When I was a child, one of the most exciting things that could possibly happen was to receive visitors to our house. My brother and I would make signs saying "Welcome" for any overnight guests and lovingly decorate them with our felt tip pens. I would very nearly implode with excitement when the moment arrived and the doorbell rang...and then I would freeze.
The terrifying moment would overwhelm me. I loved having guests to visit, and I loved the attention they gave us while they stayed with us, but I absolutely hated being kissed and cuddled by them in greeting or as a goodbye ritual.
It's quite strange really, I have no idea why I reacted in such a way. My parents were very good at showing affection and I was happy to held and kissed by my parents, and they were responsive to us children. In adulthood I have a loving demonstrative relationship with my husband and son. I am still uncomfortable with showing physical affection to anyone other than my immediate family. Although I recognise that there are times when other people would appreciate a hug and that this action, for them, speaks louder than any words. Anyone who knows me well, knows also that there are times when I have very much appreciated the physical show of affection, and I wish to thank them for their support at those times.
As a general rule my personal space is indeed personal. Now I am an adult I can choose who to keep at arms length and when. Thank goodness. I will always require my own son to be polite and respectful, but I will never insist he shows affection physically to anyone. If you are in receipt of a hug from my son or myself, you are highly favoured.