Why You Should Cuddle When You’re Angry

Hate-sex is out, pissed off snuggling is in.

Photo courtesy of VitalikRadko from Depositphotos.com

Who do you turn into when your anxieties, fears, and worries get the best of you?

Do you turn into a Total Karen, letting your anxieties turn into anger and demands of others?

Personally, I go through a werewolf-like transformation. The full moon looms overhead, and from a pretty well adjusted adult, I transmogrify into a 13 year old with swoopy bangs.

I get sulky.

I get snippy.

No, I don’t want to do the dishes. I’m too busy applying dark eyeliner and thinking about how nobody understands me.

I’m fully aware of how obnoxious my late-onset angst is, but my boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind.

I asked him how he deals with my 13 year old werewolf coming out any time I get a mean comment, and his response was, eloquently put,

“I try to become as soft as possible. Like a pillow.”

Genius, honestly.

Which is why I’m here to convince you that cuddling will solve all of your problems!

Just now, as I started angsting about writing this article, I wheeled over in my chair to my partner’s desk.

We’re both working from home right now, thanks to the state of the world, which makes his cuddliness really easily accessible.

I rolled over, he turned to me, and I just buried my face in his shoulder for a solid 45 seconds. One tight squeeze. No questions. Not a lot of talking at all, actually, other than him revealing that he’s busy and me groaning like a zombie for a while.

And then he said, “Go get us some snacks.”

I’m snacking now, and I’m already feeling better.

If he didn’t have a meeting to get to in half an hour, he might’ve taken the cue to take me across the hall into our bedroom and lie down with me.

Get your heads out of the gutter right this instant.

I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about 100% pure snuggle-zone!

It’s been reported in study after study that human touch eases stress. Also, pretty much anyone will tell you that if you’re freaking out, you should probably take a quick break from it.

I don’t think saying “The pandemic has been bad for people’s mental health” is a hot take, but I will say that being able to work from home and get a quick cuddle in the middle of a lunch break has been phenomenal for me.

While some people do use sex as stress relief (those dopamine receptors sure seem to like it), it’s not a fantastic treatment for angst.

At least, for me.

I don’t know, maybe when you were an angsty teenager making out seemed like something productive. But I have to admit, talking through whatever is bothering you is a lot harder when you’ve got someone else’s tongue in your mouth.

It just seems more complicated!

Stress, or as I’ve been referring to it rather flippantly, “angst,” can come out in a lot of ways.

Few of them are pretty.

If you are one of the treasured few who can take your negative emotions and make art out of them with no consequences, I am full of envy and fear of your abilities.

If you are one of the rest of us flawed humans, you’ve probably said or done things you regret when under a lot of emotional pressure. You’ve slammed cabinets, you’ve raised your voice, you’ve snapped at people who were simply doing their best.

They’re not things you want to be doing, but they’re things that happen sometimes.

Taking a step out of that mentality to simply lie down and have a cuddle is a fantastic way to pause and reflect on what exactly you’re doing.

With warm blankets around you, someone who loves you keeping you company, you can think through why you’re behaving the way you are, and how you’d like to stop.

If you have a partner — or even a roommate you’re particularly comfortable with — who is clearly in the middle of a meltdown that belongs in 2009, not 2020, you might want to try a good long hug.

This year has been hard on everyone.

Seriously, even the artichokes that my neighbors are growing are doing badly this year.

The reason I’m using the worst “angst” so much is because, honestly, stress is a rational response to an irrational world. Angst is what happens when you can’t do anything about it. You might be able to talk through your stress, with your partner or a friend or a therapist, but angst is a lot more insidious than that.

Teenagers are so angsty because they live in a world they ultimately have no power over. More and more, adults like you and I are realizing we might have less power than we thought we did.

But you know what you DO have power over?

How cozy your bed is.

How warm hugs can be.

Honestly, I’m starting to realize I should have been hugged a lot more as a kid! You could probably use some of that too!

Treat your inner teen right. Give them a big hug. Wrap ’em up in a blanket. A good ol’ smooch on the forehead will do more than you probably realize.

Intimacy means a lot of things for a lot of people.

For me, it means snuggling even when I’m angry at the world. It could mean that for you, too, if you think it’d help.

Goofball, anti-fascist, stay at home jester. I use they/them pronouns and know useless information about everything.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store