This is the No Huggy No Kissy Box

Funny how you can start the day in a sunny mood, and end it under a cloud… due to nothing more than a few dashed expectations. Someone I knew (the one who called me ‘rebel without a cause’) said people always have ‘expectations’ of each other, which were the rocks upon which many a relationship foundered.

Isn’t that a bit like saying, “people have a tendency to breathe (and it’s the oxygen that ages them?)” Actually, he probably said ‘high expectations’, but some expectations are perfectly reasonable, and we founder upon them anyway.

A bit of advice I picked up from somewhere is that we should not attempt to change people. We shouldn’t say “I’m going to tell him/her not to do that… it’s for his/her own good.” Just leave it alone. What was meant by that was that we shouldn’t nag, or complain about the little things.

That’s hard when you wish people were more aware, and more chatty when you would like a chat… not sort of dashing off saying “yes, very interesting,” (or, worse), “that’s not very good.” It’s hard to write about this without sounding like a moaner, which is probably why we’re advised to keep quiet and not nag. It doesn’t come across well – but it still has a lot to do with why people end the day under a cloud.

I’m from quite an undemonstrative family. No gushing, no hugging, no kissing. I never understood cousins who wanted to kiss me after not having seen me for months or years, and I never knew how to react. They didn’t kiss me as children, so why did they start when they were in their late teens? The boys were the worst! I was embarrassed having to kiss one cousin’s little boy goodnight when he toddled round all the adults at bedtime… I hadn’t been brought up that way. Trouble is, I think being undemonstrative can be taken too far… it can get a little cold, a little supercilious.

When I was nineteen, I thought people had to keep their emotions in a little box… whether anger, sadness, or great enthusiasm. It would be awful to let anyone know you were actually feeling something! When I discovered that the world didn’t stop spinning if you expressed how you actually felt, it was a huge relief in a way… but it still wasn’t something that came naturally. I think growing up deaf (at any rate, deaf in a mainstream community) also does a lot to destroy natural expressiveness (but not the emotions). But that’s a whole other ballgame and not what I meant to discuss here.

I got all excited when I read over that last paragraph and realized I had written about boxes! Oh, boxes! Last night I was appreciating another blogger’s post, which was about people themselves being put in boxes. Other people put us in boxes, such as ‘Rebel Without a Cause‘. We either accept them or kick them away and climb into other boxes of our own. I’m not sure I ever labelled any of mine? Oh, I suppose I do… ‘agoraphobic’, ‘dreamer’, as well as others that I’m not sure I want to talk about — sad, grey boxes; large, black angry boxes; furry talking boxes; damp, cold cardboard boxes tucked in the draughty bit behind the shed. (I was wondering why ‘draughty’ had a red line under it, and looked it up, and it said ‘British spelling of ‘drafty’. Also ‘labelled’ is British way of saying labeled. Sigh).

When I read that post, I thought, “why don’t I blog about stuff like that? Instead I ramble about mundanities.”

Well, I did blog about boxes, and I didn’t have to think about it… it just happened!

[Beams].

Aren’t you proud of me?

Anyway, I remember a friend who understood that I came from a ‘no huggy, no kissy’ family, unlike hers. One day she was seeing me off on a train… she helped me settle in with my bags, gave me a note to read when the train was on the move, then suddenly gave me a squeeze, and a peck on the cheek. While she grinned at me from the platform, I read the note… it said “I know you don’t like emotional goodbyes, so I thought I would give you a hug at the last minute before getting off the train.”

Funny, I had no objection to that one at all.

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6 responses

  1. I know what you mean…I’m not a huggy person, but there are certain people I will hug goodbye when it just feels like the thing to do – not expected, just happens.
    It’s the whole “obligated hug/kiss” goodbye thing that drives me crazy and feels a bit awkwards and creepy, depending on who it is, especially with people or relatives I don’t know. I wish women could be able to get away with the wierd handshakey fist tappy things that guys do…they aren’t expected to hug each other goodbye all the time 🙂

  2. browneyedgirl65 | Reply

    Yea, I know what you mean, although I can modulate by culture — in some you are expected to say goodbye to everyone in the room before you leave and it’s rude to do otherwise. In that case, I have no problems with it. It’s the unexpected, or the unknown, or the exception that throws me off, and freezes me.

  3. Eek, I can imagine myself stepping on all kinds of feet; I’m the sort who would duck hastily out of a room. “Must go, thanks for the tea, goodbye!” What drives me crazy is this whole ‘move towards the door’… I’ve realized it’s probably seen as fairly rude in our own culture to just say “OK, I’m going now,” and actually leave! There has to be a show of comfortable reluctance.

  4. […] Huggy No Kissy In my This is the No Huggy No Kissy Box post I was saying that I wasn’t brought up to wear my heart on my sleeve in any way, or to […]

  5. I was just talking with my friend about how hugging is often overrated. She mentioned how a classmate “pounces” on her to hug her and sometimes she does not want to be hugged. We are trying to devise a plan as to how to avoid the unwanted and maybe unwelcome hugging.
    1. Begin coughing loud and uncontrollably
    2. Walk away quickly
    3. pretend you are on an important call…
    4. make sure you have a cellphone…
    5. do the fist bump/tap and mean it
    6. begin a discussion on my (bubble) your (bubble)
    Lastly
    7. when you hug them make it firm and almost hurt.
    just shy of breaking ribs!!!

  6. Hi there!

    It must be pretty awkward when having to deal with that on a daily basis! I can understand hugging someone when someone’s about to leave on a journey, or has had a bad time, or is arriving after weeks, months or years of absence, but an over-exuberent hug every day can be a bit wearing if you’re not used to it. 🙂 LOL.

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