I usually listen to the radio program of English conversation every night. The program is quite nice and fit my needs. Yesterday, I thought again about the custom of ‘hug’ because the following dialogue was a kind of sensation for me.
A: Can I talk to you about something?
B: Sure. What’s going on?
A: Alice and I aren’t getting along.
B: Sounds like you’re pretty worked up.
B: Start from the beginning.
A: Ever since I forgot her birthday, she criticizes everything I do and say.
B: Sounds like a difficult situation. Do you need a hug?
Is it common in your culture? Really?
Have you ever offered a hug to cheer up someone in depressed? even to the person of opposite sex?
Or is this dialogue exaggerated?
I know in western countries people hug and kiss often to express their friendship. However, I have recognized that is a way of a greeting. So, I’m very surprised to know that they give it each other as such a kind of a remedy or a medicine. Do you feel you need a hug from just a friend, I mean from someone that is not your family or partner.
You know the Japanese don’t have ‘hug culture’ , so I’ve never been offered a hug by anyone ever and also I’ve never given a hug to express my sympathy to my friend. If I’m in such a situation like the dialogue, I’d put my hand on his shoulder or rub his back. Am I expected to say ‘ Do you need a hug?’ to him? and if he says ‘Yeah’ , should I really give him a hug??? On the other hand, how could I say to decline if I’m offered?
This radio program is based on the American English, so it might be the American custom. I’d like to ask the American people if it’s normal communication. Also, I ‘d like to ask you in/from other countries how about in your culture? Do you feel you’re isolated if you live in Japan with lesser body touching communications?