WARNING: Do NOT Shake Someone’s Hand in These 4 Scenarios – Click Here to Find Out Why!

When it comes to meeting new people, a handshake is often the go-to way to greet someone. However, there are certain situations in which a handshake can be inappropriate or offensive. experts warn that getting the greeting wrong can lead to a bad first impression. In this article, we'll outline four times when you should avoid shaking someone's hand and the reasons why.

1. The other person has their hands full

While shaking hands is appropriate in most social situations, etiquette experts agree that it's not advisable if the person has their hands full. Jules Hirst, founder of Etiquette Consulting, Inc. notes, “You do not want to inconvenience them by having them put down what they are carrying to shake your hand.” In this situation, Jodi RR Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, suggests being overt with your intentions and saying: “Hello! Usually I would shake your hand, but it looks like you have your hands full. So nice to meet you.”

2. Someone is feeling sick

While shaking hands is considered polite, it shouldn't be done if one or both individuals are at risk of spreading . “Anyone who is clearly ill would be better off staying home, but if they do decide to interact, they should not be shaking anyone's hand,” says Smith. Moreover, in the current COVID climate, many people refrain from handshakes due to fear. Lisa Mirza Grotts, an etiquette expert widely known as the Golden Rules Gal, advises respecting their choice and going along with it.

3. They're showing disinterest through body language

It's crucial to read the other person's when it comes to introductions. If the person seems disinterested in shaking hands or uncomfortable with physical contact, it's best to skip it. Hirst suggests, “If you observe someone's body language to be non-interested in shaking hands, then you should not attempt to shake hands.” Some common cues might include the person keeping their arms at their side, nodding their head to greet you, or putting their hand over their heart or chest. Any of these gestures might signal that the person does not want to shake your hand and has acknowledged you in their own way.

4. It's culturally or religiously inappropriate

While shaking hands is common in many cultures, it's actually seen as a sign of disrespect or expressly forbidden in some. Hirst and Smith agree that it's important to keep culture and religion in mind when greeting someone new. Some religions consider it inappropriate for unmarried or unrelated men and women to touch, so it's advisable to be sensitive to this scenario. Smith recommends noting when the other person is wearing religious garb, head coverings or modest . In these cases, it's better to wait and see if they extend their hand or ask if they shake hands before touching them.

In conclusion, while a handshake is a widely accepted form of greeting, there are certain situations in which it might not be appropriate or socially acceptable. By paying attention to body language and people's , one can avoid causing offense or discomfort when greeting others.

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