How do you greet acquaintances?

(11 Posts)
MrsBartlet Sun 06-Dec-15 13:07:36

I know this really an inane question but I would like to be a bit less socially inept! How do you greet and take leave of people you don't know very well? I think men tend to have this covered with a handshake as in they would shake hands in both a business setting and socially - ie dh greets his and my brothers and dads with a handshake whilst I would kiss them but equally he will shake hands with other dads when they meet at parents evening etc and I stand there looking like a spare part as I don't know them well enough to greet them with a kiss and a handshake would seem too masculine or business like in a social situation. We collected dd from uni yesterday and the same situation arose as we were leaving and one of her (male) friends shook dh's hand to say goodbye and I just avoided dealing with it by getting in the car and waving "bye" from the across the car.

Seriously, I know how trivial this is but I am intrigued to know what others do. Generally, I am quite a sociable person and I have a job where I meet lots of new people all the time and have to be able to talk to anyone and I am generally not a complete incompetent grin

BooAvenue Sun 06-Dec-15 13:10:17

Oh god I am exactly the same! DH greets everyone with a handshake, I greet people I have met before/spoken to with that awkward side hug/pretend kiss thing depending on the situation.

If I've never met them before 50% of the time if they are a man they will shake my hand and I will reciprocate. Otherwise I just sort of smile and say "pleased to meet you" same as DH would to a woman. I agree it's such a minefield!

MrsBartlet Sun 06-Dec-15 13:12:51

Glad I am not the only one! I think I need to live in a Jane Austen novel where everyone knows what the rules are and we all bow to one another!

M48294Y Sun 06-Dec-15 13:17:38

I shake hands the first time we meet (so would have shaken hands with your dd's friend yesterday) then don't feel the need to make any sort of touching gesture again after that.

I reserve kisses only for people I consider more than acquaintances/consider friends (can't STAND it when people move in on me for a kiss when I barely know them). Really good old friends - such as the group of people I went out with last night - get two kisses and a great big hug from me, whether they want it or not!

MrsBartlet Sun 06-Dec-15 13:21:00

We had met dd's friend before and the hand shaking was just a good-bye but I find there is no female alternative and I just end up looking unfriendly. I agree with you that I prefer to reserve kisses for family and old friends.

MrsBartlet Sun 06-Dec-15 13:29:12

Also agree with you that I hate people moving in for a kiss when I don't really know them. I work in publishing and some people can be a bit kissy and I have been kissed at the end of meetings by people I don't really know. It's a bit to "lovey" for me!

celtictoast Wed 09-Dec-15 21:30:38

I just smile and say hello smile

tb Tue 05-Jan-16 16:01:09

Our GP gives me and DH a handshake. He kisses dd (aged 18) - but I live in France.

Not much use really. I just marvel at the immune systems French GPs must have with having to kiss all those snotty children.

FadedRed Tue 05-Jan-16 16:11:29

In that situation, Op, I would have put my hand out to be shaken. I think that some men are a bit reticent to 'touch' women, so to put your hand out for a hand shake is 'implied consent' iyswim.
TBH, I'm not impressed with blokes who I hardly know learning in for the cheek kissing business. In fact, this applies to some people I know well, so maybe I'm just a bit miserable hmm

Elledouble Tue 05-Jan-16 16:21:04

I've got a work colleague I'm friendly (not enough to see out of work, but friends on Facebook!) who I recently went for a handshake with after a meeting (after he had shaken hands with another, male colleague). He seemed to think this was really funny! I don't know if it was because we're friends or because I'm a woman (I did say "what were you after? A kiss?!"), but I had pondered this question too!

MrsBartlet Wed 06-Jan-16 18:12:24

I have caught bits of David Mitchell's programme on R4 this week on modern manners and he clearly has the same worries. I haven't heard an answer from him yet though as how we are supposed to deal with this grin He seems to be suggesting that as a country we used to know how we were supposed to behave but now we don't.

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