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Featured The Hug

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Persis, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Was in a Pastor's office for the 1st time. Never met him beforehand. i started crying and tried to hold back the tears because of disturbing events in a sad occasion which was causing unbearable stress. I was feeling so upset! The Pastor did not know about it. I simply asked him for a tissue to wipe my eyes in which he got up and came back from behind (the door was behind me) and to the side and gave me a tissue. I took the tissue and said thank you. All of a sudden I felt his arms try to wrap around me to console me from behind, when I was sitting in the chair. I was shocked because I did not see this coming, and just felt him touching me all of a sudden. I was startled and immediately shook him off with vigor. It was my only reaction to the shock and to the displeasure of not being ready or even happy to receive the hug since I didn't know him. Later as I looked at the event I still think it is really strange way to hug someone. It's never happened to me before. I realize as well that since hugging is such a personal thing, not everyone wants to be hugged, and they save them for the special close people in their lives. What I want to know is if the good people here on this forum both male and female, would have found this offensive? I still feel uncomfortable about it. Thank you .
     
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  2. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    :heart: Yes, i would have. (((hug)))
     
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  3. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Thank you Brinny. I accept your hug. :) Do you think I should mention it to him? I will have to see him again in the next couple days as he is doing the service for my mother's passing. As I said before, I have never met him before. Thanks so much.
     
  4. Greengardener

    Greengardener for love is of God Supporter

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    While I would have probably felt and reacted like you did, the most important part of this is that YOU felt and reacted the way you did, and with your own good reasons (whether anyone agrees with you or not!) Many pastors are trained to respect personal space and that includes requesting an invitation to invade someone else's. In my mind, that's a good standard. In this situation the way I see you presenting it, this pastor overstepped it by hugging you without invitation, especially from behind you when you are unable to avoid it. It would take my knowing someone really well to accept that behavior.
     
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  5. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Thank you so much Green Gardener! To be honest with you I felt embarrassed at my reaction to him and wondered what he was thinking about me, so to hear you resonate my feelings and convictions is so helpful.
     
  6. Greengardener

    Greengardener for love is of God Supporter

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    I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing, Persis. Please accept my condolences and my hug (safely offered from quite the distance but sincere). A mum's passing is a difficult event. You will be in my thoughts.
     
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  7. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    Since I was not there I cannot say whether this gentleman's actions were appropriate or not appropriate, but what I can say as a Christian woman in her early fifties, a minister for 24 years, a married woman 34 years, and the mother of a 32 year old daughter, a woman trained by her parents to be kind, warm, caring, loving, to have good manners, and always be gracious; we are living in a society now in America that is so politically correct you cannot even breathe, people are so hypersensitive to every action and word that anyone takes that they are literally isolating themselves into a world that leaves them unable to truly connect with other human beings on any meaningful level, then they wonder why they are alone, why they can't find a spouse, why they have no real friends people who actually stick with them during difficult times and truly care about them, why they are neurotic and/or ate up with anxiety... everyone needs to stop being so sensitive, when someone is mistreating you or truly doing something wrong to you you won't have to ask yourself whether or not their actions are appropriate, you will know.
     
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  8. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Thank you Brinny..you are so sweet. I 'saw' your hug and I knew your intent to be sincere.
     
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  9. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    LOL! Sorry, i didn't think before posting....thank you for your grace :doh:

    Ohhhhhhh i'm sooooo sorry about your mom.

    Your instinct/gut seems to be spot on.....do you feel comfortable mentioning it to him? I would say yes, but it would be your call. If you're up to it, it might be best, to just come out with it as respectfully as possible, but to "clear the air".

    Praying for you Persis, at this most difficult time.
     
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  10. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Reborn1977 I feel like you are ranting on my thread. I don't find any value in your comments.
     
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  11. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Are you a female?
     
  12. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    LOL! THank you. I appreciate that.....the irony i didn't notice till later.

    ^_^
     
  13. THE W

    THE W AFRIKANB0T

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    yeah, he shouldn't have done that.

    and considering the circumstances, the action was highly offensive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  14. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Yes I am female.
     
  15. Reborn1977

    Reborn1977 Devoted to Jesus - Less of me MORE of HIM Supporter

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    And I can fully accept that because everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm not neurotically oversensitive. Which was exactly my point, we don't need to become a society that makes a big deal out of every little thing that happens. Perhaps the pastor was simply trying to comfort you in your time of need, as you were clearly upset. Whatever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt. It certainly does it sound like you were in any way gravely harmed. I'm sorry if you find my comments difficult to accept but they are merely another perspective on an over-sensitive society and possibly a situation where you were overly sensitive.
     
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  16. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the pastor acted inappropriately then. It would have been different if he started out with putting his hand on your back to console you, and then you leaned on his shoulder. But you clearly did not ask for his hug even implicitly.

    I would not say anything to him unless 1). You are going to see him again (can you go to someone else, like a mature Christian woman for counseling?); or 2). He does it or attempts to do it again.
     
  17. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    It wasn't the 'hug' that was sinister but the 'coming from behind'. Normal and acceptable hugs come in front with arms wide open.
     
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  18. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    "Offensive"? No. But bothersome, no doubt.

    Still, my hunch is your pastor was simply trying to be helpful and comforting. I'd just as soon that people keep their hands to themselves but it really seems like no harm was intended. If it was me, I'd let it slide... with a request that they not hug me.
     
  19. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    To be fair to @Persis, she was not asking if the motive was inappropriate. He may have meant well, but the action itself could be considered inappropriate.
     
  20. Persis

    Persis Titus 3:4-7

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    Yes absolutely. In fact you read my mind because I was going to use the word sinister in my post and then refrained from it thinking it too much. But you know a hug should be a beautiful thing when received. A person comes towards you face to face.. They have a look of compassion,empathy or love towards you. Their body language and who they are, makes you decide whether you want to receive it, and if it is safe to receive it. You have the choice to opt out and offer your hand or limit how much they touch you in a friendly way. If you receive it you openly embrace and receive the care they show you (especially if you are in your most vulnerable state). You trust them. You hug and you connect to that person and you feel better. What the pastor did to me felt sinister. Honestly, do you know what happens when someone who you dont know, and who you dont know is going to hug you or touch you, never mind from behind? It feels like an assault. Which is why my reaction was so over the top because my instinct told me to fight him off. I was completely startled out of the blue. I dont know what his thinking was, but surely he did not do anything to console me if he wanted to. I think by default and me not knowing him at all, I will give him the credit that he wanted to console me, but by him being a Pastor it leaves great distaste in my mouth about his practices. I will obviously forgive him as I will never see him again after my mother's funeral, but for sure, if I had the time I would pick another Pastor, as it will take time to process my feelings, and he will be doing the service for my mother's funeral in a couple days, which is already such a hard event to get through.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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