It’s fundamental, instinctive and, when done properly, it feels really good. Call it a hug, an embrace, squeeze or just pull the other person in close, but what’s happening is simple in meaning and complex in style. It’s possible to do it poorly, but no one deserves that.
1.) The secret to a great hug, to every hug that is worth getting… You have to mean it. My Great Aunt (most wonderful woman in the world) taught me how to hug like I meant it.
2.) When you hold someone, you put your arms, both of them, all the way around. You pull them close. All of them. Not just their shoulders. Because robots do not have human emotions, I have drawn some robots to help demonstrate the two most common awful hugs.
3.) You squeeze tight, flexing your muscles a bit. Let them know you are putting the effort in to it because they are worth the effort.
4.) Hold on longer than you think most hugs should last, like you’re trying to stop time and just hang on to the moment as much as you’re hanging on to the person. When you let go, if you did it right, they can still feel your arms around them. Like you’re still holding on even after you let go.
That’s a great hug. The kind that makes you exhale and maybe sway a little bit.
Now, I know it seems silly when you just read it on the page here, but try it. You’ll get what I mean.