Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Etiquette: Shaking Hands with a Woman

Ever since I entered the "adult" world when I was 18, I've always had a great disdain for shaking hands. I don't like coming into contact with what I perceive as someone's dirty hand. The feeling that I'm left with after a sweaty handshake makes me sick and I immediately need to either sanitize or wash my hands. If I don't have the opportunity to do either, I'll spend the next 15 minutes feeling like germs are crawling all over my hand and I refuse to eat or touch anything with that hand. I admit, sometimes my OCD gets out of hand (pun not intended). Obviously, out of uni and into the working world, I've overcome (or really just ignored) my fear of handshakes, especially now that I run my own business with my wonderful business partner, Marinda.

In a professional setting, I don't believe women should be treated differently from men. So a handshake is a given. But lately, as my social circle has expanded, I've found that outside of the professional/business realm, men are proffering their hands for me to shake. It's something that really irks me and I've found it slightly insulting. Only recently, last Saturday, in fact, I went out with some friends and I met a couple of their friends. Upon greeting, they stuck their hands out, expecting reciprocation. I had to politely refuse and say I don't shake hands in a social setting, whether with women or men. They were offended. But probably not as offended as I was!