Say Hello With Your Hands

1. High Five

The high-five is one of the best greetings, with kids in particular. People who aren’t huggers or hand-shakers often prefer a high-five. The gesture is usually prefaced by actually saying “high-five” out loud, so that the other person knows what to expect. “Don’t leave me hanging” is said in reference to someone who doesn’t complete the high-five act - and leaves your hand awkwardly hanging in mid-air. It has now become a metaphor for letting someone down in some way.

2. The Handshake

A favourite with people across the world, a firm handshake is usually interpreted as a sign of self-confidence. It is most often used in more formal or settings. In the old days handshakes used to be mostly a male convention, but now that women make-up a significant percentage of the working world, everyone does it. You might also notice that certain societies and groups have ‘secret’ handshakes – so if you’re “one of them” they will recognise you as part of the club. Secret handshakes make people feel as if they have a special and exclusive bond.

TOP TIP: Keep a hand sanitizer at your desk to keep your hands clean in between shakes and high-fives. Germs are easily spread through hand-to-hand contact, so it's super important to have healthy hygiene and handwashing habits at work. No one wants to be the person who triggered the flu!

3. Thumbs Up

Giving someone a thumb-up as they pass is a way of acknowledging them and saying that things are cool, happy and good. It’s often used after you’ve already greeted someone but don’t want to ignore them when next you pass them again.

4. Peace Dude

When you split your first 2 fingers into a V, (most importantly - palm facing outward), this is the “peace sign”. It is the “peace symbol” that was pervasive in the 60’s as an anti-war icon. It has since lost a lof of its political significance, and has become a particularly popular gesture in photographs. Like the thumbs-up, it means you’re having a good time and that everything is super chilled.

It's important to note that hand gestures have different meanings across the world. Many are not universal. So make sure you look-up the meaning of signals before you go to a foreign country. And, of course, regardless of what gesture you choose – make sure your hands are clean.  High five!