When I first began to succeed in the insurance business, I was thrilled to qualify for The Million Dollar Round Table meeting in San Francisco, an event with people attending from all over the world.
The first speaker told of his strained relationship with his father, who was now terminally ill. He was determined to forge some kind of a relationship with his dad before he passed away. The son decided that before he left the hospital at the end of each visit, he would hug his dad goodbye.
At first, it was awkward for both son and father. But after a while, it got easier. One day as the son was about to go out the door, his father said, "Hey...where's my hug?" And the young man knew he had broken through and at last had connected with his dad.
So from the stage, the speaker proceeded to demonstrate, to the delight of the audience, how to give a genuine hug. Not the A-frame hug, not the full body-wrap hug, just a normal hug. The audience ate it up! And over the next three days, the four thousand people in attendance at that meeting were hugging the heck out of each other. It was awesome, and I went home with the determination to teach my family to hug.
I was still single then and had a large loving family, but they weren't really big on hugging. That changed. I didn't tell them what I was doing, but over the course of the next year, whenever I left the presence of any of my family members, I hugged them. And that spread like wildfire. Aunts, uncles, cousins all joined in. That one little gesture turned my whole family into huggers to this day, without their even knowing it.
So if you would like a little more closeness in your family or among your friends, give this a try. You don't even have to tell them what you are doing.
I never did...until now.