6726276 tn?1421126668

Close Friend Starts getting too Close

I have a friendship with a man now for 3-4 years. He knows other people I know, & also works for me. His wife works here too, as I need her. This year he has begun to hug. We come from different cultures,but if he were going to hug, I would have expected it right away,not in year 4.  He hugs a bit past my comfort zone. So far,I've just disengaged as soon as possible.  Help?
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Hmmm... I'm really weird about hugs and I don't hug or touch unless I really know someone... Maybe he is just now feeling at that comfort level?? Here's the thing.. You can always tell someone to back off if they are invading your space.
973741 tn?1342342773
Ask his wife what's up with the hugging all of a sudden.  That should take care of it.  

Do you generally have difficulty with people?  I'm just curious because this is the second post in a short time in which boundaries that you are uncomfortable have been crossed.  

anyway, I'd ask his wife about it.  That lets her know and if it is something that is unethical (as you seem to be implying) ---  then his wife will be 'in' on it and then he may ask you about it and you can just say that he's a married man and the new behavior of hugging makes you uncomfortable.  

good luck
Avatar universal
I understand Your discomfort - I would continue to "disengage", sooner than later, like R E A L Q U I C K.  Maybe He will get the "idea" that You're not interested in "prolonged" hugging.

Does He do this only when You're alone or when others are present?  Does He hug others?  Is the "hugging" the only behavior from Him that is giving You discomfort?  Is that His only "new" behavior?   Depending on Your answers to these questions, You might have to be more direct than "simple" "disengagement"


Avatar universal
That is a great question SPM!
1696489 tn?1370821974
Say that you are a person who does not like to be touched by other people, unless it cannot be avoided.  :-)
6726276 tn?1421126668
Thanks for all the help. This afternoon when he was readying to leave,I made sure I was holding my cat!!  Pamela
4522800 tn?1470325834
Girl..You can not keep putting the Cat between you two..You must talk to him and let him know how you feel about this..
4851940 tn?1515694593
Oh dear!

If he comes at you again, just say something like "Don't you get any hugs from your wife? I'm going to have to talk to her to give you more hugs. My hugs are for my husband".

Either that, tell him straight "No thank you".  and move on to other things quick and hopefully he will get the message.

I think because you are such a bubbly and happy looking person, he just likes a hug.  Either that or you may be feeling down in the dumps and he is trying to cheer you up.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
I am guessing this guy is hugging now vs. the beginning of your friendship because he feels comfortable with you.  I don't think it's necessary to bring his wife into the situation; I wouldn't do that.  

Just tell him directly that you don't feel comfortable with hugs and see what happens.  

Keep in mind you come from different cultures, so perhaps they consider hugging ok between people who have known each other for a while or he thinks it's something he should do in regards to your culture.  This could be a cultural misunderstanding which is common.

973741 tn?1342342773
It's so hard to figure out the best approach.  You know these people and in particular it sounds like you are friends with his wife.  That makes it a little more awkward.  Is she aware that her husband is getting more touchy feely?  

Ha, if someone said to me--  Gosh, your husband has become quite the hugger. . .   it would take 22 seconds of me alone with him for it to stop.  The gig would be up if it was torrid.  And I'm guessing that is your suspicion.  

You do need to find your voice with people that allows you to in a nice way set the boundary.  I've honestly never had to tell someone I'm not comfortable with hugs.  I've been in that position before and my body language, posture, demeanor say it all.  Like how about a stiff shoulder meets him with your arms crossed . . .  that sure says "HELLO.  NOT wanting this hug to happen."  But if he doesn't seem to respond to the universal language of body language--- then just stick out your hand to shake and say "I've never been much of a hugger."  Say it with a big smile.  

If he tries to hug you after that, he's got a problem and you have to not be around him.  

Wishing you luck.  peace
6726276 tn?1421126668
Thank you for all of the different ways to look at this.
One hassle for me is the language barrier. I've been a construction boss forever, so my Spanish is tailored to giving orders. Explaining work details & such.   I do need to find my voice, no matter what language.
   I agree, no involving his wife. That would be a huge cultural faux-pau. (Boo-boo).    Also I am Bipolar, so I may seem up sometimes, & soon after horribly depressed. He may want to cheer me up. I was gone along time, I suffered greatly. ( a nervous collapse ). He told me he was so worried & missed me.
  No matter. No intimate Hugging. It's no good. I don't like it.   Pamela
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Relationships Community

Top Relationships Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child