Is it a sin to intentionally make someone feel uncomfortable?

I’m not talking in an offensive or unsettling way. I have a family member who is extremely touchy-feely and who greets nearly everyone with a hug, and often adds in a kiss. When I say “nearly everyone,” I mean, “everyone except me and two other people who she considers to be black sheep or distasteful for whatever reason.” We were at one family gathering where she went right down the line, giving big bear hugs to everyone there, got to me and said, “Oh, hi,” and gave a limp-wristed, dismissive wave, then went back to her bear hugs. A couple years ago I decided that every opportunity I got, I would jump in and give her a big, welcoming hug every time I saw her before she had a chance to stop me. She’s now quick to attempt a stiff handshake, but I’ve gotten good and countering that by pulling her in and turning it into at least a one arm hug. My initial intent was actually a genuine, positive attempt to try to get her to warm up with me, but as I saw how every single time she’d stiffen up and get a look of absolute disgust on her face, I became more determined to get in both a hello and goodbye hug every time we see her not only to make her feel uncomfortable but to hopefully make her feel guilty about the way she treats me and those two other family members. Someone recently told me they felt that my friendly, if not entirely sincere behavior is far worse than the way she treats me and those two other family members. I don’t agree but I figured I’d see how people felt on here. For the record, I have no idea whey she has singled out me and these other family members as objects of scorn or derision, and nobody else can figure it out, either. The few times she’s been asked about it, she insists she doesn’t behave that way.

Please don’t hug someone who doesn’t want to be hugged.

Just because she hugs others doesn’t mean you “deserve” a hug as well.

Let it go. So she doesn’t hug you. :shrug:

Maybe not a sin… but lots of fun!

It sounds like hugging her began as a good intent, but has now become a sort of “vengeance” for you. You feel disrespected by her, so you’re making her uncomfortable in order to get her back for how she makes you feel. It’s not for her benefit. It’s revenge. I am not certain if it would be considered a sin (I suspect it is)… but it’s certainly not holy behavior or Christian love.

First, you don’t know for certain her actual reasons for not hugging you in the first place–you’re making a lot of assumptions about her intentions (you’re judging her heart).

Second, the fact that she hugs “everyone else” does not mean she also owes you a hug. It’s a relationship, not a competition or a transaction.

Third, you’re not going to make her feel guilty when you’re treating her poorly and disrespecting her. You’re probably only confirming in her mind that hugging you is uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Fourth, it benefits you more to use this as an opportunity to practice showing respect and courtesy when it’s difficult. In other words, to take the “high road.”

Will pray for you. :gopray2:

I am in the business of making people feel uncomfortable. I’d never get an honest answer from some folks if they weren’t a bit uncomfortable in the witness chair or during a deposition.

Not a sin.

Of course that is a bit different than your scenario.

I don’t know about it being a sin, but taking such childish glee in making somebody uncomfortable is pushing towards ‘jerkdom’ status.

ETA: She may not want to answer the question for fear of starting family drama. But if she has no problems being touchy-feely with everybody else and a few people are on the ‘no touchy’ list, then I’d say for whatever reason, she doesn’t feel comfortable with you. And your delight in making her uncomfortable gives me a great insight as to why that may be.

Maybe she just gets a bad vibe from you. And honestly, physically forcing her into bodily contact and affection probably proves her point.

You say she has been asked about this, but have YOU asked her about it?

I don’t know if it is a sin or not, but I think the way you are doing things, it is not very Christian like. Would you like it if someone were to do that to you if you did not want them to hug you for some reason?

I’ll pray for both of you.



It’s wrong to touch someone who doesn’t want to be touched. If they don’t want to hug you, then they shouldn’t be forced to do so.

I think you’re being extremely rude and offensive.

Intentions are everything. If you intend to make someone uncomfortable, for selfish reasons, then it is a sin.

This is pretty much how I felt about it, also.

If she is being rude, let her. That’s her issue, and she can work that out with God. But the right thing to do, in my opinion, would be to be friendly, polite and not force physical contact on her. Then you have nothing to be sorry for, and maybe at some point she’ll change her behavior toward you although at this point I think you’ve validated whatever feeling she had about you in the first place and so I wouldn’t expect it.

My answer to the sin part is it depends. Now, about her behavior and your response.

This woman is disrespecting you by the way she treats you. I recommend that you not retaliate but simply ask her in private (in a matter of fact and non threatening way) why she avoids you. She may not give you a truthful answer but at lest you have made the attempt.

Because her lack of respect is displayed in such an obvious and public way and on display to all you deserve to know.

In any event I would would avoid touching or hugging her. Politely shake her hand and go about your business. She is the one with a problem, not you.

Peace be with you.

While it might seem like she’s being rude, she doesn’t owe you a hug.

She’s not enthusiastic about greeting you the way she does others. That’s hardly “scorn” or “derision.” It seems quite childish to force physical contact with someone who obviously doesn’t want you to.

You don’t know her reasons. Perhaps she gets vibes from you that remind her of unpleasant things she has experienced before, but feels it wouldn’t good to tell that to you, for example. Even if she just doesn’t like you, forcing a hug on her is just taking revenge. Now she has even more reason to feel disturbed by someone who doesn’t respect her personal boundaries.

You’ve judged her heart, and you want to make her feel guilty. I would say that’s a venial sin, though it’s just my opinion. At the very least, it’s contrary to Christian behavior.

Maybe she’s trying to tell you something? :shrug:

I’m not much of a hugger myself so the non-hugging isn’t particularly what I’ve found to be rude from her, but the overall attitude and the fact that the three of us she has singled out have been singled out in other ways as well. I’ve been part of her family for about 20 years now so you’d think that she’d have warmed up to me at some point. Although I haven’t asked her directly about it, my wife has and this person told her she had no idea what she was talking about and wouldn’t really say anything more than that. Neither I, my wife, nor anyone else I’ve talked to about it can think of a single thing I’ve done that she could possibly have issue with. As far as initiating unwanted contact, we have a few people on that side of the family who are really uncomfortable being hugged or even touched (a couple due to medical issues). They’ve asked her repeatedly not to hug them but she grapples with them every time she sees them. I’m not saying that justifies me hugging her out of spite, but I don’t think unsolicited hugging is something she would normally be averse to.

On a related note, I was in a similar situation with a couple other people on my wife’s side of the family. After several years of watching them dole out hugs to my wife and kids right down the line then greet me with an awkward handshake, I did the same thing with them that I tried with this other person and got positive results. Not only do they greet me the same way as they do the rest of the family now, but they’re also friendlier and we have a much better relationship.

I’m guessing it’s the hair shirt.

I think you’re too focused on the “why” of her behavior. She doesn’t need to justify why she doesn’t want physical contact with you. Yes, in your shoes, I’d feel singled out since she hugs so many other people. But the fact that she’s unwilling to say why to other people indicates that it’s personal. Maybe you remind her of someone. Maybe she heard a bad rumor about you. Maybe she has a crush on you and so wants to avoid physical contact so she doesn’t dwell on something sinful. Who knows? In the end, that’s her issue, but I stand by my earlier comment that I don’t think you should ever force physical contact on someone who doesn’t want it, especially with you being a man and her being a woman- that can be interpreted as creepy. Just be friendly and polite.

At the risk of sounding harsh…you have many threads where people just don’t “get” you.
Maybe lighten up your approach…they’re sending subtle signals.
I have no clue what they seem uncomfortable around you…maybe that’s something to pray about. :shrug:
God bless you as you try to figure it out.

For another family member to make this comment to you speaks volumes. Your behaviour is being noticed and not in a good way.

I echo other posters who have said that a) this is rude and b) your behaviour is likely reinforcing her bad opinion of you.

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