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Do Tell: Do You Go in For the Hug or the Handshake?

A good friend told me about an awkward encounter she had the other day when being introduced to a friend of a friend. Upon their introduction, my friend stuck out her hand for a friendly shake while the stranger went in for an even friendlier hug! She ended up jabbing her hand into the other girl’s abdomen, while simultaneously giving her a side hug. Not only was she embarrassed, but she also couldn’t understand why a girl she didn’t even know would need to hug her on the first meet.

I know the importance of a first introduction, and I've had my fair share of awkward encounters, but I rarely go in for the hug. So ladies, when it comes to introductions, do tell, do you go in for the hug or stick with the safe shake?


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TFS TFS 9 years
emalove emalove 9 years
I am so not a hugger...unless I've known the person a long time and am close to them. It makes me feel awkward when people I don't know that well try to hug me. Yuck.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
Neither. I don't like handshakes unless it's involved with business. If it's someone I'm meeting for the first time I just nod and say hi, I may give a little wave if it's from across the table or something.
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 9 years
I dont do the hugs and dont get it - but being Puerto Rican, I greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek. Perfect example - I recently met my boyfriend's friend's wife - she put her hand out to shake mine, I shook it and gave her a kiss on the cheek hello - and she was totally fine with that. I do it saying hello and goodbye.
LadyP LadyP 9 years
I usually do a handshake but I feel manly when I do it. Sometimes I just give a nod and a smile.
missyd missyd 9 years
I dont like being touched very much by people I know, let alone people I just met. I would be ruffled by a hug for sure. It makes me uncomfortable.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I would never hug a stranger upon first being introduced!
ayuninur ayuninur 9 years
Definitely handshake..
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I'm a hugger with friends but never the first time I meet someone. I do always offer a handshake though.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Handshake. Always.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
OH, GOD. Handshakes are what sorority girls do during rush. EEK. I don't think I've ever done that to greet someone. When I meet a stranger, I'll wave and say hi, but yes, TidalWave, I've known people to also lean in for a hug and a kiss on the cheek. When my friend's friend gave me a kiss on the cheek, I sort of stiffened up and looked awkward, so she just laughed at me and explained the tradition. I think people who give hugs when they first meet are so sweet and so adorable. When I went over to my boyfriend's grandparents house, they didn't give me a hug as I went through the door because of the introductions, but when we all left, his grandmother insisted on a hug from me, too. Adorable!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I prefer hand shakes. Respectful and diplomatic. Hugs on the other hand are very personal. I gotta put a lid on it where some people are concerned.
Hachi Hachi 9 years
*dosen't like hugs whoops!
Hachi Hachi 9 years
Definitely the handshake on the first meeting, maybe even the 3rd and 4th one too. Im not much of a hugger really, and when I do hug someone its usually pretty short and light. It may seem like I'm a cold person but I guess I'm the kind of person who really likes hugs ..
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
Oh, for my close girl friends I'll usually give them a quick hug and maybe peck on the cheek when I see them. We don't go overboard though - this is only if it 'flows' naturally, if that makes sense. :p
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
I shake hands. In a social setting quite a number of people seem to find even that a bit strange though. Standing back and doing nothing but an awkward smile and wave seems too impersonal to me, so I'll always shake their hand if its practical. I work as a professional so it comes naturally to me when meeting someone. It bugs me when a guy is being introduced to the group and will shake other males' hands, but bypass the females. I always get up and make sure to give them a good handshake! When I lived in Brazil it took a while to get used to everyone you meet swooping in for a hug and multiple kisses! When in Rome. :)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
First meeting? Handshake.
lindac lindac 9 years
Definately a handshake upon introduction. I'm not much of a hugger unless I know someone really well. I'm not big on touching.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
Neither. Well, I'll take hugs if someone tries to hug me, but for some reason handshakes have always made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable (and I can't figure out why). So, I'll shake someone's hand if it's work related, on a professional basis, etc., but in terms of just plain people, when I am offered a handshake I politely explain that I don't shake hands at all, and move on. Now that I think of it, I do a dorky little wave. Someone introduces me and I'm like "hi!" and wave.... Really dorky.
jessie jessie 9 years
Handshake-I'm not very touchy-feely.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 9 years
I only hug when I know the person better-not on a first meeting though.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
snowbunny, I agree with you... it was just a joke. I would never behave that way in a million years. I am feeling snarky today for some reason, but it doesn't always translate well into text. And even if it does transalte well, it's possible it's not funny at all ;) On to a real post... I was actually just discussing this with friends. The conclusion I came to is that if someone "new" hugs me, I'm happy to hug them. But I don't initiate hugs upon first meeting unless I've spoken to them on the phone many times or feel close to them for some other reason. The comment I actually am offended by, unless it's snarky also, is this one: "Where i grew up we always kiss, and I hate the handshake here in the US (whenever it is not about work), it is so cold, but again now I know people here do not care about others." I personally care very much for many people, and am appalled at your broad generalizations of our society. As for handshake vs. bow vs. kissing, much of it is just custom and it's how we grow up. What if I just started bowing during introductions? I bet I'd get some stares, right? Yet that is the custom elsewhere. I think people try to keep to custom specifically BECAUSE we do care about others. We want to make them feel comfortable and welcome and randomly smooching them, if they aren't expecting it, isn't going to do that.
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
I am by nature not a hugger, and the first time I went down to Austin to meet my bf's family, I actually got a lesson on how to hug properly! I didn't realize I had been doing it incorrectly all of these years...
LaDolceVita LaDolceVita 9 years
Funny this post came up. I just sold my dishwasher through my company website to this lady I have never met, and when she gave me the money she hugged me! So weird, but I don't mind it. I'm a hugging kind of girl...
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
Definitely handshake! My fiance comes from a hugging family, very Full House (the TV show)..they hug all the time..haha, and I definitely am not like that. It was hard to get used to being expected to hug everyone when you first met them.
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