Hugging Etiquette

I hope everyone is enjoying the short week! We moved into our new house last weekend (hooray!), and are just catching our breath after sorting through a sea of boxes. Watching the moving trucks load up our cottage was of course bittersweet since we had so many amazing memories there, however the whole family was ready for a new chapter and bursting with excitement when we walked through the door of our home. It feels incredible to be moved in, and we are pinching ourselves that this is our house.

On to this week’s etiquette post! I wanted to talk about hugging etiquette, as hugging can seem so innate to some, while a bit uncomfortable for others. Having good manners is all about being your best self and making those around you feel comfortable, and so it’s crucial to read each other’s social cues (tap into your EQ here!) regarding personal space. I’m a self-proclaimed hugger, always have been! I’m just an affectionate person, and love to give a good squeeze to my family and dear friends alike. However, over the years I’ve learned that not everyone is this way, even some of my very closest friends.

It can be tricky to know when and who to hug, and so here are my tips on hugging etiquette. And when in doubt with any etiquette question, shoot me an email to “Ask B” at and. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Hugging Etiquette


Always read the person’s social cues and body language before hugging.

Unless you know they aren’t a hugger, hugging a good friend is a wonderful way to say “hi” or “bye.”

A cheerful “hello” or “great to see you” is enough of a greeting for an acquaintance.

Stick to handshakes and “hello’s” for colleagues and clients – keep it professional. If you are at an after work dinner, office party or other social setting and you know the person well, a hug goodbye is acceptable.

A handshake is best when meeting someone for the first time.

If you’re joining a big group (ex: for lunch), there’s no need to go around and hug each person.

Hugs should be quick (2 seconds), so don’t linger.

If you are ill (please stay home!) or are glistening from a recent Pilates class, skip the hug.

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