Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Can I give you a hug?


She wanted more hugs in her life but didn’t know where to get them. She lives alone. Drives a milk truck and is always alone. Where to find hugs?

She couldn’t very well ask the farmers whose milk she picks up. They’ve already been at their chores and are having breakfast by the time she drives into their yards. Aside from the cows and other farm animals, there’s nobody around in the morning when she is out and about doing her job.

So she decided to ask the man at the depot where she delivers the milk. She knew he might think it strange. She knew he might think her weird, but she didn’t care. She knew what she wanted and she knew the only way to get it was to ask for it.

Her round completed, the truck container full, April climbed down out of her truck one morning as the dispatcher came out to greet her. She took a deep breath. She was nervous, and determined.

She smiled (she always smiles, it is her nature), and explained what she wanted.

“A hug?” he asked.

“Yes. I want more hugs in my life. It’s important to me. And you’re the only person I see in the morning.”

The dispatcher looked at her. Thought about it for a moment, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sure. Why not?”

Three months later, the dispatcher and April start and end their morning conversation with a hug. When her truck pulls up, he is there, every morning, waiting to hug. And other drivers are doing it too. Greeting each with more than just a nod of the head. They’re hugging each other.

April’s first request that started with a ‘Why not” response, has turned into a morning of hugs. Of other workers coming out to greet her and hug her when she arrives. It’s resulted in hugs being shared everywhere. Of fathers going home to hug their children. Of wives greeting their husbands with a hug. Of co-workers acknowledging one another and hugging to seal their pact of mutual respect and connection.

A hug may not save the world, but it sure can strengthen our connections. It sure can change our attitudes. It sure can bring us closer together.

April shared this story on Friday night of the Givers 2 weekend — Givers 2 is the second weekend trainees from the Choices program where I’ve been coaching since Wednesday, come back to complete the training. It is a weekend that focuses on communication — and the crafting of each individual’s ‘Purpose Statement’ on Sunday afternoon. On Friday night, in preparation for Sunday’s big event, trainees are asked to share ‘The Best Thing that’s happened to me since Choices and Givers 1.”

This was the story April shared. Inspired by her story, I asked her if I could share it here to which she responded, “If it inspires others to hug more, why not?”

Why not indeed?

When I went through Choices 8 years ago, I wasn’t much of a hugger.  I had a belief, somewhere inside me, that hugs were not okay. That hugs were scary. That people didn’t really want to get that close. That hugging them would scare them. Or offend them. Or make them mad.

I was wrong.

We are all looking for connection. And hugs are a simple way to connect.

Give one. You automatically get one back. Give two. Get two back. And so it goes.

Alexis, my eldest daughter, when asked by a panhandler if she had any change to spare, once replied, “Can’t help you in the finance department, but I have a hug if you want one.”

“Pardon?” he asked.

“A hug,” she replied. “I have no change but I have a hug.”

His face broke into a smile. “Really?” he asked incredulously. “Yeah. I’ll take one.”

And she wrapped her arms around his worn coat and for a moment, they were both just two human beings standing heart to heart.

There is power in connecting heart to heart with our fellow human beings. A hug has been proven to lower blood pressure. To improve happiness levels.

Try it. Ask someone you work with, someone you live with, someone you meet if they would like to connect heart to heart. Ask, “Can I give you a hug?” or, like April, if you’re seeking more hugs, ask for what you want.

Giving is receiving. In the process of giving a hug, you’ll both experience in the reciprocal nature of a hug. What could be better than that?

And if you don’t really think a hug can make a difference, check out this article HERE.

Go ahead. Try it. ask someone today if you can give them a hug and see what miracles happen.

(Thank you April and Alexis for letting me share your stories.)



Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

23 thoughts on “Can I give you a hug?

  1. Sending you heartfelt hugs. xo


  2. And thank you, Louise, for sharing the hug of this post.


  3. What a beautiful story. Thank you for bringing such positive and loving vibrations to my morning. Hugs to you.


  4. Good morning Louise! Hugs-one of my favourite things to give and receive. I love the title of your entry today. That is the question I ask many times a day to my patients,
    I have no better medicine to offer them!

    I am a vulnerable woman, hugging others with my laughter and love, empowering myself and others to honour their gifts.


  5. Where can I find you to give you my hug?


  6. (smiling) Hugs to you Louise and welcome back, I’ve missed you!
    Diana xo


    • Thanks Diana! I was feeling so full over the past 5 days there was little time to ‘miss’ coming here, yet, I felt it. I love this space, our connecting, our sharing, our community. I’m glad you’re here! Hugs


  7. Hugs to you, April and Alexis! You are all amazing.
    In my field of work, depending on the job, hugs are often forbidden. There is also the ‘one armed youth worker hug’ rule too. Sometimes it’s hard to have a young person open up and tell you about the really hard stuff going on for them, right there and then there isn’t a lot that I can immediately do and in that moment, sometimes you just really wish you could give them a hug and tell them it will be eventually be okay.
    Recently I had an ill young person on a hiking trip and one of my volunteers asked me “since there’s two leaders here, can I give her a hug?” It makes me sad that we can’t show that connection more in youth work but understand why too…
    Personally, I really could do with more hugs. I sometimes realise that I have gone for even a few weeks without any ‘real’ human connection, even a hand shake or pat on the shoulder etc. Especially in the dark days, when nothing else can reach me, sometimes all I long for is a hug or someone to hold my hand in that dark place. I don’t have that and I know it is missing but don’t know how to fix it. What do you do if you don’t have the people around you who you can ask for what you need? xxx


    • that is sad isn’t it Laura — that hugs are often not allowed. It is in my view a travesty as political correctness overrides human need.

      I love what you say about how hugs can move you out of the darkness. I’m wondering if volunteering in a neo-natal ward isn’t a good place to get hugs. Your job is to hold infant babies. That would be amazing!

      Many many hugs my friend. I’m sorry they are only virtual. I would love to share a heart to heart hug with you.


  8. So glad to have you here once more.
    MEGA hugs!!!
    Val xox


  9. oh:) my:) gosh:)
    I’m challenged, seriously.
    I love that she asked.
    I love the whole hugging thing…..the revolution:)
    THANKS for sharing!
    yes and wow,


  10. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. Jennifer.

    Your words wrap me up in arms of beauty, lifting my spirits.


  11. Oh another wonderful story


  12. I love that your daughter offered a hug to a street person instead of money. Very impressive and a great example of the simple power of a hug! Nice!


  13. I would love a hug now ❤


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