Here's an observation.

Most Montanans are friendly people.  They'll give you a nod or put up a finger or two (not THAT finger) when you pass each other on the road.  They'll say "Hello, how are you?" when you pass each other going into a business.

So, what about when it comes to a physical greeting? Are Montanans more likely to give you a handshake, or a hug?

I only ask because I'm not a hugger.  In fact, one of the only positive things that have come out of this whole Covid-19 mess is that I don't have to worry about getting hugged that much.  Don't get me wrong, I hug my wife and those that I'm close with, like blood relatives, but I'm really not into "random hugging".

It completely makes me uncomfortable.

handshake at sunset

I'm often guilty of doing the "half-hug" when someone comes in for a hug.  You know the one I'm talking about when you move your body to the side to block the incoming hugger and just put one arm around them and call it a day.

However, apparently, there might be some benefits from hugging. Like, actual real science-based stuff.  According to SCLHealth, which has facilities in Billings, Butte, and Miles City, hugging can lower your stress throughout the day.  Oh, and that's not all.  Hugging may help with boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure, and helping with depression.

Pretty impressive, right? Yet, I still don't see my uncomfortable level with hugs decreasing.

Maybe it's a guy thing, right?  I mean, it seems to me, and I realize that I might be a little less "woke" than I should be, but men are more into handshakes and women more into hugs.  A study published in The Daily Mail showed that women hug more than men because they are "genetically predisposed" to do so.


So what do you think? Do you enjoy hugs over handshakes?  Are you a hugger? I'm not judging you if you are, in fact, good for you.  You're probably less stressed, have a better immune system, lower blood pressure, and are not as depressed as I am.

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