Don’t touch the introvert!

So I have this pesky, quirky, teeny, tiny, microscopic little personality glitch. Just one? Hardly. But, we the jury are here today to focus on only one of my supersonic setbacks. Looking back and connecting the dots, I do vaguely remember being like this ever since I was a fetus. In the womb, telling the fluids and the sac to get the hell out of my space.

You see, I’m not a fan of….hugs. This all came to light because I was talking to my friend Nikki last week and she tagged me in a funny “anti-hug” meme and article. I always knew “hugs” kind of made me feel a little uncomfortable and icky, but I never realized how deep my hatred for these way awkward, cringeworthy body touching moments were. Read this now!

When grown adults come at me for a hug, my whole body turns into “Alert, alert! Flight or fright! Flight or fright!”  I buff up my shoulders in preparation for attack, because I am soooo not positive of what my Aunt Reba is about to do. She didn’t lay her intentions out there, so what I am I supposed to think is about to happen? That squirrely smirk on her face isn’t solidifying my trust. Okay, sure. It is more than likely a hug. But, you never know if she started taking courses in pocket snatching, or is my new arch nemesis who just discovered my new Kryptonite. I am not falling for it.

I’m not sure why I am such an anti-hugger.  I don’t know if it has to do with my introvert-ism (?) or if there is something that I am trying to mentally oppress, but my 3 scariest things in life are:

1. Flying

2. Public speaking

3. Adult hugs.



Just in case you were not aware, I am a socially awkward, steaming hot vomit fest. I’m a heavy blinking, forehead squinching, eye rolling vat of fun. So the last thing that I need in my life are unwanted, dangerous sweat fests.

Please don’t get get me wrong. I LOVE hugging and cuddling my kids. That’s so very different. I already know what their intentions are and there are no massive ulterior motives other than to get some love reciprocated and ricocheted back in their direction. Adults – they are shady, and clammy, with preconceived intentions and malice and ill-will, and just a little bit of stank that I do not need to get me through my day.

I could be CRYING a chest heaving bawl with real tears and snot, and ugly face and there’s always going to be someone who thinks to themselves: “Tara needs a hug or three.”  No!  No I don’t! Don’t you see that I’m already jacked up? I don’t need to solidify the tragedy with crusty body heat.



On the other hand, as much as I refrain from being consoled, I also struggle with consoling.  If you are curled up in the corner and in need of a friendly bear hug or special tight, long squeeze, chances are you’re only going to get a stiff, one fingered back tap that lasts .05 milliseconds before I push the auto eject button.

And for the love of sweet baby Jesus, when I am sitting at my desk, or somewhere by myself where I am enjoying my solitude and introvert-ism, and I am thinking intelligent thoughts, coming up from behind me and giving me a “sneaky pouncing up from behind hug” is never a smart idea. Chances are, you are not my BFF.



I really do wonder what the psychology behind this phobia is. I’m sure it’s some mental illness that I may or may not have already been diagnosed with, but it is a legit freak out frenzy. I also don’t know what age I was when my hate for hugs began. Probably some random memory that I’ve blacked out after a tragic “hug mishap,” that is suppressed in that cobwebbed brain cave forevs. Again, I’m not talking about kids here. They’re great to hug! But, this is my normal. Pile this on top of the list of my million other fun characteristics and I might as well join the circus and charge people money to come view the awkward, repelling, socially hideous circus freak.


Stay away from the freak!


I have to say, that as odd as this trait is, coupled with my awkward and socially dereft tendencies, there is one person whose jaw would probably drop with this bewitching news.  (It’s a friend and fellow blogger whose first name rhymes with Fristina).  We had a blog meetup some time ago, and I had already been chatting with her and a few others online, so I felt like I already knew her just a tad. I had a one up on some of the other people there, and was feeling especially cocky for a minute. For some completely foreign reason, a reason that can only be explained by an unwilling alien takeover, when I see her enter the room, I jump up, and…went in for a hug…and her reaction was the best ever.  “Oh, okay…we’re hugging.”  She says. Was there someone on the planet just as uncomfortable as I was? Why the HELL did I do that? Time to go dissect my life plan.



Here are the acceptable alternative methods for hugging yours truly:

1.  Fist or knuckle bump. You know, like Howie Mandel. Except I’m not a germaphobe. Or a comedian. Or a successful person.

2.  Very faint shoulder tap.  Interpret that as you will, but just know that if your shit starts to feel uncomfortable, then I’ll be shirking your unwarranted, lingering hand off of my sudden hive infested shoulder skin.

3.  Half mock hug where you bow in, with the hug motion, but where we lock eyes first and your warm eyes are telling me: “It’s okay, my quick, faux embrace is not going to harm you.”




So, in the future, when you’re going all nuts with your unsolicited, stupid freaking crazy hugs, hunting down one victim at a time, please remember these words. These words that I will beg of you to consider: Cut the nonsense and back off. Back the eff off. I’m so very sorry, Olaf.


  1. Wow, being your mother, I can only say….where did I go wrong? Now come give me a hug!!

    1. Tara St. John

      Thanks, mom. You’re my biggest blog fan. There are 2 of you. Congratulations. 🙂

  2. I understand, Tara! I tend to only hug people after I get to know them so I know if they are okay with it. I’ve noticed hugs have gotten a lot less popular, just like handshakes have died out except in business settings. I love hugs, but again, I don’t hug everyone I meet either! 🙂

    1. Tara St. John

      Samantha – I don’t know why we can’t sniff butts like dogs do, or rub up against someone’s legs like the felines. As long as it’s extremely short lived, I’m good with those options. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *