Hug Or Handshake? We Answer The Eternal Debate (In GIFs!)

Shane Snow of the start-up Contently tackles the age-old question of how to properly greet a female colleague over at Medium yesterday, inspiring lively debate on the topic of hugs versus handshakes. Which is the least creepy, least offensive, most effective way to convey conviviality and mutual respect? A brief survey of The Frisky staff proved that neither is appropriate. Handshakes are stilted, formal affairs, appropriate only for job interviews. Hugs are more nebulous, usually based on a split second decision — the impulse to hug is a signal, a current present in the space between two people. The panic in this piece is palpable. Shane, let me help you. Let me save you from the “toilet of anxiety” into which you are spiraling. After the jump, find eight wonderful non-verbal options to greet women when a hug or a handshake just won’t do.

1. A fist bump in passing says you are a cool hepcat, down with the get down. I nominate fist bumps to replace ALL interpersonal interactions:

One Direction fistbump

2. The Illuminati’s watching. Throw up the ROC, because what’s good for Jay and Bey is good for you:

Illuminati sign

3. Dance communicates what the body wants when words fail you. I’m a fan of the electric slide, myself.


4. Perhaps the colleague in question is from the Left Coast? Make them feel at home by representing for the West Side.


5. Spock knew what’s up, and the sentiment behind “live long and prosper” is really quite lovely.

Spock live long and prosper

6. Sometimes all it takes is a quiet text. Easy to ignore or acknowledge, a simple text eliminates the need to communicate verbally. Everyone wins!

Dave Grohl sup

7. Perhaps you’ve spotted a female acquaintance at the drugstore, deep in perusal in the nail polish aisle, clutching a 12 pack of toilet paper and some Drano, earbuds wedged in place. I’d suggest something like this:


8. If you’re all out of options, just do follow Lohan’s lead.

Lindsay Lohan