Hugs are free yet one in ten Manchester residents cannot remember the last time they had a squeeze, Hallmark UK revealed today.
A poll commissioned by Forever Friends revealed that 22% of residents said our lack of tactility is down to the UK’s unreserved nature as 10% admitted that hugging doesn’t come naturally.
The research that celebrates 25 years of the cuddly bear brand also discovered that 7% confessed to saving up their clinches for special occasions.
Judi James, one of the UK’s leading relationship and body language experts and presenter of Channel five’s Naked Celebrity, said she was saddened by the results.
“We’re having a tough time in the UK, with worsening economic gloom and our less than sunny summer weather, so I’d really urge individuals to let loose and envelop their loved ones in a cosy, heart-felt embrace,” she said.
“A reassuring hug often proves just the tonic to perk up after a bad day, and sometimes a hug is enough to show that we are not alone in the world.”
Confessions from 11% of residents admitted to rarely giving out hugs at all despite 34% claiming they are vital for health and happiness.
Jacquie Costello, Forever Friends brand manager at Hallmark UK, said the survey also revealed some good news with nearly a quarter of Mancunians giving out hugs to people regardless of who they are.
She said: “There’s a lot to look forward to this summer with entertainment to really unite the nation as well as the people of Manchester, so there should be hugs aplenty, but hopefully celebratory rather than consolatory!”
The Forever Friends research with the support from Judi James suggests the following as hug etiquette:
•Hold on tight: a firm hold best conveys a genuine hug; the most satisfying hug always ends with an extra supportive squeeze
•Time waits for no man: the most common concern for men is how long to maintain the grasp. This is a tricky one to judge and largely depends on the person and the situation. Be careful not to overdo it but bear in mind too short could leave it feeling lacklustre
•Anytime, anyplace, anyone: Don’t restrict your hugs to close friends and loved ones – approachable colleagues and those clearly in need really will appreciate an empathetic embrace – but be sure to ask permission first!
•Commit to the clinch: remember, a half-hearted hug is worse than no hug at all. Say it like you mean it; don’t hesitate as a ‘limp lift’ suggests a fake