Saying hello, something that we took for granted for so long, a handshake, hug, maybe a high five, now a longing to engage with another human and share in a basic embrace of friendship, collaboration or in good faith, as we are reduced to a peer over a mask covering our nose and mouth while being far enough away from each other that, if the other party is hard of hearing we find ourselves speaking much louder so the noise can be heard through the muffling of the face covering to hopefully land on the ears of our intended target and be understood.
As commerce begins to open up and people are found mulling around their old haunts, how will we move past the awkwardness of offering a genuine, heartfelt “Hello” and not feel guilty that we are possibly putting them and ourselves at risk by doing so? This question has come to mind often lately, the way that I have conducted myself in meeting people, saying hello, offering a handshake or a high five to break the initial awkwardness to opening a conversation has moved to a stiff, uncouth “Howdy”.
How can we leave this and have an acceptable post pandemic greeting? Will the handshake survive? Are we doomed to fist bumps and calling everyone “bro”?
How about this idea?
First, it starts with the nod, a simple, subtle tip of the head downward and toward the individual to indicate that you are willing to have a “hello”.
Second, now that the nod has been notice, the muffled “hello” from under the mask, loud enough that the individual who engaged in the nod can hear you, though not so loud that the person becomes afraid and runs away.
Third, the reciprocal muffled “hello”,… now what?
Fourth, is this something that you want to pursue? Was the “hello” engaging? Was it a “hello” that says “Nope!”?
Fifth, standing six feet away ask the next question, “I love your glasses, where did you get them?” “What kind of dog is that?” “Why do you wear socks with sandals?” “What beer would you like?” “Did you see that tiger guy, what the hell was that?” These are some of the best ice breaking questions around, now we are on to a conversation, a new beginning, meeting someone you did not know before, what a novel idea…
It is time to get back to speaking with people we see out and about, we have all been in a situation that no one can comprehend, some of us have not been affected while some of us have lost all we have known. Life has changed, the epoch will continue to regenerate, renovate and revolutionize, be a part of it, bring a positive energy to your personal innovation, be willing to share your emotions, beliefs, drives to those who do not know you, it may start the metamorphosis that brings the enjoyment back to life.