Greetings when You Meet

Greetings are a very funny thing. We have taught all our children how to shake someone’s hand at an early age, introduce themselves and look someone in the eye when doing this. Now of course, they comment on someone’s hand shake when they meet them. Particularly a soft hand shake which is a vote of no confidence among our brood. My daughter recently interviewed some people through her school and her one comment on someone was “terrible handshake”. I am often amazed when you meet someone of significant stature and success that shakes a hand like a wet noodle. Didn’t their mother teach them anything?

I had a sales person who worked for me years ago. Before we entered our first meeting together, I asked her if she could show me how she shakes hands. Her hand shake was incredibly weak. I literally taught her to give a good solid handshake right there and then. I have lost touch with her but I hope that lesson served her something over the years.

Today I was at a luncheon put on by a hedge fund group that we have money in. It was a pretty powerful group and extremely interesting. I happened to see someone I know, who is a very successful older gentlemen. He is a tad stiff and everytime I see him, he appears uncomfortable about greetings with me. We usually do the kiss. He is a double kisser. Now, this is another issue I have. How would I know someone to be a double kisser? I am a single kisser, or a firm hand shake with a lean over for the kiss. Obviously based on who I am seeing. Europeans are double kissers, so I am expecting this. As someone who is a single kisser, there is always that moment of feeling uncomfortable when you did not realize that the person you are greeting is swooping in for the second cheek. Can we stick to the single kiss?

Some people are also more inclined to kissing than handshakes. Some people just like to say hello and do nothing. It all depends on you and certainly where you came from. I grew up going to summer camp and everyone was always kissing each other and hugging. My husband did not grow up with that but he has gotten accustom to the kiss.

Bottom line, greetings are a very funny thing.