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Shaking hands

Style guy

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Yesterday I was at a mall and I ran into a close friend that I haven't seen in about 3 months, we talked for a while and then we both went on our way. My question is should I have extended my hand? I mean he is a close friend and he knows me, but on the other hand I haven't seen him for a while, how long between meetings should it be before I shake hands with someone I know? I mean I play cards with another group of friends on Friday nights, almost every Friday and I don't shake their hands because I see them at least once a week, sometimes more. Please help.
 

1Dgaf

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It sounds like you two were comfortable enough together to sit down like you'd seen each other recently. Hence I don't think you needed to shake hands.

I shake hands as an introduction (esp. business),
a congratulation or as a sign of a deal. Aside from those situations, I think the better you get to know a person, whether through informality or regularity of contact, the less often you shake their hand.
 

johnw86

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I don't have a reference text on social anthropology handy (thank god), but shaking hands signifies a relationship, a connection. It's usually done as a greeting or parting. I've noticed some generational shifts going on with this--younger people shake hands less frequently than older folks. So it's a practice that's both culturally and generationally determined. Assuming you and your friend are younger (than 30?) and are of the same culture, I'd say you were safe to not shake. I'm not sure the length of the interlude between meetings is all that important. Also, with the cold and flu season upon us, not shaking hands is a good protection against sharing unwanted germs...
 

Style guy

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Thanks johnw86. I am 36 years old ( an old timer
) and we are both from the same culture.
 

Alex_O

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I would have shaken hands with the friend upon meeting.
Energeticly upon meetin and probably with other hand on shoulder upon parting.

I rather dont enjoy the fact that in American culture handshakes have become so much associated with bussiness. They are really in my mind a greeting and shoe of affection towards male friends.

Of course I grew up in partly in Eastern Europe and around many adults I may just be out of the american culture loop on this one.

I would in all seriousness like to hear what opinion ernest has, I have heard in France handshaking is exceptionally prevalent.
 

Alex_O

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On a side note I practice the habit of not extending my hand to those whos company I do not enjoy, its shortens derparture time, and vice versa. Anyone else?
 

Mike C.

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I don't particularly like shaking hands. I think it is unsanitary especially in the winter when everyone is sneezing on them and such. I think it is especially rude to shake hands when someone is eating. I HATE when restaurant mangers come over to my table to introduce themselves while extending a hand to shake; they should know better.
 

VMan

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I don't know if it's just me...but this is how it works in my case.

If I'm seeing a friend that I haven't seen in a few weeks due to college (distance), I'll definitely shake their hand upon greeting them. All of my guy friends will get a handshake upon parting. Most of my female friends get hugs upon parting, and sometimes upon greeting. My best guy friend also gets a 'man hug' at the end of seeing eachother (hand shake, then a firm pat on the back, but no touching of the chest/waist).
 

VMan

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Also, one more question:

When I shake a man's hand, I use a firm grip (but don't squeeze the life out of him), keep a steady wrist, and give a few pumps at the elbow.

When I shake a woman's hand, I tend to grip much softer, don't really 'pump' at all (shake up and down), and also give a nod and a smile. I don't know where I picked this up, but it just seems like a more gentle gesture that should be applied to women.

I know you are often judged on your handshake. I assume the first example is what should be done, but what about the second (with women)?
 

globetrotter

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I carry a tube of anti-bacterial cream in my pocket when traveling in the 3rd world and clean my hands like a fanatic, also at trade shows. it is very small, cheap and very useful. I actually started when I hada cold and didn't want to pass it on at a trade show, but them I kept the habbit.
 

johnw86

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Also, one more question:

When I shake a man's hand, I use a firm grip (but don't squeeze the life out of him), keep a steady wrist, and give a few pumps at the elbow.  

When I shake a woman's hand, I tend to grip much softer, don't really 'pump' at all (shake up and down), and also give a nod and a smile.  I don't know where I picked this up, but it just seems like a more gentle gesture that should be applied to women.

I know you are often judged on your handshake.  I assume the first example is what should be done, but what about the second (with women)?
With men, a solid, firm grasp is good (avoid the "bonecrusher" or the other person will almost always think "assh*le," unless he's one himself).

With women, a slightly softer, but still firm--don't go limp now--handshake is proper.
 

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