A firm, hearty handshake is always an appropriate way for men to greet each other. But when men achieve a greater familiarity, a man hug becomes appropriate. Some men fear male on male hugging of any kind. But done in an appropriate way, men can still hug while remaining secure in their manhood. Here’s how:
Make sure your hug will be reciprocated.
As a final note, some men, especially here in America, are not quite comfortable with the fully embracing style of hugging even when done correctly. Thankfully there is a bridge between the handshake and the bear hug: the American man hug. With the American man hug comes certain protocol and procedure that men haven’t articulated, but nonetheless follow. These unspoken rules allow men to hug each other without feeling like they’re being wussy.
The How of the American Man Hug
1. Begin with a traditional firm handshake
2. Keeping your hand clasped with your buddy, wrap the left arm around the shoulder of your friend.
3. Slap your friend’s back two times. The back slap is key. Somehow hitting your fellow man makes the hug more manly.
4. Release embrace.
When to American Man Hug
Man hugging is not appropriate with every man you come in contact with. It carries with it a certain intimacy that should be reserved for close friends and family. If you were to try to man hug a new acquaintance, you would probably be greeted with stiff awkwardness. However, if you’ve developed a bond after your initial introduction, a goodbye hug may be appropriate upon parting.
Special occasions like those mentioned in the video warrant the full man hug. The American man hug is appropriate for greetings and partings.
- Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection
- The History and Nature of Male Friendship
- Podcast #274: Building Your Band of Brothers
- Making and Keeping Man Friendships
- Podcast #360: Understanding Male Friendships