Do you need a greeting halfway between a formal handshake and an overly intimate kiss? In this case, the kisses, which will cause you to rub your cheeks against those of the other party and to give a kiss in the air near their cheek, can allow you to respect the rules of decorum.
Part 1 of 2: kissing
Step 1. Identify the appropriate occasion to kiss
You need to consider both the occasion and the nature of your relationships with the people you meet in determining whether it is appropriate to kiss. Depending on the circumstances and the degree of familiarity, the ways of greeting differ. So make an effort to greet each person you meet based on how familiar you are with them, and the specific occasion you find yourself in.
- Kiss at formal or special events. As a rule, formal events like ceremonies, formal parties or weddings, where you will meet people who are on good terms, but do not see each other outside of these occasions, provide the ideal setting for kissing. For less formal events, like barbecues with neighbors, family reunions, and casual dinners, the usual hugs and hugs can take place, especially if you're used to seeing the person you're greeting regularly.
- You can kiss people you know just a little bit. In most countries, kisses are not given to foreigners. Instead, keep them for friends of your parents, people you have been introduced to by a mutual friend, and distant relatives. Close friends and family members might be offended if you give them a simple hug, as it suggests that you don't feel that you know them enough to give them a real kiss or hug them.
Step 2. Greet your acquaintance by saying their name
Before proceeding to the kissing step, say the name of the person you are talking to and smile as you approach them. If you've forgotten the person's name, you can exclaim by saying "it's good to see you again!" "Or" Hey, who's there?"
Step 3. Read body language
As you approach the other, extend your hand, whether to touch or to grab their hands, elbow, or upper arm. If he recoils or stiffens in any way, change your mind and just give him a pat on the back or a simple hug. On the other hand, if the person seems relaxed and responds favorably to your contact, you can give them a kiss. On the other hand, if the other one kisses you warmly or touches your face, then you should surely give them the traditional kiss.
Step 4. Bend over to kiss
You should make your lips approach the other's right cheek (unless it is customary in your area to do so on the left). However, you need to make sure that the other person is reaching for your right cheek as well, so that you can avoid an awkward moment when the two of you realize that you are about to bang your faces against each other. You can also lightly rub your cheeks together as you kiss.
Step 5. Kiss the air next to the cheek
Curl your lips and kiss the air near the other's face. Depending on the habits or cultural context you find yourself in, you may need to switch sides and start over, that is, kiss the opposite cheek.
Make sound effects. Women often make an inconspicuous kissing sound, similar to "muah!" When they kiss. This is generally considered a feminine and friendly gesture that serves to embellish the greeting. There are also some men who do, although it is not necessary
Part 2 of 2: Understanding the various cultural conventions
Step 1. Find out about the different cultural conventions
If you are visiting or moving to a foreign country, you should take the time to educate yourself on local customs. This precaution should also be taken when you have to receive people from a foreign country. Knowing the correct way to greet will help you fit in, in addition to making others feel comfortable around you.
- In North America, it's common to see close friends or acquaintances kissing one or two, starting with the right cheek. Men don't usually kiss each other, but they can kiss women and women do. Kissing is more common in large cities, as well as in parts of New England and Quebec.
- In the United Kingdom, kisses are frequently made between friends belonging to the bourgeoisie. On the other hand, while it is not forbidden, it is unusual to see men kissing each other.
- In Italy and Spain, two kisses are usually given, starting with the right cheek or the left depending on the region.
- In France, it will take two, three or four kisses depending on the region where you are. If you don't know what to do, find out or go for two kisses. The kiss is often made when greeting women, but men can also kiss each other. The French generally kiss each other when they meet, and when they go their separate ways, at any time of the day.
- In Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Poland, it will take three kisses.
- In Eastern and Southern Europe, the kiss is a common form of greeting between acquaintances and friends.
- In Jordan, you have to give a kiss on the left cheek and several kisses on the right, depending on the strength of the friendship you have with the person opposite.
- In Latin America, you can give one, two or three kisses, depending on who you meet and where you are. The kiss is often used to greet new acquaintances as well as close friends. Men are almost always required to kiss women when they greet them.
- In Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, men have to kiss each other the Italian way, in the style of football players.
- In Greece, it is customary to see men kissing if they know each other well (they could be two good friends, acquaintances, etc.).
- In the Middle East, two people of the same sex can kiss each other. Kissing between people of the opposite sex is not allowed, unless they are married or very close.
- In the Philippines, kisses are a popular way of greeting each other between close and related adults. Generally, women kiss each other and men can kiss women. Older people often kiss the younger members of their family.
- In Indonesia and Malaysia, a younger parent should kiss their older sibling's hand as a sign of respect. At this point, you should breathe out through the nostrils on the older person's hand and not puckered your lips. Then you will need to press his hand against your forehead.
- In East, Central and South Asia, it is rare to see kisses or even kisses on the cheek being given. It can even be considered an offensive act, although the practice is becoming more and more popular in metropolitan areas. Follow the trend of what is happening around you.
Step 2. Observe the way others act
If you haven't had the time to research the culture of the foreign country you're going to, you can observe what others are doing. This will let you know if kissing would be appropriate or not.
- If, for example, you approach an entrance and the host greets the guests while standing at the door, watch how he behaves.
- Observe the way people greet each other on the streets and in cafes. This will allow you to know the practices to observe according to the degrees of intimacy.
Step 3. Do some research online
If you haven't found the kissing label for the region you are going to in all of the above, a little Google search should get you the information you need. Simply type in "kissing customs" as well as the country or city you are visiting. You should take any information you find this way with a grain of salt, however, as some may not be verified in all situations.
You can also quickly do this research on your phone if you realize, shortly before meeting an important person, that you forgot to do so
Step 4. Ask a native
Don't be afraid to ask the locals in your area of interest to you about the customs that are applied. While it may not be polite at the time to inquire into what is appropriate, it is quite acceptable, when having a pleasant conversation with a native, to humbly ask them how to greet each other in general according to their culture..
This can be especially useful if you are visiting a more isolated part of the country with little known greeting habits
- If you have any doubts, just shake hands with the other.
- The kiss is used to convey affection without showing it. To have a more positive interaction with your interlocutor, without having physical contact, smile widely and ask extensively how they are doing.
- If you don't know what type of greeting to do, go with the flow and let the other lead you.
- Have a sense of humor. Greetings are often slippery and it is important that you remember that this is not the end of the world. If you make a mistake, just laugh it off and apologize. Keeping the vibe relaxed will help you and the other person move on.
- Be careful not to bang the other's cheeks too hard.