Does anyone else struggle sometimes to do ‘appropriate’ greetings? You know, as the social skills textbook instructs, especially when hugely distracted by something else? Usually I can manage it, but this morning I may have managed to diversify!
I happened to need to pop to the Scout shop this morning to buy some badges for my Beavers. After I got out of my car I realised that there was what looked like a dead hedgehog by the side of the car park. So I had to stop for a few minutes to investigate whether a) it was actually a hedgehog, and b) it was actually dead. So after establishing those facts, I walked into the shop and rather than doing the textbook greeting, I just said “there’s a dead hedgehog in the car park!” Luckily they were fine with it, they even asked what group scarf it was wearing BUT this really isn’t the appropriate way for me to greet people who I haven’t seen for a few months!!
I honestly think much to the way I greet people hello, hi, how you doing - answer not to bad, never to be answered honestly It did actually take me some time to learning that one, I must say though saying goodbye feels odd so I just say see you tomorrow or see you again or ta-ra. Its the hand shake that confuses me do men and women shake hands if so is there a difference other than the firm grip?
I find hand-shaking awkward, too; not helped by being a bit dyspraxic, so my aim isn't very good and I can find it hard to tell how hard I'm squeezing (I've been a bass player, caver, and rock-climber over the years, so I have a surprisingly strong grip for someone who looks so wimpy).
Hugs, I find even more confusing. Some people seem to hug just about everyone in their social circle, others seem to be very selective, and I don't seem to be able to read whatever body language it is that indicates that one is appropriate unless they really obviously open their arms to receive one. I can't work out at all what different people's boundaries are for how well they need to know someone before it's appropriate, and I think my anxiety about it probably makes my body language look very defensive, so I don't look as if I'd want one anyway, even if I would. By the time I've procrastinated about it, the moment has usually passed anyway, and then I've set a precedent that I don't hug, so the anxiety is even worse the next time because I worry that offering one would seem out of character. I would guess that most people I know think that I just don't like to do it, which isn't true at all; but then that leads them to stop offering hugs, so I also get anxious that people will notice that I'm the only person not being offered one, etc. Aaargh!
I don't mind hugs and kisses generally, but it can be an anxious moment or two anticipating and/or trying to work out whether it's time for one/them (handshakes too).
Reminds me of when I was a teenager and mum had her family round (lounge packed, full of emergency chairs and people overflowing onto the floor) and I was going out, and mum would insist that I almost clamber over a floor full of people's legs to the far corner of the room to kiss my nana goodbye. Gran was quite short and never stood up, but instead grabbed people and pulled them towards her face to waft Palma Violets at them and slobber a stubbly kiss at them whilst small-talking them (me) out of existence.
One day I stood my ground and waved "Bye Nan!" from the doorway and thought I had reached the heights of rebellion.
Rebellion by escaping the palma violet infused slobbery kiss of your Nan, I like it