Author Topic: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?  (Read 9866 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« on: November 05, 2012, 04:44:34 AM »
It's a little late to do anything about it anyway, and I wasn't there to witness this.  In a nutshell, my brother is still angry at my uncle (and rightly so, IMO), but yesterday was the baby's Christening, so my brother decided to try to put it aside for a day.  The Christening went well, and I went back home because I was in pain from my neck and shoulder, but my mom and brother went over to their house for a little "after-thing".

Everything was apparently very nice up until the end, when my uncle tried to shake hands with my brother.  My brother folded his arms, and nodded.  The following exchange apparently went something like this:

Uncle: Aren't you going to shake hands with me?
Brother: No.
Uncle: *demanding* Why not?
Brother: This isn't the time or place to discuss it.

After that, my uncle blew up at him.  It was "Eff" this, "Eff" that, "You treat me like *expletive*", and so on.  Right in front of his kids, too.  My brother kept his cool, refusing to shout back, and my mother said, "We'll just go," since they were on their way out the door anyway. 

My grandmother was trying to diffuse the situation, saying, "That's okay."  My mom heard my uncle's wife saying, "No, it's NOT."

My question is, was my brother rude to refuse the handshake?  Either way, I think my uncle's reaction was way out of proportion to the "slight", but since I wasn't there to see it I only have the accounts of my mother and brother.  I have no reason to doubt them, and having seen my uncle in action before I have no reason to think his tirade was warranted. 

I'm not sure I would have refused to shake his hand, but I don't know if I can disagree with my brother here.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 04:54:13 AM by CrochetFanatic »

CakeEater

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 05:01:43 AM »
Is there some background to this story? I'm having some trouble understanding the issue. I would say that in most cases, it is rude to refuse to shake hands without a good reason.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 05:06:10 AM »
There's a bit of a background in my last topic, I think.  My brother posted a political thing he happened to find about a month ago, and my uncle sent him some pretty abusive Facebook PM's, insulting his sexual orientation and implying that he was an idiot for believing political propaganda.  My brother defended himself instead of backing down, so my uncle unfriended him.  My brother wants nothing to do with him, but since this was a day for the baby he tried to put it aside.  He later told me that he wouldn't shake hands because he didn't feel comfortable doing so.

peaches

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 05:08:49 AM »
Shaking hands is basic good manners. It's a perfunctory gesture. It doesn't imply anything else (like approval, forgiveness, etc.). If your brother decided to try to put ill will aside for the day, he didn't try very hard IMO.

The uncle's behavior was far worse. He was obnoxious and disruptive, detracting attention from the meaning and purpose of the occasion.




CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 05:18:01 AM »
I guess I've got my answer.  :)  Thanks, I wasn't quite clear on this.  I don't know if it matters here or not, but my brother has Asperger's Syndrome, so I wasn't sure if what he viewed as "standing up for his principles" was actually rudeness or not.  He actually does very well, but he has to think a bit more than some people before he says or does something.  It's just the way it is.

I don't suppose it makes a difference, though.  If it wasn't this, it would have been something else.  To my uncle, any sign of not going along with what he wants seems to count as "treating him like *expletive*".

cicero

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 05:42:59 AM »
whether or not your brother was rude is diminished IMHO by your uncle's reaction which was way OTT and abusive.

I think it *is* rude to not shake someone's hand but I understand your brother's point. He was giving your uncle a modified "cut direct" (nodded at him but made it clear that that was as far as he was going). your uncle acted like a clod in this case, made things uncomfortable for everyone (including children who had to witness his outburst) and was rude. (I have zero tolerance for people who curse like that).


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CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 05:49:05 AM »
That's how I feel about it.  Whether my brother was rude or not, I'm on his side here.  I know better than anyone (other than our parents) how my brother can get sometimes, but at least he doesn't curse or yell around little children. 

YummyMummy66

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 06:06:10 AM »
There's a bit of a background in my last topic, I think.  My brother posted a political thing he happened to find about a month ago, and my uncle sent him some pretty abusive Facebook PM's, insulting his sexual orientation and implying that he was an idiot for believing political propaganda.  My brother defended himself instead of backing down, so my uncle unfriended him.  My brother wants nothing to do with him, but since this was a day for the baby he tried to put it aside.  He later told me that he wouldn't shake hands because he didn't feel comfortable doing so.

You state that this was a day for the baby and your brother tried to put it aside.  No, your brother did not try and put it aside. He took a stand in your Uncle's home where he should not have at that time.  The day was for the baby.  Your brother could have quickly shook hands and have been done, but your brother decided not to do this.  Your uncle was out of line, but so was your brother.

Two Ravens

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 06:08:41 AM »
Refusing to shake hands with someone is a big deal. I think that your brother refused to shake hands with your uncle in your uncle's house makes it even worse.

If you brother was not going to give your uncle the basic courtesy of shaking his hand, he should never have gone to his house and accepted his hospitality.

(Not that your uncle's behavior was acceptable, but still, your brother was in the wrong, Aspbergers or not).

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 06:20:23 AM »
I think he did try.  Tried and failed.  You don't know my uncle.  It's not the first time one of us has been put on the spot.  I think we're agreed that they were both rude in this case. 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 06:21:56 AM by CrochetFanatic »

atirial

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 06:36:55 AM »
I think he did try.  Tried and failed.  You don't know my uncle.  It's not the first time one of us has been put on the spot.  I think we're agreed that they were both rude in this case.
The problem is that if your brother went over to the Uncle's house, he was putting himself on the spot. The better way to do it is simply to bow out - and with the messages your uncle sent him I don't think anyone would blame your brother for not attending. Refusing to shake hands is a version of the cut, and will make people uncomfortable so it was borderline rude but can be within etiquette depending on circumstances.

However, your uncle's reaction was certainly not polite. He could have ignored the snub or quitely asked your brother to leave if it bothered him that much. Screaming and swearing in front of guests is never appropriate. From what you are saying it sounds as though your uncle may have a history of acting up and been looking to start a scene like this, in which case, again, avoiding him entirely is the best course.

catgal

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 06:46:43 AM »
I understand your brother's point of view and support his choice not to shake hands.

We have someone like your uncle who would see the handshake as a sign that everything is okay, and that the other person has capitulated to him.  I do not support his behaviour and no longer shake his hand.  I will excuse myself if I think he is headed in my direction or keep my hands in my pocket if cornered.  I feel that your brother is allowed to not shake hands with someone who is so horrible to him, but he might need to think about some strategies to use if in the same situation again.  Your uncle was very rude to push physical contact when your brother made it clear it was unwelcome.  He was even ruder to make a scene.
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Kaypeep

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 07:38:30 AM »
I think the only mistake your brother made was going to uncle's house.  He should have just gone to the church and attended the service for the baby, but bowed out of the celebration afterwards if it was at uncle's house.  I think your brother is justified in giving uncle the cut direct, but should have avoided the position of accepting hospitality from him.  I wouldn't shake someone's hands after being insulted and demeaned either.

Sharnita

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 08:13:00 AM »
He should not have gone to their house.

Cosmasia

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 09:50:37 AM »
It's absolutely not rude to not shake hands with someone who has insulted your sexual orientation. Prejudice deserves no niceties.

I'd also imagine, considering his history, that Uncle would pretend that the handshake was a "nothing you said was horrible or prejudiced, we're okay". Either way I wouldn't have shaken his hand, regardless of where I was.
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