Why Do We Pat Others on the Back While Hugging?

Why Do We Pat Others on the Back While Hugging?

Why Do We Pat Others on the Back While Hugging?

Oftentimes, patting someone on the back is a sign of being uneasy or uncomfortable. Other times, back pats represent someone being friendly but offering limited affection.

According to Streetdirectory.com, a back pat during a hug represents either being uncomfortable or a desire to end the hug; the bigger the pat, the more uncomfortable someone is. According to Changing Minds and Study-Body-Language.com, a back pat represents a desire to end a hug or a nonverbal signal to let go, especially during a longer hug. During shorter hugs, back pats represent giving a limited amount of affection in the hug. A "man hug," involving a quick grab and patting the other person's back a few times, often represents a greeting between male friends that represents friendship but nothing romantic.