Friday, April 2, 2010

Anatomy of a hug

My friend Alexandra told me that it takes seventeen seconds for a hug to release endorphins. Did you know that!? I have known Alex since I was about 10 and I know how smart she is, so I am inclined to believe this, even though I don't know that I can honestly say that a 17-second hug feels the same as running 5k.

Still, I keep telling people this when they proffer a hug, and then make them count to 17, while we laugh about it, feeling a bit self-conscious about holding on for what seems like forever, waiting to feel the endorphins. (Um, I don't know if I really know what that feels like. What am I missing?)

The last person that I told was my sister's friend Mark. He's very wry, and after we let go, we joked that after 17 seconds, it gets a bit wierd. (It really does.)

Because at 23 seconds, someone starts to have expectations, and this is where it really starts to go awry.

At 30 seconds, one of us is going to require a commitment.

At 38 seconds, though, someone undoubtedly pulls away, and then there's betrayal.

And at 40 seconds, you know someone's going to get hurt.

Since I don't really know what the endorphin rush feels like, I might just hang on for the full 40. (I know what that feels like, and at least I'll have something to talk about at my next therapy session.)

1 comment:

  1. To get the rush, the hug has to be with someone you love. I've had headaches disappear after a 17+ second hug with Rich.