The French are not great cuddlers… We are kissers. We kiss from an early age everyday, many times a day. First of all our parents, in the morning to say “hello” and in the evening to say “good night”. We kiss our friends when we get to school, or colleagues we appreciate when we get to work, we kiss to say hello but we also kiss to say goodbye, we are real kissing machines. But you know what, I am not sure there is always a will of sharing love or friendship, sometimes it is just a habit.
When I moved to Japan at 23, I realised how this kissing habit had some benefits though. All of the sudden I was living in a society which wasn’t sharing any touching, kissing nor cuddling, not in the public sphere anyway. And I came to realise quite quickly how this was hard for me, I unconsciously started touching people’s shoulders or arms with my hand to accompany my greeting, just to get a bit of a connection happening.
Then I met Canadian friends and I discovered hugging, oh my… This was almost a revelation for me. A bit awkward to start with, kissing on the cheek is one thing, fully embracing someone’s body is another. But how good did that feel though, an instant stress relief, a wave of tenderness, an uplifting moment for sure. You are probably going to think she was in Japan deprived of any contact and overfelt it and you would probably be right. But I do believe there is more to it.
I love when my husband gives me a cuddle before leaving for work in the morning. I also have learnt that if something gets a bit too stressful for my kids, giving them a big hug helps them feel better instantly, at the right time it brings down arguments, reinsure them of our love, certainly helps taking things to a more manageable level. And when it is a sudden urge to share tenderness, they love being taken by surprise. Just remember when your baby was crying how a cuddle was a great way of settling him down. Well I just think we don’t change we still need that contact.
Cuddling is a win-win therapy, they even say that 5 to 10 minutes of cuddling everyday helps us fight viruses and releases happiness and plenitude. I am grateful for my cuddly husband and kids but also for all my friends who are happy to share a bit of a cuddle with me and to you all anglo-saxons for bringing this great habit into a French girl’s life .
Who is around you right now…
Remember to never underestimate the power of a cuddle.
Photo with my oldest son many years ago....