Clearly, things have changed and will continue to do so. Everyone is more aware about the risk of passing on germs, especially at networking events and conferences. When the time comes and conference attendees gather once again, the question we may ask is, are handshakes a thing of the past? The thought of someone sneezing, touching contaminated surfaces, and shaking hands brings up thoughts of the term, transmission. Ohhh! The big “T” word.
According to a very informative and easy to read, reliable source, kidshealth.org, most germs are spread through the air in sneezes, coughs, or even breaths. Germs can also spread in sweat, saliva, and blood. Some pass from person to person by touching something that is contaminated, like shaking hands with someone who has a cold and then touching your own nose. That’s why we wash our hands. Watch this catchy video to see just how to wash your hands. In case you need to know how to go to school, this video will show you how too.
Making genuine connections doesn’t always require a handshake. After all, we make connections online all the time. This begs the question, do we really need to shake hands when meeting someone new?
With the COVID-19 coronavirus on the minds of everyone, you probably wouldn’t feel so bad if you denied or rejected a potential handshake. Not many will likely extend their potential mode of transmission anyway. As the Covid-quarantine continues on, slowly but surely, handshakes are a becoming a thing of the past.
In case, someone does put out their germ-ridden hand, here are some ways to avoid the handshake.
Leave them hanging. Yup, straight up deny them your hand and just let them hang. Don’t worry. He or she will put their hand down eventually. A simple nod-like gesture or an “I’d rather not” type of response will make it pretty clear.
Give a brief explanation. If you really must justify your reason for not wanting to shake one’s hand, simply explain why. Being truthful, genuine, and to the point is best. A sample answer could be, “I just dropped a deuce and forgot to wash my hands.” That one gets them to lower their hand instantly. In fact, they tend to retract it swiftly.
Shaking hands isn’t on the list of “how to make a greater human connection with someone” anyway. If you’re curious what they are (hint: eye contact is one), check out this write up on it.
Shaka dude (or dudette). Now here’s a friendly, relaxed, chill way of showing respect. This way you can still give off a “firm shaka” with your thumb and fingers spread wide and middle three fingers bent tightly. A very slight rotation of the wrist in opposing directions gives it a bit more formality though.
‘Sup man or ‘Sup woman (quick and slight head nod upwardly). It’s not a form of disrespect. It’s actually a form of care and acknowledgement for their health and well-being. You’re doing them a service by not passing your germs onto them and they will appreciate that.
A simple flash of your hand will do. Yes, it will do just fine. No need to extend your hand when you can keep it to yourself – your own germs included. A typical response will be a mirrored flashing of their own hand.
Touch the inner soles of each other’s feet. This one may be tricky because most people would not expect this type of gesture. It’s kind of like a handshake, but not really. Of course, you’re not using your hand, for one. But you are extending an extremity! Simply extend your right foot (similarly to how you would extend your right hand out for a handshake) and then wait. Hopefully, the other party picks up on your new way of “shaking hands” and doesn’t leave you balancing on one foot for too long. In most cases, it’s pretty clear and obvious and soon you’ll be tapping toes and soles with your newfound friend.
Handshakes being a thing of the past could be a good thing as you can see. This whole situation gives us all a chance to explore new ways of greeting one another. In fact, this allows you to express your true self. Making a good first impression ties into your personal brand, and a handshake doesn’t have anything to do with that.
I think it’s pretty clear to say that a traditional handshake is a thing of the past. It’s simply an old way of greeting one another. Maybe it’s time to start showing off some new and improved, creative ways of introducing ourselves. As they say, the old way wasn’t working anyway.