Alternatives To The Handshake

Well, here we go, heading into another week of “social distancing” as we battle the spread of COVID-19. I hope you are well! While I’ve been staying at home, I’ve found myself thinking about the handshake. This traditional and polite way of greeting one another may end up a casualty of the coronavirus. After all, we don’t want to spread a lot of germs. At the same time, it is awkward to greet someone without some form of acknowledging gesture. Therefore, I’ve come up with a few alternatives. Check out this short video below for a few ideas, and then let me know which is your favorite!

Handshake Alternatives

Again, the choices are:

  1. The Bow
  2. The Swipe Right
  3. The Two-handed Clasp
  4. The Point
  5. The Open Hand
  6. The Salute

Do you like any of these alternatives? Which would you choose?

35 thoughts on “Alternatives To The Handshake”

  1. Hmmm….. I’m leaning toward a modified Bow (more of a Nod), or a Swipe Right (a.k.a. Wave). I’m thinking there are going to have to be different alternatives for different situations, since a wave seems rather informal.

  2. I’m leaning toward the Swipe Right. Although how about a wave? It’s hard to know what will happen. Does it mean that hugging will also stop? So sad.

    How nice that your husband was a willing participant. Nice demonstraton.

    1. I didn’t call it the “Wave” because for some, that translates to moving the hand band AND forth, which is very casual. I’m not sure about hugging, but I do think contact greetings will be on the decline, especially in professional and less familiar settings. I do believe that this will all eventually pass, and I don’t believe that hugging will ever go away because it is part of who many of us are! And yes, my husband was a sport. His general life philosophy is to be an invisible as possible:)

    1. Swipe right is definitely the winner so far. My reluctant assistant gets big points from me. He tries to be as invisible as possible generally speaking:) Stay healthy, Alex!

  3. The bow is my favorite. I lived in Asia for 9 years (3 of them in Thailand). As you may know, the Thai people put their hands together in front of them – sort of in a prayer position – and bow when they greet someone. I became very accustomed to bowing and find it a very nice way to say hello.

    Fun video!
    Diane Quintana recently posted…3 Tips to Control Clutter in Your MindMy Profile

    1. I love hearing about this, Diane, and that they keep their hands together. That is not only respectful, but helps suppress to the urge to touch. Thanks for your vote!

    1. Jazz hands – how fun! Just thinking about professionals walking into a meeting and doing jazz hands is making me smile over here! I guess we will see how it goes. In the meantime, fun to do something “light” during this rough time. Stay healthy:)

  4. LOL! This is great. I personally like “The Swipe Right.” However, what if you are left-handed, which I am not. Would they still swipe right, or would they swipe left? Just something to think about.

    My major was international business in college, and we learned a lot about different countries and what is a proper greeting for those countries. Some of the gestures may not be appropriate in other countries. So, I would be very cautious about incorporating certain gestures when outside of the United States. Nowadays, you can easily do a google search and find what gesture is best in different countries, so as not to insult anyone. Thanks for sharing!
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…From the Beginning – Tips to Remove Clutter in Your HomeMy Profile

    1. I like the bow with hands together in front. I also like the virtual hug…throw your arms open but 6 or more feet apart…and say I am giving you a virtual hug.

      1. Aww.. you are a hugger, Sue. I love that! I hope we will return to being able to give REAL hugs soon, as I know those who cherish touch are really hurting right now!

    2. I totally agree that it is critical to be aware of the various customs if you travel outside of the US. For this reason, I doubt there will ever be one solitary gesture that is accepted worldwide (of course, you never know!). In terms of the left-handed, I think they can surely swipe left. The idea is one gesture, not a wagging hand that goes on and on:)

  5. I LOVE this post, Seanna. What a great idea! I think I like the bow. My daughter says we should do the bow but with our hands in front of our chest like in prayer pose in yoga. It will definitely be interesting to see if this changes handshakes longterm!

    1. Yes, a couple of people have suggested the hands folded in prayer post for the bow. I love that idea! Thanks so much for watching and commenting Angie. Stay healthy!

  6. Great video Seana.
    I love your creative alternatives to the handshake. I like the swipe right, but think that maybe, after all this is over the fist pump will be popular, even though it mean touching someone else.

  7. I LOL’d right through this watching your husband say absolutely nothing! That would be my hubby too!! As a PO I feel like I should channel my inner Marie Kondo and do the bow. I’ve seen so many videos of her bowing in thanks as she says goodbye to items with clients, why not do it as a hello?!

    1. The Bow and the Swipe Right have both been popular, and many people like the idea of holding their hands together for the bow. I think this is a good idea, if both hands are free. If you have an arm full of papers, that might complicate things. There is more to this than I thought when I got started!

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying my posts, Julie. It is hard to strike the right note at this crazy time. Swipe Right has been the favorite BY FAR, with the bow coming in second. I’d be happy with either. Stay healthy, my friend!!

  8. I love the bow and the salute best! I wonder how things will change. I had heard Fauci taken out of context for saying he wishes people won’t handshake in the future, but he wasn’t even talking about COVID-19 – he was talking in general about the germs involved.
    That said, human touch is so amazing. And I miss it. I wonder if we can just up those hand washing skills when this is all over.

    1. I think human touch will return, but perhaps not in the we greet strangers. It will be interesting to see. So far, Swipe Right has been the favorite by far, followed by the bow. Anyway, a touch of “fun” during this crazy time!

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