Content of the material
Family in Russia
The family unit is very important, and every member of the family should contribute in some way. You’ll often find that families are small in Russia because most women also have jobs outside of the home.
Apartments are usually small, but you’ll frequently find that more than one family generation lives together. Russians have a general affinity for groups, so if you receive an invite to someone’s home, it’s likely that you will feel welcome and part of their collective family unit.
Russians are great hosts and love entertaining guests in their homes. Common Russian etiquette dictates that they often put more food on the table than can be eaten to indicate there is an abundance of food. If you are invited to a Russian home for a meal, arrive on time and bring a small gift (men are expected to bring flowers).
In formal situations, people use all three names when referring to other. In contrast, friends and close acquaintances may refer to each other by their first name and patronymic, while close friends and family members call each other by their first name only.
12. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum might be good for dental hygiene, but in many parts of the world, particularly Luxembourg, Switzerland, and France, public gum-chewing is considered vulgar, while in Singapore most types of gum have been illegal since 1992 when residents grew tired of scraping the sticky stuff off their sidewalks.
Bad Handshakes to Avoid
In addition to following some basic advice on how and when to shake hands, there are a few different types of handshakes that you should avoid. Some common "bad" handshakes include:
- Dominant handshake: This involves placing your palm downward when offering your hand to someone and is a form of aggressive communication. By placing your palm downward, you force the other person to place their palm up, a submissive position.
- Bone crusher: Like the dominant handshake, the bone crusher is aggressive and involves an excessively strong grip. If you’ve ever been the recipient of a bone crusher, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Older adults require a looser grip.
- Double-handed: Although there are instances in which a double-handed handshake is appropriate, if used with someone whom you have just met, it can seem overly personal or intimate. Reserve the double-handed handshake for close friends.
- Too close: The “too close” handshake involves the other person coming in very close to you to shake hands or pulling you in close as you are shaking hands. In either case, the closeness of the handshake is likely to make you feel uncomfortable.
- Limp fish: Opposite the bone crusher is the limp fish—a limp handshake that signals that you are nervous, uncertain, or uninvolved to the other person. A limp handshake can be particularly detrimental to your career.
- Fingers only: This handshake only offers your fingers to the other person. To avoid this scenario, be sure that the webbed part of your hand between your pointer finger and thumb is touching the other person’s hand before you tighten your grip.
- Clammy-handed: If you are nervous about introductions, you may have cold, clammy, or sweaty hands in social situations.
- No eye contact: Not making eye contact during a handshake may signal to the other person that you are not forthcoming.
- Missed: “The miss” is a handshake that somehow doesn’t come together. While awkward, the other person feels just as responsible, so remember that it was accidental.
- Long handshake: This handshake lasts past the point of introductions and begins to feel awkward and uncomfortable due to its duration.
A good handshake involves observing body language, maintaining appropriate distance, and using a firm but gentle grip. Avoiding certain types of "bad" handshakes, such as those that are too strong or too weak, it also important.
7. No Tipping!
In Japan and Korea, a tip is considered an insult, rather than a compliment, and for them, accepting tips is akin to begging. However, this tradition is beginning to change as more Westerners bring their customs with them to these countries.
When to Shake Hands
Knowing when to shake hands is also an important part of using this gesture effectively. Handshakes have traditionally been a preferred greeting in a variety of contexts, particularly upon meeting someone for the first time.
The pandemic and the social distancing that accompanied it threw this tradition into a state of limbo. Not only was shaking hands frowned on, but it was also often openly discouraged in many public settings.
While some people have returned to the practice as the pandemic wanes, there are still plenty who are not ready to return to the age-old practice. This can add a layer of complexity when determining when to shake hands. You need to determine if the situation calls for a handshake, you also need to think about whether others will even welcome the greeting.
If you’re not sure if extending your hand is the right move to make, pay attention to the body language of the people you are greeting. When others appear to hesitate, consider easing the awkwardness by simply making another greeting gesture and moving forward with the conversation.
How to Avoid a Handshake
While shaking hands might be a time-honored greeting, not everyone appreciates or wants to participate in this social tradition. Some people might prefer to avoid this type of contact for a variety of reasons, including a desire to limit contact with germs. Some experts have even proposed the idea of handshake-free zones.
If you want to avoid the need to shake hands, some strategies you might try include:
- Make an excuse: The new era of social distancing has helped make turning down a handshake somewhat easier. You might try simply indicating that you shouldn't shake hands due to the pandemic. It is a quick way to communicate that you don't want to engage in this gesture.
- Use another gesture: You might be able to circumvent a handshake by quickly implementing another gesture before the other person reaches out. Fist or elbow bumps are options you might consider. Or you might try just giving a small wave and a smile. Research suggests that bumping fists can be more hygienic than shaking hands.
You can preempt a handshake if you are really uncomfortable with it. Strategies you might try include carrying something in both hands or offering a fist bump, elbow tap, or quick wave before the other person reaches out their hand.
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