Introductions with handshakes? Too formal?

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    Jan 12, 2011 2:51 AM GMT
    I just started my second term at university, and I've met a bunch of really interesting individuals. I would usually introduce myself and shake the other person's hand. Today, I met two girls. I shook both their hands and introduced myself. One of them said, "Do you always do this with everyone?" And I'm like, "Yeah, don't you?" And one tells me "No." The other tells me she would rather just wave.

    So my question to you guys is: Am I being too formal/traditional with my handshakes? I was raised in a traditional household and I was taught to always shake someone's hand when you first meet him/her; is it a lot different in university and the outside world?
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    Jan 12, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    With women (even in a professional business environment) I generally hug.
    With men, either a firm handshake, or a "fist bump" (usually preferred by the germophobic queens).
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    Jan 12, 2011 3:13 AM GMT
    Most women are taught to be more reserved than men are and withhold body contact, while men are taught to be more in charge. The handshake is one of those things that shows how confident and unafraid you are. Your handshake has to be strong, but not painful. Also, most women have woefully limp handshakes. You just continue with this routine, people tend to respond more to you in a setting when you have had body contact.

    I noticed (probably flawed) that liberal arts oriented students would shake hands less than scientifically or technically oriented students, especially if they were female.
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    Jan 12, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    My parents found it so bloody hilarious when at 18 my friends come over and shake my hand. I dont think its formal, I just think its disgusting if the other guy is the type not to wash his hands after he goes to the toilet... maybe thats the good thing about the gay community being so into kissing hello (not my style!)
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    Jan 12, 2011 3:56 AM GMT
    It was all fine and dandy, handshaking was normal to me, I didn't think much of it.. until I met these two girls.. (Or I should really be calling them women.) They really threw me off and had me questioning if I was doing my introductions wrong the entire time. I'm glad to hear that I'm not doing anything wrong.

    I remember, in high school, I would impress most of my friends' parents when I would go over to their house and introduce myself first thing, with a handshake and all. One of their mums, though, would not let go of my hand; that was really awkward. For me, it's more of a habit than anything else.

    Is it any different in the gay community? Meeting people in bars, for example?
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    Jan 12, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    Call me a traditionalist, but I think shaking hands with someone is a sign that you respect them.

    I think its good that young people (men and women) keep it going.
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    Jan 12, 2011 6:37 PM GMT
    My general rule of thumb:

    • Men who I am unfamilar with, and butch lesbians - firm handshake.
    • Men I know somewhat well - firm handshake and a backslap
    • Close male friends - hug ranging from the "straight guy two blackslaps and a quick breakaway" to "bear hug and a knowing look with a smartassed but funny remark"

    • Women I am unfamiliar with in a business setting - loose handshake adjusted to about the same intensity as hers.
    • Women I am unfamiliar with (informal setting) - return her goofy wave thing with a smile and a nod
    • Women I am friendly with - ranges from a smile/nod to "kiss on the cheeks hello"
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    Jan 12, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    Supposedly, women are the ones to decide whether to extend their paw or not......and then just a light squeeze, no rigourous pumping.

    With men.....grab it and squeeze it hard...Grrrr.....Manly!!!
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Jan 12, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    Shake the hand of whoever you like when you like. If anyone gives you shit, just say "I was taught that was good manners and showed respect".

    Remember, philosphy 99?: what's good for the goose is good for the gander. All that and you aren't reponsible for people's bad manners/social hangups.
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    Jan 12, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    A handshake generally to all, close female friends might get a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

    A lot of gay guys here would do a big hug and one or two kisses on the cheek, I never did and love their reaction when I put my hand out for a proper handshake.

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    Jan 12, 2011 7:04 PM GMT
    cgal saidI just started my second term at university, and I've met a bunch of really interesting individuals. I would usually introduce myself and shake the other person's hand. Today, I met two girls. I shook both their hands and introduced myself. One of them said, "Do you always do this with everyone?" And I'm like, "Yeah, don't you?" And one tells me "No." The other tells me she would rather just wave.

    So my question to you guys is: Am I being too formal/traditional with my handshakes? I was raised in a traditional household and I was taught to always shake someone's hand when you first meet him/her; is it a lot different in university and the outside world?


    A handshake is a courteous thing to do when people first meet. Keep doing it. Society has become waaaaayy too relaxed when it comes to etiquette, manners.
    Youre doing the right thing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:10 PM GMT
    Handshake to most men that I meet for the first time. I let the woman dictate the proper response back to her. If it's a male or female friend I have known and care about I'll give a hug.
    I'm not into the kiss on the lips that so many gay men do with each other...I reserve the kiss to my partner only...don't want to kiss another guy as an informal greeting...not my style.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:31 PM GMT
    She sounds like a dyke with men issues to me. yes I shake hands or do the knuckles.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidWith women (even in a professional business environment) I generally hug.
    With men, either a firm handshake, or a "fist bump" (usually preferred by the germophobic queens).

    This.


    And if they're friends, or we've talked before... a hug will do instead of a handshake. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:37 PM GMT
    I shake people's hand all the time for introductions. With women, generally a hug and kiss unless it's a professional setting, in which case they also get a handshake.

    I have a friend who claims he can tell a lot about a guy's personality by the quality of his handshake. Go figure...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:38 PM GMT
    handshakes all around; then the occasional high-five thrown in for good measure for closer friends
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:44 PM GMT
    Hand shake for men and women in a formal situation or if you're being introduced to someone new who is male.

    Hand shandy if he's good looking (fnarrrr fnaaar)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:47 PM GMT
    Ive often met women who dont shake hands, especially with men.. its not that its too formal... its a different set of formalities
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    Jan 12, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    The handshake is an almost universally accepted form of greeting, with a storied history across many cultures.

    People have been doing it since the 4th or 5th century. It's generally thought to have originated as a gesture of repose, used in ancient times to demonstrate a lack of armament.

    When you shake hands, you are engaging in a ritual performed for centuries. I think that's pretty cool.
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    Jan 12, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    The handshake is pretty standard for everyone in these parts. But I suppose it all depends on the local vibe.

    I still don't know how to deal with the European kissy-hug thing. Creeps me out.

    And you know, they say that a blow-job is the gay handshake ;)
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    Jan 12, 2011 8:13 PM GMT
    I think its more correct to wait for a lady to initiate the handshake.
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    Jan 12, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    With women, when we first meet, it's usually a wave in a social setting. Business then it's a handshake. If we're close then a hug.

    With men, handshake, then more handshakes til we're really good friends then, depending on the guy, hug, manly hug, some un-secret handshake or a slap on the ass.

    With gays, starts with a handshake first time we meet.. then by the end of the night, it's a hug or hugssssss.... icon_razz.gif hahaha
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 12, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    It not that formal; every guy I've been friends with or went on a date with shook my hand.

    It's more a curiosity thing and a "non-threatening" universal greeting more than anything else.

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    Jan 12, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
    antelope saidI think its more correct to wait for a lady to initiate the handshake.


    What like opening a door? Now that women have equality and men don't. I am not so sure about that one.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 12, 2011 8:27 PM GMT
    'zactly, Antelope. A male should never shake a female's hand unless she offers it.

    Introductions are different than greetings between those who have already met. Men being introduced, or introducing themselves, shake hands. Men who already have been introduced shake hands when greeting or parting.

    Informal situations on campus require some flexibility. While handshaking may be proper, it is not always necessary among friends.