In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to Etiquette & Manners

Greet One Another!

     Have you ever noticed how all cultures have their own unique ways of greeting one another? For example, it could be a bow, a curtsy, hug, kiss or handshake.

Delightful Diversity

     I love many Latin cultures who give kisses (or “air kisses”) to both sides of your face—and, of course, you’re expected to eagerly return the gesture whether you want to or not.  Many Asian cultures have special protocol on bowing and bowing even lower than the one to whom you want to pay the most honor.  In other cultures you may get a big pat on the back (sometimes bigger than expected! ) and a big hug around the neck (you will be lucky if you can come up for air!).

     In the Deep South, where I grew up, we wouldn’t think of standing there without giving you a little “hu-ug!”  That’s a given! We’d consider it rude of us to offer anything less! It just comes with the sweet speech and sweet tea! But of course, we ladies hug the men-folk just briefly and only from the side—everyone knows that’s just proper!

     On the ranches of Texas, you might get a tip of the cowboy hat or a “howdy ma’am” and a nod. In England, royal etiquette might be a salute and a white-gloved curtsy where women would extend only the fingertip portions of their hands in a delicate manner.

     On the streets of Manhattan, or the subways of our nation’s capital—no one greets anyone! If you attempt to do so, you might be stampeded by the hurried mob. You had better just keep moving!

Proper Protocol

     When I was teaching professional image and business etiquette seminars, it was imperative to learn the common protocol for the “American Handshake.” Believe it or not, there are specific things to learn about it!

They are as follows:

      “When shaking hands, you should press webbing to webbing with the other person before making a firm grip to shake their hand. Ladies should never extend their hand first but should respond kindly.”

     Yes, there is a thing called “webbing” that ensures a professional handshake for both men and women when it comes to greeting one another.

     While a smile is universal, greetings can be diverse and unique, not only to the culture but also to the individual. The important thing is that we do extend a greeting –and appropriately!

Kindness in Action

    The Bible encourages us to “greet one another!” In fact, it encourages us to “greet one another with a holy kiss!”  So, there must be something to this “greeting” thing!

     Think about how you greet others. Do you look eye to eye? Do you connect from the heart with your gentle smile? Do you stop and take the time to clasp someone’s hand, touch a person’s arm, lean toward the individual, or embrace her shoulders? Do you enter his or her world for just a moment?

     Stop and think about the special type of greetings that people show to you. Which one makes you feel valued, acknowledged and special? What manner of greeting seems cold, indifferent, awkward, or contrived?

     You may want to consider how you can greet others in a way that makes them feel as special as you like to feel—and that includes children and the elderly. It shows great respect and consideration to give a proper acknowledgment to all people. Even children know when they are being ignored.

     Be assured that your children learn from you.

     The kindness of a special greeting is never a lost art!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Debbie Reynolds Harper

Reader Comments...
2010-03-08 13:34:59
"I love this article on greetings. It really validates what I believe to be a very important morning ritual in my classroom. I am a teacher in a pre-k classroom and I greet every child with a hug every morning as they enter my classroom. It really sets the tone for the day. I also say goodbye with a hug as they leave. I know that for some of my students it may be the only hugs they get all day."
        - Cathy
2010-03-06 04:31:07
"Neat article, thanks for sharing. "
        - Heather

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to Etiquette & Manners

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Corolla, NC with GirlfriendsTravel

Corolla, NC with Girlfriends