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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You had me (or not) at hello.

I was people-watching recently...that's what we women leading lives of leisure do in our spare time. Anyway, I was people-watching the other day and I noticed how different people greet those they come in contact with.

The Hugger: This person offers a warm hug as a "hello." I would like to assume that Huggers only hug those whom they know. However, I'm willing to bet that there are some Huggers out there who've never met a stranger.

The Air Kisser: This may seem kind of like the Hugger. However, Air Kissers are not as genuinely friendly as Huggers. Rather they are falsely amiable and somewhat pretentious. Either that or they have a really big fear of germs.

The Hand Shaker: In my vast research (which for this post can also be called "my opinion"), men are primarily the ones who fall into the roll of hand shaker.Some may offer a single hand. Others offer a handshake augmented with a wrist grasp by the nonshaking hand. Hopefully all these hand shakers are also diligent hand washers.

The Hand Waver: The role of Hand Waver is really a secondary role. I've never seen anyone wave at someone standing right in front of them. But some people will wave at someone they see across the room, which is polite but doesn't take the energy that actually walking across the room to say hello would require. I would venture to guess that most Hand Wavers also fall into one of the other categories when saying hello to someone within close proximity to them.

The Head Nodder: Head Nodders as a rule are aloof and stand-offish and really don't want to say hello to you, but are only doing so with the nod so as not to seem extremely rude. Occasionally someone may resort to the head nod if they are in the middle of a meeting or a church service or some other place where it would be inappropriate to make an audible hello. In that case, if the person doing the nodding is generally not a Head Nodder, they will accompany the nod with a smile. But a nod without a smile? That's someone saying "stay away from me." You would be wise to acquiesce because those kind of people aren't any fun anyway.

So, what are you? (I've made it pretty hard for you to 'fess up to being a Head Nodder, haven't I?)

9 comments:

Eileen Dennie said...

I am a Smiler, but I generally am also a Responder, meaning that I take my cues from the person I am greeting. Some people bring out the Hugger or Hand-shaker in me, and I'm comfortable with either but I watch for the greeting they initiate once I've smiled or said, Hello.

Shelley said...

I don't know Eileen, the previous poster, but I do exactly what she describes.

I am not much of a hugger, though. And I'm not an air kisser. In my family, people just full-on hug and kiss each other and if you don't want to be given a big helping of sugar, you just learn to step out of the way. :)

Mike Magan said...

I would fall into handshaker but I will say I am a head nodder. I think it is always important to acknowledge another human presence, but if you know you can't stop and talk sometimes nodding is the only way to go.

BeMistified said...

I don't like being touched, so I generally do the hand waver. I only head nod when one does it first.

Angie said...

Since living in Miami, I'm definitely a hugger and faux kisser...you know the cheek-to-cheek-make-the-kiss-sound-but-dont-actually-kiss, kiss.

Everyone in Miami greets people that way, even if you're just meeting someone. I totally thought it was weird at first, but now it seems totally normal, though some may think its pretentious.

Amy said...

@Eileen -- You know, after I hit "publish post" and was on to my next task, I thought about how I greet people and I'm a Smiler, too. I would guess that most people are.

hotmess10 said...

LOL. Great post.

I would have to say it depends on the occasion.

For example, when we're meeting up with family, it's the kissing on both cheeks BUT there's an actual kiss involved. None of the air kissing business. Sometimes, I add a hug. Of course, hugs are reserved for the nicest cousins only. LOL

Annie said...

I'M A HUGGER!! I hugged three people this morning during 3rd period lol. But I'm also a smiler/waver :)

B said...

It all depends on who it is that I'm greeting. But I never air kiss...unless I'm forced into it.