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All around the world, people have unique ways of greeting one another.
The handshake has been used in a variety of cultures for centuries, mostly to illustrate goodwill and to seal oaths. But it wasn’t until the 17th century that it became an everyday greeting in western society. The idea of the handshake is believed to have been popularized by Quakers, who believed that a simple handclasp promoted equality more than bowing or tipping a hat.
And while their intentions were good, the widespread practice of centuries gone by has come under fire. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, handshakes were losing their popularity. But now, with social distancing and hand hygiene a part of daily life, it seems pretty obvious that we can’t go back to touching each other’s hands.
There are plenty of ways to greet one another that don’t involve exchanging germs, so let’s explore all of the options, from serious to silly, that we have available in our new normal.
The Smile N’ Nod
This one’s pretty established as a casual greeting, so there’s no reason that we can class it up a little and bring it into our meetings and business life. See, this won’t be so bad!
The fistbump still has some hand-to-hand contact, but it’s better than pressing our palms together. Plus you can add silly variations into your routine, like the classic post-fistbump explosion. Save this one for once social distancing guidlines have been reduced.
Take a Bow
The Quakers may have been against bowing, but I’m certainly not. You get bonus points with me if you add a little flourish.
Live Long and Prosper
If it’s good enough for Spock, it’s good enough for the rest of us. Plus, what a genuinely nice way to greet people!
This doesn’t have to be over-the-top. A simple wave can always suffice. It’s basically just a handshake without contact anyway.
Create your own signature move
But if you are looking for an over-the-top option, I’d never be mad at getting introduced to someone by their signature dance move. It’s instantly iconic.
A good old-fashioned “Hello”
When all else fails, you can just use your words. Saying hello and then following it up with some genuinely good conversation will make a better impression than a handshake anyway.
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