Somehow, I developed a natural ease with young children. I speak their language and they speak mine. Once I walked into a restaurant and as I was scanning for my friends, I felt a small pair of arms wrap around my waist and squeeze. Expecting to find an old student or family friend, I was surprised to see that it was the girl who was dancing by herself while her parents were talking to their friends. Not knowing this girl or her parents, who still had yet to notice their daughter’s embrace on a stranger, I awkwardly patted her head and she skipped away. Not everyone is blessed with as much “Mother Goose”-ness as me.
The trick to being lovingly embraced, hopefully metaphorically, is to be sincerely interested in someone.
It’s true for kids and for adults. Kids are just better at observing that you aren’t actually sincere. Everything changes about you when you are sincere, whether you notice it or not. Your voice, eyes, and body language all give away whether or not you are actually being truthful with yourself and others. So the trick to being embraced by people is to simple not try to trick them or yourself and just simply be kind, sincere and interested in who they are and how they have come to be.