I’d like you to think of a time that you were introduced to someone. Usually they offer a handshake, which you take unless you’re sick or it is physically impossible to shake hands (e.g. someone has no hands, or if hands are currently busy). The universal sign of “I don’t want to shake your hand” is to lift up your hand and wave. Or to nod and smile. There are many reasons why someone may not want to shake hands:
She has sweaty hands.
He doesn’t like you.
She is a germaphobe.
She saw you pick your butt.
You recently sneezed and used your hand as a tissue.
His hands are dirty.
Her hand might be injured.
For religious reasons.
She just used hand lotion and doesn’t want the scent to go away.
They actually know where your hands have been.
The list goes on and on but the one reason that always makes it awkward is:
Your handshake doesn’t get noticed.
Either you guys were in a hurry, or something distracted the other person. . whatever the reason is, it sucks! Especially if some third person saw you stretch out your hand to offer a handshake and got nothing. Zero. Nada. You then are forced to shake off the look that other people might give you and sadly put your hand back in your pocket and pretend it never happened. If no one sees your handshake go unnoticed, it still feels awkward, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the other scenario.
Has this ever happened to you?