Welcome back to my ongoing series about boundaries! This is part two of a gazillion. To see the first post, click here.
In my last post, I introduced a basic boundary-asserting scenario, where a friendly someone is coming in for a hug but you, for whatever reason, don’t want to hug them. I spent that last post going over how, if you don’t want to hug someone, you have a right to NOT BE HUGGED. No matter who they are, or how many times you have hugged them in the past. You have a right to only be touched in ways you want to be touched.
And it’s all well and good to say that. We NEED to say it, in a culture that encourages us to ignore any boundaries other people find inconvenient. But it can be hard to put that idea into practice when you have someone coming towards you, arms outstretched, and you are feeling the weight of expectation to just give in and let them hug you.
In that moment, as the hugger approaches, you have (more or less) three options: