I’m from India, aged 23. My father is a good man. He has never done any such thing to me, but I still don’t understand, is it ok if he asks me for a hug (and ya, “at times”, a tight hug)? I mean just a simple hug is ok, but I don’t know why, he asks me for a hug generally when no one is around. I am not ok with it. I try to ignore it at times, or try giving a side hug … sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable and sometimes I feel I am over thinking upon this. This happens approx. once a week. He doesn’t do any other things such, so I feel it’s me who is at fault to think such upon it. But still I don’t know. I haven’t talked about this to anyone with the fear they would have a wrong impression about my dad if I do so. Neither to mom nor to friends (besties), maybe because once my mother said me to tell her if anything uncomfortable to me happens, I mean between me and my dad (that might be because of my mom’s anger because of an issue between my parents) that makes me think upon this in this manner. And even once one of my relative (female) notified, that now you are grown up and should stop being that close to your dad, she meant because of the fun me and my dad were having, like biting each other… That was all normal to me until she said me so. And she also wasn’t completely wrong; I should have actually stopped that.
Well, I don’t know if these both things have made me think upon it in this manner. Please help. And if so, what should be done. He at times comes to know that I hug him just for his sake, and has even asked me if I don’t like it. I at times frown at this. And he has come to know about it. At times, it even feels like I’m doubting on him with no reasons. Guide me to the correct path, please. Thanking you in advance. (From India)
Just because your Dad asks you doesn’t mean you have to say yes. What is important is to recognize you are empowered to have a boundary. Your concern is enough. The work here is not for you to worry so much about what his motives are, but rather to find ways to say no. I would be clear with him when he asks. Phrases like “Not right now,” “I’m uncomfortable with that,” or simply “No thank you,” is enough since your dad is asking and realizes it may not be the right thing. He needs feedback from you that it is not ok.
Wishing you patience and peace,