IMO, they both acted and reacted the right way, not by asking for a hug or declining, but by being mutually respectful. She asked, and he said no thank you. She appeared disappointed, but nonetheless respected his boundaries. Though the interaction was awkward, I see two civil adults respecting each others’ choices, and I see nothing wrong with that. Different people have different boundaries. You and I, like Seinfeld, would decline a hug from a stranger. But not everyone would. No one is more right than anyone else, they’re just right for themselves.
I would totally hug it out with a stranger if given the chance. I don’t care. In Venezuela it’s pretty common to kiss people’s cheek’s when meeting them or saying bye, obviously not a thing here in the US but in comparison a hug is nothing to me. However i never initiate a hug with people i don’t know or that i haven’t even had a conversation with. I leave that for the end of the conversation and gauge what type of person they are before attempting to do so.
I agree she handled it imperfectly, but I think she handled it far better than most people would have. I don’t agree with the idea that asking a stranger for a hug is intrinsically wrong. You seemed to be saying no one should ask a stranger for a hug and that the only right response was to reject it. If I misunderstood your initial comment, I apologize.
The asking wasn’t much of an issue. But one needs to gauge the other person, i would never think that Seinfeld would be the kind of person to go around giving people hugs.
On the flipside, i met Amanda Palmer and she’s very approachable and lovely. I think she’d expect and want a hug. I can’t remember if i did give her one, it’s all a blur… i do recall almost crying, which almost made her cry :B
I believe it is ok to ask anyone for a hug ONCE, in whatever you think is an appropriate manner. It is the job of the person requests to then respond politely, and that of the asker to respect the answer.