We’re not talking about the brief, awkward, squashed handshake kind of hugs Brits are used to – these are full-on 10 second cuddles. If we’re to believe such figures, that’s over 2 minutes of solid hugging every day, or 12.5 hours a year.
What ever happened to the 5 metres of personal space Brits used to entertain? Linda Blair, an American psychologist who lived in Britain for 40 years, thinks we’re finally warming to the idea of human contact.
Blair believes this is down to loneliness – a national endemic caused by our extensive use of technology. She argues that activities such as texting, emailing and social networking have deprived us of the physical human contact we need. She said: “Remember that humans spent a lot of time depending on others when they are little, more than any other animal. Babies recognise other people by smell before they can even see”.
When we lead busy working lives, sometimes all we have time for is a quick text or a Facebook message while we’re on the train before we get home and slump in front of the telly. This goes some way to explaining why an apparent 41% of us would like even more than 13 hugs a day.
So who on earth is doing all of this hugging? According to Nivea’s poll, most turn to their partners, while 14% turn to close friends and a meagre 9% turn to their mothers.
Nivea also found that men would love a hug from Holly Willoughby, Lorraine Kelly and Nigella Lawson. Nothing Freudian about that.
Loneliness can be a serious problem when it leads to depression and social anxiety. Although most life coaches don’t operate a hug service, they will be able to help get you back on track and build your confidence so you can fulfil your potential. If you would like to find out more about how life coaching could help you, please visit our Life Coaching Areas section.
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