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Old 07-28-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
NFLDERS
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Hand Shakes?

Is it rude not to shake an extended hand? If we do not wish to do so, what may we say/do?
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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It depends. Is it because you don't want to touch someone, or because of a physical disability?

I have a friend who has severe arthritis in her right hand, so if someone extends a hand to her, she kind of grasps their hand in her left hand and gives it a gentle squeeze. Sometimes she says something like, "my arthritis is acting up in my other hand." Most folks smile, nod or say something like, "no problem."
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
curious3069
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Good question...I've had times when I've had a cold when I've said just that to the person offering the hand "Oh I've got a bad cold, I don't think you want to shake my hand right now!" I always say it with a smile and a laugh and I've never found it to be uncomfortable. Can't think of any other instance though when I've not taken the hand that is offered or vice versa.

Maybe a little more info, is there a reason why you don't want to shake hands??
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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I step back a tiny bit and say "I won't shake your hand -I think I might be getting a cold" Then smile
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
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I think it would depend on what you did instead.

Just stood there awkwardly not shaking, not acknowledging it, not offering an alternative...yeah, that would strike me as quite rude.

But I also understand there are people with germ issues that don't touch other people, someone may be ill, or hurt, etc...a simple explanation of why you won't/don't IMO would be fine and wouldn't come across as rude.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:03 PM   #6
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I think in general it would be rude to ignore an outstretched hand without explanation. As others have said, you need to explain that you are ill, or whatever. If you have a phobia about it, I'd probably lie and say I was ill rather than going into details.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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I will say this, better to explain and no handshake than to give the dead fish handshake..I so hate that and women are particularly prone to giving it. Nothing feels worse than trying to shake a limp (not a physical problem, mind you) hand.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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"I'm sorry - I think I am coming down with a cold!" works wonders...no one takes offense to that either, actually, most people are appreciative.

About once every winter, our pastor will be outside of church, greeting the parishioners, with her arms crossed tightly across her stomach. And that is when she has or feels like she is coming down with a cold.

We have a vendor who comes to our workplace, and ironically - we "always" have something going around the office. We just feel that he is a germy and has managed to pick his ear several times during meetings and ends up with tiny drops of blood on his fingers. EWWW.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curious3069 View Post
Good question...I've had times when I've had a cold when I've said just that to the person offering the hand "Oh I've got a bad cold, I don't think you want to shake my hand right now!" I always say it with a smile and a laugh and I've never found it to be uncomfortable. Can't think of any other instance though when I've not taken the hand that is offered or vice versa.

Maybe a little more info, is there a reason why you don't want to shake hands??
Mostly because the Medical Community in our area is advising against it. We were under Mandatory lockdown during the Sars situation. Since then non shaking is recommended.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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I would just step back and say, "Sorry, I don't want to shake....first day with my new hands."
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #11
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I would just step back and say, "Sorry, I don't want to shake....first day with my new hands."

This reminded me of Doctor Who during the 11th regeneration.

"Fingers! Lots of fingers!"
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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I try to avoid handshakes due to germs ( and am usually surprised when doctors shake) but I usually shake or excuse with "sorry wet hands" or "getting a cold"

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Old 07-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #13
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In a business setting, and unless the person or I was ill, I would find it extremely rude and, to be blunt, would almost certainly not enter into a business agreement or do business with somebody unwilling to shake hands.

In a social setting, I'd be surprised and find it rude, but it wouldn't bother me quite as much. If I am feeling saucy, I might say "oh, you're a hugger" and then just move in like I'm going to give them a hug.

Hand shakes tell a lot about a person, in my opinion, and somebody declining to shake hands says even more. Prophylactically declining to shake hands when there is no compelling reason is, in my opinion, rude. That's not the same as when somebody IS actually ill, but that's not what I'm reading that people are doing in this thread.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy View Post
In a business setting, and unless the person or I was ill, I would find it extremely rude and, to be blunt, would almost certainly not enter into a business agreement or do business with somebody unwilling to shake hands.

In a social setting, I'd be surprised and find it rude, but it wouldn't bother me quite as much. If I am feeling saucy, I might say "oh, you're a hugger" and then just move in like I'm going to give them a hug.

Hand shakes tell a lot about a person, in my opinion, and somebody declining to shake hands says even more. Prophylactically declining to shake hands when there is no compelling reason is, in my opinion, rude. That's not the same as when somebody IS actually ill, but that's not what I'm reading that people are doing in this thread.
Can't believe it took 13 replies to hear the word 'rude'.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Princess'_Daddy View Post
In a business setting, and unless the person or I was ill, I would find it extremely rude and, to be blunt, would almost certainly not enter into a business agreement or do business with somebody unwilling to shake hands.

In a social setting, I'd be surprised and find it rude, but it wouldn't bother me quite as much. If I am feeling saucy, I might say "oh, you're a hugger" and then just move in like I'm going to give them a hug.

Hand shakes tell a lot about a person, in my opinion, and somebody declining to shake hands says even more. Prophylactically declining to shake hands when there is no compelling reason is, in my opinion, rude. That's not the same as when somebody IS actually ill, but that's not what I'm reading that people are doing in this thread.
This is a tricky one though due to cultural differences. I am very assertive in my role professionally and always initiate greetings with an offered hand. Not only have I had to not be offended when clients of different ethnic backgrounds demure, I have also learned not to even offer my hand to certain clients as it is actually an offence to them.
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