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Is it acceptable to decline to shake hands with someone you have not met in person before but have had a lengthy dialogue with for a great many months, where this communication via, letter,email and on occasion the telephone has become very adversarial.
I shall,possibly, be meeting someone who I absolutely distrust and dislike,who's handling of my complaint against my local health authority has been less than what should be,or ought to be accepted practice. In this I am supported by the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman.
So do I decline or not, there seems nothing really definitive about it?
I think this is more of a question of good manners. Even though you distrust this individual, refusing to shake hands with him / her is sort of playing into their hands (no pun intended) Besides, they may not wish to shake your hand, in which case a polite nod of recognition would suffice.
An interesting question! When I worked in public service, I felt that shaking hands was a bit too informal for many occassions, and at big meetings took too much time, at both start and finish. So I had 'business cards' printed for the team, then it was just a case of introducing ones-self, which we had to do in any event, handing cards out. Seemed more efficient to me.
badgery. I am aware of the sword origin, but I'm ambidextrous, so pulling a sword out with either hand would not be a problem.LOL
Crosstrainer2. This good manners thing,really does not do it for me,this persons manners over the last couple of years have been far from good and I do believe that shaking hands is also a sign of trust,as I have said I do not trust this person or in fact her department.
Unless you put your hand out to shake theirs the odd are he/she will not.
As soon as you open the door invite them in. Sit them down and offer them a drink or not, by this time the shaking of hands will have been forgotten.
BRYNIT. The meeting will be on their territory.
fourm member. Thats another phrase I have always had problems with "How do you do?" I have always wanted to answer "How do I do what?"
But back to the shaking hands quandary, I have been led to believe that it would be bad manners on their part if they offered their hand but my hands were full causing me to juggle the items I am carrying just to facilitate the hand shake. So laptop in one hand large case file in the other wins the day I think.
Shaking hands is a sign of trust.
You appear not to trust this person. Do not shake hands unless you want to, and you clearly don't, or you would not be seeking advice.
You are wondering whether you should shake hands because it is the convention.
Well, b**er the convention!
Polite formality until this person gives you cause to behave otherwise.
During my recent contretemps with BT I did not shake hands with the first person who came to the house because I thought I detected hostility at the outset.
I did shake hands with the second, who was bearing flowers.
Do what you want to do.
I'll second morddwyd's good council...do what you feel is right for you.
"So laptop in one hand large case file in the other wins the day I think."
That's a cop out!
If you do shake hands, hold out your hand palm downwards; that means the person taking your hand is below yours and you are psychologically on top.
Yes, I think it's a load of rubbish too, but I was given this advice on more than one job interview seminar!
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