I am not a very huggy person at all--except for my boyfriend, and friends I haven't seen in months, I would really rather just not. I will sometimes tolerate a hug from a friend for their sake, and because often people will feel rejected emotionally if I don't, even if they understand with their brains. I've struggled for awhile with a way to say 'no hugs please!' without coming off as harsh or unfriendly at all. I know that I'm totally in the right to say no, but it's hard to do that without potentially causing hurt feelings.
I go to an activity weekly that has a high degree of hugging, so I do a fair bit of dodging. Recently I came up with a way to do it that has got smiles rather than confused or hurt looks. When someone approaches me with a huggy look, or asks me if I want to hug, I say cheerfully, "No thank you, but I'll go for a firm handshake!" Handshaking is so not a thing in my group that it's obviously slightly silly and fun.
This might not work for everyone but it's done me well so far! Any similar stories or techniques?