idea of never, ever encountering a hug is really quite extraordinary.

My father never allowed displays of affection, so I was never hugged by family as a child. And, it turned out, I’m on the autistic spectrum. And I’m a very huggy adult.

So where does that put me?

There are quite a few rather large steps between hugs and handshakes. Not that I shake hands with my friends and family on a regular basis either, mind you. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never been hugged by any of my friends. Very likely the fact that I’m male is a big factor in this - man-man hugging is right out because hugs ain’t macho or whatever, and what few female friends I’ve had probably wouldn’t want to give me the wrong impression.

My mother was not a person who hugged, but her sister is, so go figure. My mother did hug me when I was very little, but pretty much stopped when I was three or four; however, I was mostly raised by my other aunt, who was my father’s sister-in-law, and she is very affectionate, so I got lots of hugs.

I worked with disabled people for a number of years, and had several autistic people on my caseload. A number of them were very affectionate. A few of them were actually inappropriately affectionate with strangers, although the majority were appropriate, reserving affection for family and long-time direct care staff. I knew one kid who couldn’t start the day without his “snuggle” from mom-- they would sit together in this chair just before his bus got there, and he’d get about two minutes of hugging and kissing.

I think the “autistic people don’t like affection” is one of those things that is subject to confirmation bias quite a bit. It probably was first seen in institutionalized people, because it also sounds like an institutional behavior. And once it was observed, and written down as an “autistic” behavior, people noted it when they saw it, and ignored counter-examples.

Yeah, that’s pretty weird. Not bad. Sad, though.

I hug my wife.

End of list.

I don’t like hugs, kisses, or any other sign of physical affection from anybody else.

I have been hugged though, by “huggy” people- so it does seem odd to me that a person has been lucky enough to avoid it their entire life.

I avoid hugs, which I know is not uncommon. There was a period where hugs were a recommended therapy for some, and it was considered rude to refuse a hug from those people, but since that time I really question the whole idea, and think a lot of unwanted touching was being inappropriately legitimised.

I came from a non hugging family, don’t ever remember being hugged as a child. But since then, I’ve turned into quite a hugger. While it took a little adjusting, and was awkward to begin with, I’m a pretty huggy person today.

I really don’t think anyone should feel judgemental about such a thing, as it’s really a lot about exposure in my mind.

If you feel you’d like to, you can always start up. It’s pretty easy to adopt actually. You could start by, whenever you feel it maybe be appropriate, just asking, ‘How about a hug?’ I think you’ll find the world generally amenable. And while it may seem awkward at first, you may find you warm to it, as I did. And end up grateful for having developed a new skill.

If it’s not for you, no worries, we aren’t all huggers. But there’s no harm in giving it a try if you feel it or want to explore the feelings.

Most people are subjected to some minimal hugging in their lives so the world may find it different, but it’s not a deficiency by any measure.

i rarely initiate hugs, but some members of my family are huggers, so i go with it. sometimes the need for a hug by someone will outweight my non-hug need. i find that 3 shoulder pats works really well for just about any occasion.

i’m having real trouble thinking of an instance where i initiated a hug.

i would say never having a hug is unusual. having long amount of times between a hug not unusual. most russians i know are touchy feely and i do deal with hugging in church… not to mention the christmas and paschal kissing. oy! sometimes it is just a feastday or sunday greeting, just crazy.

People differ but it really is extraordinary to have NEVER been hugged. I come from a Southern family and culture where everyone hugs just about anyone they know well and care about when the situation warrants it. That especially includes both my mother and father and other close family members but also friends. There are even women that go to airports to hug soldiers that they have never met when they get back from duty. I go through a round of hugs whenever I go back home and people are waiting. I hug my daughters every time I see them and drop them off some place.

Of course I have hugged my male friends as well when I thought they needed or wanted it. I have hugged wives right in front of their husbands and lots of other people without anyone blinking an eye. It is just what we do and there is nothing sexual about it. It is just a sign of general affection in some subcultures like how some Middle-Eastern men hold hands when walking together.

I have to admit that I have always been more than a little disturbed with overly strict and strictly hands-off parenting that still persists in some areas. Affectionate physical contact is necessary for bonding between almost all primates including humans. That includes play wrestling when they are young, fun contact sports and hugs when you are proud of something they did. Denying that is an necessary form of deprivation IMO and often based on some odd religious philosophy or personal hangups that the parents inherited from their own parents.