Vote for your favourite awkward greeting

Kiss on one cheek? Kiss on both? Shake their hand? Let’s settle this once and for all.

It’s the painful moment ruining social encounters: how do you greet people you don’t really know? From the artless wave to the Parisian smooch, there are just too many options.


This awkwardness needs to stop – vote for your preferred greeting and let’s all agree to be bound by the winning option. Here are the options…


The wave

‘This is my friend Jack’. ‘Oh. Hey’

Nothing says ‘I don’t want to touch you’ like waving at someone two feet away. You won’t catch any diseases, but you’ll cause a tense moment while they consider lunging for you.

Potential for awkwardness: How long do you wave for? Do you wiggle your fingers or swing your wrist like a five-year-old?


The handshake

Bicep gripping optional

Hey partner! Pleasure doin’ business with ya! Oddly popular but far too formal for anything outside a job interview.

Potential for awkwardness: How hard do you grip? How many up-and-downs does your shake go for? When do you let go? And sweaty palms are never far away.


The hug

Bring it in for the real thing

A strangely tender way to greet someone who isn’t a really good friend. The real danger lies in how long and hard you squeeze. One massive advantage – if you come up against a kisser, you can easily transition.

Potential for awkwardness: How many arms do you use? How close do your hips get? Will your opponent lean in for a kiss? And (for the fellas) there’s always the spontaneous boner to look out for.


Kiss on one cheek

Careful not to sniff the hair on the way out

Here’s where we enter the real minefield. Kissing takes a bit of confidence and plenty of accuracy. You only get one shot and you don’t want to be smooching an ear, or worse – their lips.

Potential for awkwardness: Left or right? Do you make the ‘mmwah’ sound? Can you look them in the eye after letting go? Will they go in for the dreaded second?


Kiss on both cheeks

Zis iz ‘ow zey do eet en France

It’s how they do it across the Channel, but if you go for the double kiss, your friends will hate you. Sure you might think you’re being exotic, but you look like something out of Made in Chelsea. Double kissers rarely come in pairs, so odds are you’ll have to pull them in for the second, awkwardly announcing “Two!”

Potential for awkwardness: Will your partner give that uncomfortable yelp as you reel them in for the second? Will you bang noses on the crossover? And in some parts of France they go for three.