Why Do We Close Our Eyes When We Hug?

Sometimes we can’t help closing our eyes when we hug somebody. We don’t even notice it when it happens because by hugging someone we are expressing our feelings and emotions.

We’re not aware of it until someone else points it out. And that’s why you’re here… to know what makes us close our eyes when we hug.

Why do we close our eyes when we hug?

We release emotions when we hug. It’s not merely a gesture. At the moment of hugging somebody that we care about, closing our eyes allows us to grapple and retain the emotions because it makes us feel good.

It also lets us keep that moment present in our minds. This essentially happens when we say goodbye to someone we love.

However, not all hugs provoke the same reactions in our bodies. There are exceptions which we’ll discuss in a moment. Now, we’re going to point out the most common situations when we close our eyes.

When we’re in love

When we’re in love, we hug with passion and tenderness. Our emotions are at their maximum. We want to feel our heartbeat when we have the person we love close to us.

When we’re happy

Always, when we are happy we are predisposed not to repress anything. We share our joy. We want to pass our joy to others.

It is there that when hugging other people, we unconsciously close our eyes to concentrate so that the other person can absorb part of our happiness.

When we see someone after a long time

Our emotions burst when we hug someone after a long period of absence. The feelings we harbor for this person surface again because we have missed them.

When we say goodbye

Undoubtedly, saying goodbye to someone we deeply care about is hard. Many people don’t like to do it because it’s so painful. And it’s even more painful when the person is passing away.

We close our eyes when we hug them because although we don’t want to let them go, we want to preserve that moment in our hearts. Unconsciously, we close our eyes because we don’t want the moment to end, we want it to last forever.

When we are sad

When we’re sad for some reason, we feel terrible. It is normal that when someone comes to comfort us and we melt into a hug, the pain we feel increases.

It is in that moment we cannot help but close our eyes because the feeling of sadness is on the surface.

When we kiss

When we passionately kiss the person we love, we usually close our eyes and hug them tightly because we want to express our love and feel the other person’s love at the same time.

When we celebrate

In moments of celebration, we feel excited. Our adrenaline soars and we want to share our happiness.

Normally, in those moments of joy, we want to feel them with our hearts, making us close our eyes with emotion.


Not all people in all circumstances close their eyes when they hug or are hugged. It also depends on the situation and the person we hug.

Here are some exceptions when we don’t normally close our eyes:

  • Kissing without passion or love: when we kiss without passion, we tend to keep our eyes open. The attraction is just driven by lust.
  • Do it by commitment: hugging is an expression of love and care. When we do it merely on commitment, our eyes tend to remain open.
  • Business: in some cultures, people hug after they close a deal on a business.
  • Greetings: some people hug when they greet somebody (It depends on the culture.)

What psychologists say

Psychologists mostly agree that we close our eyes when we hug to increase one of our senses which is touch. We try to amplify that sense to feel it and enjoy it more. This happens either consciously or unconsciously.

World-known emotion scientist, Dr. Dacher Keltner, after a psychological study, suggests that emotions are conveyed directly through touching:

“There is a strong link between emotional communication and touch.”

Keltner ponders more about touch in the video below:

Neuroscientist David Linden also claims that “there is a direct correlation between touch and emotions,” because they can convey warm feelings and inspire trust.

His research has concluded that our perceptions of everything around us can be influenced by the different sensations of touch.

All these inputs from experts in the field confirm what we’ve explained. When we hug, we touch someone whom we may care about. Because of that, we’re communicating our feelings which causes certain reactions in our behavior, one of them being closing our eyes.


Why do girls close their eyes during kissing?

Most girls close their eyes when they hug because women tend to be more sensitive and delicate. Women are more emotional compared to men.

How long should a hug last?

That depends on the situation and the person you hug. You have to be very careful when you hug someone you barely know. You could make him feel uncomfortable. If this is the case, the hug should last a brief moment.

Why do boys hug girls around their waist?

Normally, if a guy hugs a girl around her waist, it denotes that they are close to each other. Probably they are a couple or are in a romantic relationship.

Do guys get hard when girls hug them?

It’s not the hug that could get them hard. If a girl rubs willfully his private parts while she hugs him, he can feel aroused.

Is hugging a form of flirting?

It could be used as a tactic by some guys. But don’t jump to the conclusion that if a man hugs you is because he has hidden intentions in mind. It depends on the context.


Unquestionably, hugging is a form of expressing emotions and feelings. Naturally, the degree varies according to the person we hug and the situation as such.

The most common situations in which we close our eyes are:

  • When we’re in love.
  • When we’re happy.
  • When we see someone after a long time.
  • When we say goodbye.
  • When we are sad.
  • When we kiss.
  • When we celebrate.

Keep in mind that there are exceptions. Not all hugs convey the same meaning. The important thing is to understand each situation to know how to proceed.

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