The New York Times took an interesting look this week at the question of when to greet an American with a kiss. The answer: it’s VERY confusing. According to the article, it depends on everything from how well you know the person to where they’re from to their individual personality. Our advice: be safe and stick with a handshake unless you’re sure they’re up for it.
The beginnings and endings of meetings with clients are sometimes excruciating, as we wait for someone to set the terms of salutations between individuals who are eager to display their camaraderie but who probably don’t know one another terribly well. To run into someone from work at a party or restaurant is to be suddenly forced to assign status to someone who may exist in your mind only as Guy Who Knows How to Replace the Xerox Machine’s Toner. Head nod? Cheek kiss? Vigorous pelvic wallop?
You might also remember we talked about the complicated issue of greetings for one of our favorite finds on this blog, a hilarious video about “how to give an American hug.”