I was considering not writing about this because it will create people saying “I read this in your blog and …” First off I’m not good with formalities. Everything is always awkward and I don’t put much importance in them. I’ll break it down in various situations, what I think should happen, what other people think should happen, and then what really does happen.
Group of friends you see all the time – I see no need for handshakes. Practically never. These are supposedly your good friends. There is no need to shake hands confirming your friendship every time you see each other. High fives at athletic events or drinking games are acceptable but shouldn’t be overused. I also think the pound is appropriate. I’m actually a fan of the pound due to it’s simplicity. Sometimes at formal events you can give a firm handshake, no shucking and jiving. A dead fish is a good option from time to time to switch it up.
People you haven’t seen in a long time, like years, but you were friendly with them for a period of time. Firm handshake is my only option. I don’t like the 2 or 3 step handshakes, they just get confusing and I always fuck it up. So even if the other person is going for an intricate handshake, I don’t give up my initial game plan. I don’t do hugs with bros either but will maybe do a one hand shake and a pat on the back if I’m in the mood.
Girls you are meeting for the first time – This is easily the most awkward one for me. If I don’t know the girl I don’t feel right going for the hug. I don’t even know the person and I don’t hug just anyone. I don’t like the hand shake because it’s a girl and I’m a guy and handshakes seems unusual. However this is the approach I will use most often. Another approach is the close range wave-hello. This can be a good maneuver but will make you come off standoffish. Sometimes I’ll use the just say hello and don’t go in for any greeting. Help is appreciated.
Family – With female family I assume it’s the peck on the cheek. I don’t know if you are really supposed to peck or just pretend to peck. And then do you go for the hug after you do the peck. If you go for the hug it’s like a 2 step operation that gets long and unusual. Usually I’ll make the peck awkward as can be and then I’ll continue being strange by hugging for an extended time period.
This is the stuff that goes through my mind. It’s not wow it’s great to see this person who I haven’t seen in such a long time. It’s I hope I don’t get off to a rocky start by fing up the intro.
One more thing with intros. You know you are in trouble when you move past the intro, you say hello, they say hello, you say how are you, they say good “how are you,” you say can’t complain and then… If you can’t think of anything to say after that, chances are it’s going to be a long evening. You can’t lead with something about yourself or else you come off as a selfish prick. And if you don’t know anything about them you have to go really general like “how’s work” or my go to line “how’s life?” The more alcohol you have the less any of this is an issue.
I’m really not this bad at this stuff but if I’m going to make a post about it I have to make a point.