Depending on your culture, you are probably use to greeting someone with a handshake, hug or nose bump. Well, not any more.
As introverts everywhere silently (of course, ufabet) celebrate the need for social distance, the rest of us are struggling to navigate how to project our feelings without touch.
How much we touch someone when we greet them varies by culture, personality and gender, as well as relationship.
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Important as handshakes are, the need for personal safety trumps everything. You absolutely don’t have to shake someone’s hand just because they offer it.
How should we deal with any awkwardness that arises? The best advice is to talk about it, but not at length. It doesn’t require an apology or a long explanation.
When refusing a handshake, do so simply and without fuss, and mention the coronavirus at the first opportunity. Say something simple and concise, such as: “Due to the virus I am not shaking hands at the moment.”
Or, to make it totally clear that it’s nothing personal, you could try saying: “I am not shaking anyone’s hand.”
The tone in which you say these things is crucial. It should be light and maybe even playful. You could further put the other person at ease by saying something friendly like: “It’s lovely to see you again.”
Whatever you do, do it with a smile. The gesture on your face is more important than the ones with your hands. If you’re feeling awkward, make a conscious effort to remember to smile, especially if you are a bloke – one study found that men tend to smile less often than women.
With handshakes and even elbow-bumps now off the table, you could try non-contact options such as a thumbs-up, a “namaste”-style prayer gesture, or even an ironic jazz hands if you think you can pull it off.