At a family get together, someone I didn’t know, who’s my cousin’s friend, tried to hug me. I stepped back and offered my hand. They stopped and respected that I’m not a hugger. People in my immediate family protested, saying I’m a hugger and it was awkward how I handled it.
I have a secret about awkwardness: I feel more awkward and uncomfortable when people I don’t know, or don’t know well, hug me without permission. I don’t owe people hugs. I don’t owe you, ie anyone who’s second person in a sentence, hugs. You don’t owe people hugs. No one owes anyone hugs.
I didn’t feel awkward backing away from the hug. I felt empowered. 🙂