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Bright Side

11 Types of Hugs and What Each Says About Your Relationship

The US National Hugging Day, which has already become international, is celebrated on the 21st of January. According to scientists, hugs bring plenty of benefits such as strengthening the immune system, reducing stress, and even boosting self-esteem.

Being an avid fan of hugs, Bright Side has collected different types of hugs that will probably make you want to hug someone right away!


Hugging oneself can have a good therapeutic effect especially if there is no one you want to hug around you. It’s comforting, calming, and cheering at the same time.

Slow dance hug

This is a hug that classically takes place while dancing — one’s arms are on the partner’s neck and the other’s arms are gently holding their partner’s waist. Notes of romance are in the air and the partners usually have strong eye contact, share smiles, and lead a pleasant conversation.

Unequal-height hug

This hug usually takes place between those who are in a relationship. Due to a big difference in height, a taller partner usually has to bend quite a bit, while the shorter partner can sometimes stand on their tiptoes to align with the hugger.

A hug from behind

reverse hug indicates deep feelings in the person hugging from behind. Even if a person hasn’t declared those 3 special words yet, a partner can be sure that this hugger is in love with them. The person hugging from behind is ready to take responsibility and give necessary protection to the person they hug.

Heart-to-heart hug

Perhaps this is the most romanticized type of a hug. Traditionally, it’s a long, comforting hug where one person leans on the chest of the other, subconsciously asking for an endorsement. The other person at the same time either gives a long hug or strokes the back of the one who needs support. The hug usually is gentle, tender, and tight.


This is another comforting type of a hug that normally takes place between those who are in love. It is usually long, pleasant and can be followed with some nice and tender words.

A-shape hug

Also known as a teepee hug, it’s a hug that might take place when people meet each other for the first time. 2 people lean toward each other with the upper parts of their bodies and the hug usually doesn’t last long. However, it can also take place between those who broke up and are missing each other, or between those who are secretly in love. In this case, the hug might last a little longer.

Group hug

This type of hug normally takes place among friends or colleagues to show their togetherness especially after achieving something worthwhile. Also, it can take place before starting a new project to exchange energy and support for each other.

Men’s hug

This is a common type of greeting between 2 men. This type of hug lacks eye contact and is followed by a couple of back pats. It involves only the upper parts of the body and is quite quick. After grabbing and patting, the friends step back and continue the greeting in a verbal manner.

One-arm side hug

Normally, this is a quick type of hug that takes place between 2 people sitting or standing next to each other. It’s usually performed to support the other person, to cheer them up or to simply show the hugger’s friendliness. It can have romantic undertones too, especially if the hug takes place in the cinema or theater.

Bear hug

Perhaps this is a favorite type of hug among women. This is probably because it shows the affection and closeness of the one who initiated the hug. However, very often, the male partner can’t control their strength fully and end up hurting the female. It’s important to be gentle!

Which of these hugs are your favorite kinds? Please tell us about it in the comments!

Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for Bright Side
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