I have a friend with whom I was very, very close in the past. We would hug often (as a greeting/goodbye, but those kinds of long hugs); we would be sitting together and it would happen that our legs/arms would touch (he takes a lot of space as a tal, athletic guy) and that would be the norm.

We have since had a falling out of sorts. Not an agressive one, but I definitely feel differently about our friendship, and have told him so. However, he keeps coming for a hug everytime we see each other; but I don't want to hug him (although I also don't want to hurt his feelings...) so I kind of just let myself be (awkwardly) hugged. Same goes for casual touch; I don't want him leaning against me so I duck out, or just shift so our bodies are as far away as possible, and it is awkward, and stressful for me.

What are some polite, friendly ways to (openly) convey that I want this kind of physical interaction to stop?

  • How does he identify you? Male of female?
    – Johns-305
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:13
  • @Johns-305 I am a female and he is a male.
    – essay
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:45
  • Telling someone, even very nicely, that you don't wish to hug then anymore can be hurtful, and that person might react negatively. Are you ready to alter the relationship again ? Or is preserving the friendship a top priority ?
    – MlleMei
    Jul 10, 2019 at 15:08
  • @MlleMei preserving the relationship is a goal, but not at all costs. That is, if I cannot be comfortable, then I would have to stay away.
    – essay
    Jul 10, 2019 at 16:03
  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How can I decline a hug without offending? - especially given the past history of hugging. For a perspective from the other side, see How to find out, if it is ok to hug Jul 11, 2019 at 14:17


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