Thursday, 2 October 2014

Kissing Etiquette - B2 +

Kissing etiquette

For Skype English classes Contact Lisa by email or Whatsapp 0034
645424237. Skype friendlyteacher14.

A potential minefield


Kissing friends and acquaintances

I have lived in Spain for more than ten years now, and have grown accustomed to cheek kissing as a form of greeting. I do believe that it is a lovely way to greet someone you know or someone you have never met before, in a social setting. It says a lot about a person, it shows that they don't find you repulsive, you don't smell bad! It means that they like you enough to get up close and give you two small pecks on the cheek and you in turn feel the same way.  I do like it when I walk into a room and everyone gets up out of their chairs to greet me.  In the United Kingdom, you would be lucky to get a small wave from someone as you enter, but I'm referring to acquaintances! I am sure if I walked into a pub in my home town and a bunch of friends were waiting for me, most of them would stand up to give me a kiss (one peck, never two) and maybe even a hug.  It makes you feel nice and special, and you also feel welcome.  I sometimes do feel a little awkward in the UK, when I am introduced to someone new, I immediately (as if on impulse) step forward to kiss them, then quickly step back and offer my hand for them to shake. I feel ridiculous!  Why can't I just give them a peck on the cheek? I guess its because I don't want to make them feel awkward either. Most of the time I get accused of being 'Oh, so continental!'

Kissing at work

Now, this is something I don't feel comfortable with, perhaps its the English in me, but I would prefer a good old handshake any day!  Why do I have to kiss my boss or colleague when I meet them?  I usually offer my hand straight out. I've asked a few of my students about this, and they agree, kissing has no place in the office! Men aren't expected to kiss at work, why are women expected to do this?

Who makes up these these rules?

It's probably a case with most customes, they evolve over time... Maybe one day women won't be expected kiss in the work place.

How to avoid embarrassment!

Make your actions clear to avoid embarrassing situations.  In Spain it's usually right cheek first, then the left cheek.  If you are just giving one kiss, pull back decisively, don't hover! You don't want the other person to go in for a second kiss only to be shot down! Very embarrassing indeed! Humour can cover this up, just laugh a little and pretend that it's funny, this will relax you both. On one hand, if you really object to being kissed, then Spain isn't the country for you! But if you insist on living in Spain and not joining in with the customs, then I suggest that you stand back hold out a straight arm and offer to shake their hand, which should give a clear message. On the other hand, if you are in a social situation where kissing prevails it is more polite to go along with everyone else... When in Rome and all that!

Other kinds of kisses



minefield; This an expression, meaning that something is very difficult to understand or confusing.

repulsive; disgusting, offensive. Tending to repel.

straight out; Phrasal verb meaning - with out hesitation or deliberation.

makes up; Phrasal verb meaning - to invent something.

For Skype English classes Contact Lisa by email or Whatsapp 0034
645424237. Skype friendlyteacher14.


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