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84 votes
Accepted

How to politely receive someone when you don't know how to pronounce their name?

I am Indian. My first name is hard for many Indians to pronounce and my last name, common as it may be in India, has 14 characters! I know I am one in a million when I say this, but you can destroy my ...
Crazy Cucumber's user avatar
69 votes
Accepted

Why is a 'good' handshake important?

The idea is to project confidence and a good first impression (see eg Psych Study: Firm Handshakes Impress). The article also notes: In general, any attempt to assign a single, major specific ...
tim's user avatar
  • 1,541
69 votes

How do I announce my presence to someone who is not aware of it without frightening them?

If you have a wall near enough, you can always knock on it. It also works with other stuff, like a table. I never tried with floors, but maybe it also works. What I wrote is based on my own ...
Purrrple's user avatar
  • 3,105
37 votes

How to politely receive someone when you don't know how to pronounce their name?

I used to pick people up at the airport. I did the (maybe hokey) thing of holding a sign. Then when I would meet them, I would straight away tell them I am unsure how to properly pronounce their ...
threetimes's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Should I apologize for not acknowledging a colleague in office?

You seem to be reading way too much into it. While it's possible/probable that there was awkwardness about this situation it isn't that big of a deal and apologising for it likely will make it worse, ...
Maxim's user avatar
  • 3,071
30 votes
Accepted

How to respond to "What's up?"

"What's up?" is typically used in a phatic manner as opposed to actually being a question with an expectation of an answer. The purpose of this phrase is to indicate interest in the other person. ...
Casebash's user avatar
  • 841
22 votes
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How do I announce my presence to someone who is not aware of it without frightening them?

Right off the bat, I see some possibilities. I have some experience in this because I still live with my parents and when I am gaming with my headset I just don't hear them and since I'm focused on ...
OneEyedBandit's user avatar
19 votes

Why is a 'good' handshake important?

I found this scientific study by the Beckman Institute in Illinois. It is all about first impressions, see the first sentence: "New neuroscience research is confirming an old adage about the power ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 33.9k
18 votes

Why do men shake hands with each other but hug women?

I won't even pretend to have seen this type of situation, because in India men are not supposed to hug any women except their immediate family, nor even shake hands with unrelated women (though men ...
English Student's user avatar
18 votes

How to politely receive someone when you don't know how to pronounce their name?

How to find out how to pronounce someone's name: "Hi I'm Alex, I apologise, I don't know how to say your name, could you clarify how I should say it?" They say: "Jacob". Repeat the name at least ...
Geek Speaker's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How do I explain to family members that I don't like to be greeted with a kiss?

I am Chinese, and I dislike this practice as well. I don't know if this will work for you, but I sometimes hold out my hand for a handshake, this has 2 effects: It creates a barrier and extends a ...
Bqin1's user avatar
  • 674
16 votes

Why do men shake hands with each other but hug women?

Here are the norms for adults greetings based on gender in my area: F/F, F/M, complete stranger: handshake (usually) F/F, F/M, acquainted: hug F/F, F/M, good friend/family: hug M/M, complete stranger:...
user2322082's user avatar
16 votes

Should I apologize for not acknowledging a colleague in office?

Well, of course, you see people walking by your desk when there is an open office plan. I'm working in one of those offices as well. I'm from the Netherlands, and there is actually a sort of rhythm to ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 33.9k
16 votes

Telling parents that it's okay if their child doesn't kiss me

I used to be an animator in holiday centers when I was a teenager, and it was fairly common to have kids who didn't want to kiss cheeks/hug when they arrived at the facility. At first I didn't say ...
avazula's user avatar
  • 14.3k
13 votes
Accepted

How to quickly greet and identify visitors at work?

For the past year, I was in the same situation as you. I volunteered because my desk was closest to the entrance of the office. You could save the pleasantries until you've found out more about their ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
13 votes

Greeting others as someone with clammy hands

I have this problem. Everyone sitting around me knows this because it's really bad - I sometimes need to wipe my keyboard when using it for a long time. I always, always wipe my hands before shaking,...
svj's user avatar
  • 1,312
12 votes

How do I explain to family members that I don't like to be greeted with a kiss?

they tend to greet me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek [...] I don't kiss them on the cheek in return. [...] My mother-in-law and father-in-law have picked up. And they keep doing that. That means ...
OldPadawan's user avatar
  • 22.2k
12 votes

Greeting others as someone with clammy hands

My wife has this problem. She simply wipes her hands before shaking and tries not to worry about what the other person is thinking. If they like you as a person, they'll find clammy hands to be ...
zoltar's user avatar
  • 273
12 votes
Accepted

How to find out, if it is ok to hug (opposite sex)?

The only way to avoid all possible discomfort from offering a hug would be to not offer a hug. If we assume that the cultural context you are in and the cultural context of the people involved does ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 1,864
11 votes

Why do men shake hands with each other but hug women?

I can guess that these men believe that women are more likely to express emotion in their greetings (and hugs are a kind of emotional expression.) But that might be a starry-eyed interpretation. It ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
11 votes

What reply is expected to the query "How are you?"

This is assuming you're in the USA; I've heard it's different elsewhere. If it's a person you don't know well, it's just a greeting that's roughly equivalent to "hello." They're not actually asking ...
Kat's user avatar
  • 5,871
11 votes

How do I announce my presence to someone who is not aware of it without frightening them?

It is pretty traditional in this circumstance to affect a small cough or clearing of the throat. (Usually written as "ahem".) This might cause the person to jump, but probably less so than suddenly ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 297
11 votes

How do I announce my presence to someone who is not aware of it without frightening them?

I'm with the folks who try to announce their presence from afar: knock on the door, call out, "Alice?" before you even enter the room, drop your keys, anything to make noise at the entrance. However, ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
10 votes

What reply is expected to the query "How are you?"

Well, if you want to keep a conversation going, you could say, "I'm great, I just got a new dog", or whatever. If you are in a rush, you could say, "I'm fine, thanks", or something along those lines. ...
baranskistad's user avatar
  • 1,237
9 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to stop saying hi to people that you have no interest in?

It would be odd if your decision is sudden, that is, if you had said hello yesterday and days before, and if you pretend that you don't know the person when you see them tomorrow, it would be odd. ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
8 votes
Accepted

How to avoid shaking hands?

If you are just trying to avoid shaking hands for a brief period, I don't think there is any need for you to tell the other party that you'd rather not shake hands. You don't need to explain why or ...
Crazy Cucumber's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How do you open/close a friendly personal message to somebody with a terminal illness?

I don't know your relationship and communication style, but your email looks good to me. Having had a bit of flirtation with death myself, I didn't want people avoiding me because of awkwardness. ...
David Thornley's user avatar

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