The world is aware of the “cliché” that is Canadian politeness which is cliché but true one.
Handshake predominates as a common means of greeting anywhere in the world and Canada is no exception. Both men and women greet with a handshake, although women may acknowledge with a nod of the head rather than a handshake. This article is to guide you in both the “dos” and “don’ts” of giving a handshake.
However, under current COVID-19 restrictions all these would not apply. Please remember to keep your distance, mask yourself and practice safe socially acceptable rules.
Handshake Rules for when times are normal:
- Canadians love their handshake firm. No weak or limp handshake entertained!
- This speaks about your confidence and makes a positive impact on others.
- Maintain direct eye contact, with a smile while you’re at it. By doing so, you’ll establish trust and set the right tone for a relationship.
- Don’t overdo the firmness or linger over the handshake for too long.
- Don’t squeeze the hand. It is rude and you don’t want to come across as being disrespectful and awkward.
- Do not try fancy hand gestures like fist pumping, backhand slapping unless you are friends with the person.
- If you’re sitting, stand up and maintain an intentional eye contact. Focus all your attention on the person.
- If you want to give a hug, please ask.
- In the same vein, don’t shake and pull the other towards you. However, if you’re first hugged, don’t hesitate. Just reciprocate the gesture.
- Practice until you get used to the Canadian handshake. Then, just pass it on. Teach the next immigrant and help make them feel more at home.
- French Canadians may greet each other by lightly kissing both cheeks once, starting on the left.