Love Skill #14 – Hug with Empathy


Love Skill #14

Hug with Empathy 

By Dr. Scott Peck & Shannon Peck 


A perfect hug
greets others with an open, flowing heart
but also
a keen sensitivity to their needs

A good hug can instantly create a warm, intimate feeling of heart-to-heart connection. Hugs can feel absolutely wonderful!

But hugs are a sensitive thing. Some people love to hug. Others don’t.
So what is a “good” hug?

When you are about to hug someone as a Love Master, quickly peek into the other’s heart with your intuition. Is their heart open and welcoming your hug? Is their heart already retreating for safety in the greeting? Or are they in the middle zone where you’re not quite sure?

This pre-moment of love is the beginning of loving them with a sensitive heart – even before a word has been spoken.

It’s a joy, of course, when two open hearts greet each other. The hug flows out naturally and with easy giving and receiving. It feels wonderful to both parties.

When you sense that someone doesn’t want to hug, however, you can go for a loving hand shake but also convey your love with a radiant smile and direct, soft eye contact.

If someone is in the middle ground on hugs and you’re not sure what to do, this is a wonderful moment to create love safety. You might ask them if they’d like a hug. Or give them a more polite hug that doesn’t infringe on their boundaries.

Give yourself permission to experiment with your hugging love skill. And pay attention to the refinements of a good hug.

Some people hug like two ironing boards greeting each other – stiff & straight with no flexibility or flow.
Others give the “football hug” with one shoulder leaning into you, like they are defending themselves or making sure this hug isn’t going to get too personal.

Others hug with the “A-frame hug.” They bend way forward so there is only the slightest coming together of bodies at the top end. Safe, but not much love juice.

It is understandable that some people are defensive in receiving hugs. Many women have experienced some men’s hugs as too intimate or as sexual advances. And we’ve all suffered from “bear hugs” where we almost cringe in pain or gasp for air – and freedom.

A Love Master is aware of these issues before he or she gives a hug – and as a hug is being given.
A perfect hug is close, genuine, and intimate, but not too close or crossing the line. And it ends just when the other wants it to end. A perfect hug may last for two seconds with one person and ten seconds with another.

Explore using your hug as a way of creating more love with the deeply caring sensitivity of a Love Master.


A hug from Love through you
is a gift of Soul
to another’s heart

Action Step

As you hug others
practice sensing how each person
most enjoys being hugged

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Copyright (c) 2006-2017 by Scott & Shannon Peck

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