Author Topic: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"  (Read 6235 times)

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fountainsoflettuce

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Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« on: April 05, 2013, 11:37:55 AM »
Often I see posts asking for hugs for situations which do not involve the OP, the OP's friends or family, and  in fact, there is no connection between the OP and the situations whatsoever.   There may not even be a connection between any member or lurker of EHell and the situations.
For example, there was an earthquake in Instanbul and some people died and others were hurt. 

Is this an appropriate request?  Exactly who am I giving hugs to?  Yes, I feel sad for the victims of the situations but really, to ask for hugs or publically announcing a terrible situation has happened seems, well, just not right....drama-llama, if you will.   

And to the extent there is a connection between the OP and the situation, how strong must that connection be?  I understand extending hugs for 1 to 3 degrees of separation but, my ex-wife's husband's brother? ex-husband's cousin?   The roommate I had 20 years ago who I hadn't spoken to in 19 years but now we're facebook "friends"?

Finally, how serious must the situation be to warrant hugs?  I understand hugs for illness, death, just having a hard time in life but a hangnail?  poorly made latte?  parking ticket? wearing mismatched shoes or socks?  Aren't the latter more of the inconveniences of life vs. a serious issue requiring some comfort? Hugs for the latter seem to diminish the whole purpose of giving hugs in the first place.   

And yes, I can skip these posts.  But really, if a person keeps skipping various postings, what's actually left to read on this site?  The concern is dilution of this site's content and lowered membership numbers.

Giggity

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 11:47:22 AM »
POD.
Words mean things.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 12:01:04 PM »
I do feel that sometimes situations that we're not connected to make us really sad.  I think giving hugs to people you don't know is a way of coping and the hugs are really for the poster.  I can definitely see how such posts might get excessive, but I don't think there should be an outright ban on them.

Lynn2000

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 12:06:25 PM »
I must admit, I don't frequent the "hugs" folder much. But I thought there was a "small hugs" thread for minor upsets (parking ticket, maybe not so much the bad latte).

Regarding things that are more like natural disasters, I always thought of it kind of like prayer requests at church or something. Like, "Let's all have a moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake." Of course there is a difference between the pastor asking on behalf of the victims, and someone saying, "I need a hug because *I* feel bad about this." I guess if someone is posting the latter, it's a bit dodgy, and if people just don't respond that would send a message. But if it's more like, "This bad thing happened in the world, can we send some good vibes their way?" that seems fine to me.

I would feel a bit weird putting too many rules on the "hugs" folder (though of course, it's not up to me to determine the rules). If someone is suspected of trolling or being extremely overdramatic, I would think reporting it to the mods would be a good idea. But if one's reaction is more like ::) I think probably ignoring it is best. I think it would be hard to draw a line of what is really "bad enough" to post about, but if someone is just looking for attention, not getting any might dissuade them.
~Lynn2000

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 12:07:24 PM »
I do feel that sometimes situations that we're not connected to make us really sad.  I think giving hugs to people you don't know is a way of coping and the hugs are really for the poster.  I can definitely see how such posts might get excessive, but I don't think there should be an outright ban on them.

Even if the OP has no connection?  Again, I feel sad for those involved but to give hugs? This is where I really start to wonder how far should the comfort extend.

Giggity

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:10:04 PM »
I think giving hugs to people you don't know is a way of coping and the hugs are really for the poster.

Not for me. I don't go around hugging people I don't know.
Words mean things.

Moray

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 12:10:48 PM »
I've had the same thought, fountainsoflettuce. I think the community we've developed here is valuable, and I want the INAH folder to continue to feel like a safe place to ask for support, or even just as an emotional outlet. However, it really rubs me the wrong way when next to a post about someone losing their job, or their child, or facing a serious illness, there's a bunch of posts about someone's brother's nephew's dogwalker's son stubbing their toe. It's difficult to put into words, but I feel that it somehow cheapens the INAH folder as a whole. If you have something tiny or tangential to post, the "Small Hugs" thread seems like a good place for that.

Of course, the appropriate thing to do is keep scrolling, and I do, but every time I see something like that, it yanks me right out of "sympathy" mode and makes me think "Really? Are you not getting enough attention?".
Utah

JenJay

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 12:12:35 PM »
I've always taken the more general requests as "Hey, this tragic thing happened in the world. Would anyone like to join me in sending prayers/positive thoughts?"

Giggity

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 12:14:08 PM »
Praying for someone differs from hugging them, though.
Words mean things.

reflection5

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 12:15:28 PM »
A thought-provoking, and somewhat amusing post. ;)

Moray

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 12:18:59 PM »
I've always taken the more general requests as "Hey, this tragic thing happened in the world. Would anyone like to join me in sending prayers/positive thoughts?"

The more general requests don't bother me so much. What bothers me is when something bad happens, something that we should be reflecting about and sending good thoughts/prayers about, and a person makes it all about them, and their grief, when they weren't even there, know not a single person who was personally affected, etc.

So, "a request for healing thoughts/hugs/prayers for those impacted by X" would be a-ok in my book, but "I need hugs because my sister's college advisor's manicurist was impacted by X" sounds self-centered. Phrasing has a lot to do with it.
Utah

NyaChan

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 12:19:59 PM »
I don't mind.  If someone is having a bad enough time that their stubbed toe put them over the edge and into the I Need a Hug folder, then I'll send them a hug if I feel so inclined.  I don't compare and weigh how worthy they are of comfort when put next to other INAH threads.  Even the threads which are about general natural disasters - I see it more as a way of 1) Letting people know that something bad is happening that affects a lot of people, 2) acknowledging that this disaster might actually be affecting someone on the forum as we do span the globe, and 3) gives an outlet to whatever emotional response even those of us who aren't directly affected are feeling. 

Yvaine

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 12:22:04 PM »
I've always taken the more general requests as "Hey, this tragic thing happened in the world. Would anyone like to join me in sending prayers/positive thoughts?"

The more general requests don't bother me so much. What bothers me is when something bad happens, something that we should be reflecting about and sending good thoughts/prayers about, and a person makes it all about them, and their grief, when they weren't even there, know not a single person who was personally affected, etc.

So, "a request for healing thoughts/hugs/prayers for those impacted by X" would be a-ok in my book, but "I need hugs because my sister's college advisor's manicurist was impacted by X" sounds self-centered. Phrasing has a lot to do with it.

And we also have a folder that encompasses news, so stories that are just "something happened somewhere in the world" might fit better there.

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 12:27:13 PM »
Actually, the general "this bad thing happened and we should send hugs" really does bother me.

Why are strangers going to care about my hugs?  Are these strangers really going to know if I gave them hugs?  Do I really need to post about it on the Internet, that I gave hugs to strangers (as opposed to sending good thoughts privately and off-line)?  Are these strangers *really* going to feel better because I sent hugs via the Internet, on an etiquette site?  To me, its pointless and just screams slacktivism.

JenJay

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Re: Parameters of "I Need a Hug"
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 12:29:20 PM »
Praying for someone differs from hugging them, though.

Sure, but calling it the "I need prayers" folder would exclude a lot of people. To me, "I need a hug" doesn't literally mean someone wants a hug, afterall that would be impossible, it means they are in need of support or starting a thread to offer support.