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How Guys Should Greet Each Other in 2014

A handy guide, full of gifs.
13.8.14

I am a young man, and with daily regularity, I move through a metropolitan area. In this area, there are loads of people that I don’t know. A smaller amount of these people I actually do know personally, but in varying degrees.

Greeting women isn’t all that complex: I kiss my female friends on the cheek, I usually greet my girlfriend with a kiss on the lips and lasses who insist on a hug, I usually greet with a bow.

Annoncering

Greeting men, on the other hand, is more complicated. Men from different social classes greet each other in different ways. Since a greeting is a form of contact that implies a first meeting (be it ever, or just on that particular day), discussing the means of greeting your counterpart properly beforehand is basically impossible. Which is why shit like the gif above happens every day.

These clumsy ways of greeting other males from different backgrounds catch me off guard every once in a while. So, to avoid further embarrassment, I have summed up some of the most popular greetings, complete with gifs and guidelines on how to pull them off successfully – as well as the mortifying pitfalls of fucking them up.

The HANDSHAKE

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

It's completely natural to forget somebody’s name, so don't worry about that. But do remember that every time you avoid eye contact during a handshake, somewhere on the planet a panda nursery explodes.

The moment: Self-explanatory. First introductions and formal occasions.
Do shake: Father-in-laws, dentists and undertakers.
Don’t shake: Exes. That classmate you used to scavenge Tesco's with after school, in search of rolling papers and pickled onion Monster Munch.

PITFALLS:

Exhibit a) The Top Slap
Avoid the redundant extra hand on top of the already performed handshake. Your partner in shake could interpret this as a gesture of superiority. You are not Bill Clinton. (And if you are Bill Clinton, why the fuck are you reading VICE.com? Go back to doing shit ex-presidents do.)

Annoncering

The HIGH FIVE

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

This is often viewed as a hazardous greeting, but this is nonsense; even small children and dogs should be able to reciprocate. If you can't pull it off, frankly you don't deserve to meet anyone. A clue to look for is that, prior to impact, we often see one of the two participants initiating the high five by reaching out a slightly tilted right hand above their shoulder.

The moment: The high five thrives immediately after exceptional performances (whether of a sporting nature or otherwise) and platonic rendezvous with canines.
Do high five: Colleagues at work, people on their way to collect the FA Cup.
Don't high five: Sniffer dogs.

PITFALLS:

Exhibit a) The Critical Miss
Tip: by watching your counterpart’s elbow, your chances of a direct hit increase exponentially. Still find yourself missing after the old elbow-gazing trick? Let this high five be, and make sure you avoid things like newborns, traffic and job interviews for the next 24 hours.

Exhibit b) The Leave You Hangin'
Painful, but sometimes unavoidable. Utilise the heat of this moment to check the floor for any holes you could disappear into.

The FIST BUMP

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

This particular greeting is despised by health and safety advisors globally. Another plus is that every successfully dispensed bro fist will gain you five "swag points", which you can redeem for items of clothing thanks to a deal we've struck with our friends over at Hypebeast. So, what are you still waiting for?

Annoncering

The moment: Greetings or goodbyes, whatever floats your boat.
Do fist bump: Elderly relatives at the weddings of in-laws will remember you forever.
Don't fist bump: Bare-knuckle boxers, librarians. Drug dealers. Anyone with those little squinty sociopath eyes that Dennis Wise has.

Pitfalls:

Exhibit a) The Fist Palm (Essentially a Face Palm for the Hand)
There is also the Hand Palm XL, where one engages in the socially gratuitous activity of shaking the previously performed fist palm. This is like trying to cover up a racist remark with an anecdote about a hilarious child molester you just met round the corner.

The HORIZONTAL HIGH FIVE-FIST BUMP COMBO

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

When I started practicing this routine back in secondary school, I felt like I grew a chest hair every time I managed to pull one off succesfully.

The moment: Practically any time, provided that you don't live anywhere too rural. Yes, there will come a moment of clarity when you realise that PlayStation, weed, WhatsApp and the horizontal high five-fist bump combo aren't the best companions to carry with you through life, but as Warren Zevon, Robert Smith and Jon Bon Jovi have all said, we'll shake hands properly when we're dead.
Do horizontal high five-fist bump combo: People you have practiced it with before.
Don't horizontal high five-fist bump combo: The blind.

Pitfalls:

Exhibit a) The Horizontal High Five-Fist Bump-Heart Pound Combo
After performing this already complex greeting, you could choose to move your fist to your heart. This is an unnecessary risk to take, you're lucky that you and your partner have come this far together. Don't try to fly when you're just learning to crawl.

Annoncering

The DIAGONALLY FOLDED CLAP HAND

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

The most overtly masculine of all the greetings, this one’s ideal for greeting your dad’s mates, or crushing someone’s metacarpals.

Moment: When two alphas collide.
Who to diagonally folded clap hand: The sort of men who give people the clap.
Who not to diagonally folded clap hand: Your nan.

Pitfalls:
When the hand isn’t positioned at the correct diagonal angle, this greeting could easily be confused with any of those we've already run through. That’s why you should always, always seek eye contact when executing this greeting.

Place your right arm at a 45-degree angle, perform an underhand swing from the shoulders and press the folded hands together firmly. Repeat this long enough and beer will start falling from the sky in red cups, bro!

Exhibit a) The Confusion Fumble
This particular routine can be extended with an embrace, but be aware that you are playing with fire – you could end up head-butting or even kissing your counterpart, both of which are generally considered no-nos.

The WAVE

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT:

When was the last time you actually waved at someone? Waving is for old people and babies.

The moment: When the distance between both acquintances is too great to enact a contact-greeting. Or when you regularly wet your bed and still refer to pyjamas as "jammies".
Who to wave at: Other children, people on trains.
Who not to wave at: Anyone whose respect you'd appreciate.

Pitfalls:
With every lateral movement of the hand you lose 0.05 percent of your total testosterone supply.

Greetings!