Author Topic: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?  (Read 9607 times)

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Jenny13

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2012, 02:57:22 PM »
Although they may have disputed about something entirely different, your uncle was still invited to the christening and  was refused a handshake by the "host"? I'm thinking your brother was rude by not accepting a handshake.

I should add though that your uncles reaction was far from appropriate.

I think the uncle was the host, but I'm not 100% sure.

yeah I realized after that I had it flipped around  :P
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2012, 03:05:54 PM »
I think that your brother is missing one critical facet of the cut direct:  You should do whatever is in your power not to affect others by your decision.  If your Uncle was the host, you brother should not have gone to his house.  If the event was at someone else's house, when your Uncle approached, your brother should have found somewhere else he needed to be and left the area before the confrontation could occur.

VorFemme

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2012, 03:08:10 PM »
I'm wondering if Brother took Mother to Uncle's house - the original post on the thread mentions that they went together.  I don't know if Mother still drives or not.....but Brother might not have been able to get out of going if he was giving his mother a ride over there (it also doesn't mention if Uncle is a brother or brother-in-law to one of the parents of the OP and her Brother). 

I've seen situations where someone HAD to take an elderly (or not up to the drive for other reasons) person over to a house where the driver would really not set foot....but if they didn't drive, then someone missed out on the event. 

OP - does your mother driver or not?  Did she have some reason where she needed your brother along, "just in case" something came up during the christening (whether at the church or at the after-party at Uncle's house)? 

Or was it something that just kind of happened and Brother couldn't get out of going with Mother even though going to Uncles' house sounded like as much fun as walking a mile in the Sahara Desert without any water along....?  (I have a relative or two that I try to avoid going to their house - mostly because saying "you're boring" doesn't go over well - at least nobody screams at me for whatever happened on Facebook).
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CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2012, 03:52:58 PM »
Yeah, our mother still drives, and she drove this time.  I'm not sure why he went, to be honest.  I got the impression that it was a spur of the moment decision, or something like that.  Nobody forced him to go.  I think, like all of us, he sort of has mixed feelings about everything, and that might have messed around with his judgement.  I can only guess at what he was thinking, and he can be pretty clueless at times.  This is a perfect example of that.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2012, 04:10:29 PM »
I'm wondering if Brother took Mother to Uncle's house - the original post on the thread mentions that they went together.  I don't know if Mother still drives or not.....but Brother might not have been able to get out of going if he was giving his mother a ride over there (it also doesn't mention if Uncle is a brother or brother-in-law to one of the parents of the OP and her Brother). 

I've seen situations where someone HAD to take an elderly (or not up to the drive for other reasons) person over to a house where the driver would really not set foot....but if they didn't drive, then someone missed out on the event. 

OP - does your mother driver or not?  Did she have some reason where she needed your brother along, "just in case" something came up during the christening (whether at the church or at the after-party at Uncle's house)? 

Or was it something that just kind of happened and Brother couldn't get out of going with Mother even though going to Uncles' house sounded like as much fun as walking a mile in the Sahara Desert without any water along....?  (I have a relative or two that I try to avoid going to their house - mostly because saying "you're boring" doesn't go over well - at least nobody screams at me for whatever happened on Facebook).

IMO if you are willing to compromise/suspend a cut direct in order to bring a third party to a gathering hosted by the cut-ee, then you need to be prepared to suck it up and participate in the basic social niceties, which includes not refusing an offered handshake. If he felt he had to drive his mother to the gathering and feels that he absolutely could not shake the uncle's hand, then he needs to find a polite "out" that doesn't single out the uncle as the only one he's unwilling to shake hands with (e.g., if he wanted to decline all handshakes on the grounds of, say, a (fictional) hurt hand, I don't think that would be rude, but he would have to refuse any and all handshakes, not just the uncle's). Basically, it's not rude to have a general rule of not shaking hands, whether that's permanent or temporary. But refusing to shake one particular person's hand is a pretty extreme social rejection. If you are socially rejecting that person to that extent, you shouldn't be accepting their hospitality. You could choose to temporarily suspend your cut direct, but it isn't polite to just partially suspend it by choosing to interact with them (especially going to their house) and then refusing basic social niceties. It's an all or nothing thing--you can either avoid interaction entirely (cut direct) or you can interact according to the bare minimum required by social rules, but there's no halfway point between them that is still polite.

VorFemme

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2012, 08:01:54 PM »
The only acceptable reasons to refuse to shake Uncle's hand and not "everyone's" would be if Uncle was sneezing into his hand or had a wart on it......or Brother had sprained his wrist (I learned to wear a brace for my tendinitis - it simplifies things because people don't TRY to shake my hand, although now everyone wants to know what's wrong with my hand).
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O'Dell

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2012, 10:04:20 PM »
I'm wondering if Brother took Mother to Uncle's house - the original post on the thread mentions that they went together.  I don't know if Mother still drives or not.....but Brother might not have been able to get out of going if he was giving his mother a ride over there (it also doesn't mention if Uncle is a brother or brother-in-law to one of the parents of the OP and her Brother). 

I've seen situations where someone HAD to take an elderly (or not up to the drive for other reasons) person over to a house where the driver would really not set foot....but if they didn't drive, then someone missed out on the event. 

OP - does your mother driver or not?  Did she have some reason where she needed your brother along, "just in case" something came up during the christening (whether at the church or at the after-party at Uncle's house)? 

Or was it something that just kind of happened and Brother couldn't get out of going with Mother even though going to Uncles' house sounded like as much fun as walking a mile in the Sahara Desert without any water along....?  (I have a relative or two that I try to avoid going to their house - mostly because saying "you're boring" doesn't go over well - at least nobody screams at me for whatever happened on Facebook).

IMO if you are willing to compromise/suspend a cut direct in order to bring a third party to a gathering hosted by the cut-ee, then you need to be prepared to suck it up and participate in the basic social niceties, which includes not refusing an offered handshake. If he felt he had to drive his mother to the gathering and feels that he absolutely could not shake the uncle's hand, then he needs to find a polite "out" that doesn't single out the uncle as the only one he's unwilling to shake hands with (e.g., if he wanted to decline all handshakes on the grounds of, say, a (fictional) hurt hand, I don't think that would be rude, but he would have to refuse any and all handshakes, not just the uncle's). Basically, it's not rude to have a general rule of not shaking hands, whether that's permanent or temporary. But refusing to shake one particular person's hand is a pretty extreme social rejection. If you are socially rejecting that person to that extent, you shouldn't be accepting their hospitality. You could choose to temporarily suspend your cut direct, but it isn't polite to just partially suspend it by choosing to interact with them (especially going to their house) and then refusing basic social niceties. It's an all or nothing thing--you can either avoid interaction entirely (cut direct) or you can interact according to the bare minimum required by social rules, but there's no halfway point between them that is still polite.

Well...that or just wait in the car or a nearby coffee shop. ;) But I agree with you it's all or nothing.
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PeterM

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2012, 10:52:38 PM »
Nobody's asked the question I would like to hear the answer to - Did your uncle attempt to shake hands with anyone else? If he was shaking hands all around, I personally think that's weird with family but I'd say your brother was probably rude.

If on the other hand your brother was the only one your uncle wanted to shake hands with, I'd guess it was a deliberate provocation and I personally think your brother is fine. If you choose to bait someone you've already been horribly rude to, I don't think normal rules take precedence.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2012, 05:57:36 AM »
That I'm not sure about.  I wasn't there, so I can only speculate.  I would guess that he wasn't shaking hands with everyone, since it was a very small gathering, and he had spent most of the time upstairs.  Then again, I don't know.

Pen^2

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2012, 07:30:05 AM »
I wasn't aware that if someone puts their hand in the air in front of me, it's a huge insult to not suddenly grab it. Isn't that the equivalent of saying it's rude to decline an invitation to a party, or to not accept a gift? An outstretched hand is an invitation, nothing more. No-one has the right to decide how and when we should react by making a specific gesture.

It's not rude to choose not to do something if it makes you uncomfortable. For example, although it's normally rude not to make eye contact with someone with whom you are speaking, I have taught plenty of students with various reasons for not wanting to do so (aspergers, a lot of the time). Nothing wrong with that, if they are genuinely uncomfortable by it. It's the same as if friends go to kiss you--I only feel comfortable being that intimate with my husband. Yes, I'm a prude, but no-one has the right to force me to kiss them. That's what we call assault, after all. People of foreign cultures aren't expected to change their entire lifestyles if they move countries if they aren't used to it and are more comfortable with their own way of living, even if it affects others a little (e.g. religious dress). For goodness' sake, they used to force homosexual people to marry or undergo 'therapy' to 'fix' them due to what was culturally considered acceptable at the time. So just because something is culturally encouraged does not mean it should ever be mandatory. Good etiquette is to strive to make others feel comfortable within reason. Not wanting to shake hands is hardly the end of the world, and very much appropriate for someone who is uncomfortable and to whom it has been clear that they are considered not a friend but rather a sexual deviant of some unsavory sort.

That said, I am not American (in case my spelling didn't give that away already), and I'm aware that hand-shaking is a stronger cultural obligation over there, especially down south. Even so, how can it be considered rude to quietly not be forced into something you're uncomfortable with? I apologise if there is a cultural reason that I am misunderstanding here, but I strongly feel that no-one should have the right to force another's actions except for safety or where outlined by law.

Yes, your brother had a lapse of judgement going over to your uncle's house. But one mistake does not always mean that you have to endure unpleasant situations beyond what you can bear. People sometimes go to events and realise for various reasons they don't wish to stay, and can perfectly politely quietly thank the host and leave. And having guests is a two-way street, and part of that is the host's obligation to making sure the guests are comfortable. Your uncle seems to have purposefully done the opposite of this, although again there is no first-hand account to confirm this. Does your uncle normally shake hands with people as they leave? Was it everyone or just a selected few, i.e. did he put your brother on the spot with this stunt?

Again, I apologise because my view is contrary to so many others', and no personal offence is meant. I only wish to put forward my ideas here, nothing more.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2012, 07:55:58 AM »
I agree completely with Pen^2.  Members of this board have described me as "rude" (and other things) because I do not shake hands as my allergies and other physical problems can cause me immense pain if someone touches me (especially my hands).

However, even if that were not the case, I do not believe anyone should be forced into a physical interaction they are not comfortable with.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2012, 08:57:10 AM »
It isn't my uncle's habit to shake hands, but he's done it from time to time.  My mom thinks that it's possible that this was his way of apologizing to my brother, but we disagree about that.  If he was so concerned with apologizing, he wouldn't have started screaming and making everyone uncomfortable.

My brother is of two opinions; he should have either sucked it up and shook Uncle's hand, or (and he's leaning more in this direction) he never should have gone at all.  It's too late now, but I don't think he'll let himself be put in that position again.

I agree about shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.  It's acceptable, even expected at times, but I've never been comfortable with hugging, let alone kissing.  I'll tolerate it, but I don't invite it.

I know people have said my brother was rude, and I agree to an extent.  It was a snub, and it started the ball rolling.  But in light of my uncle's behavior?  I don't care how rude my brother was.  I'm on his side, and Uncle will come up against a brick wall the next time (indeed, any time, unless it's a true emergency) he wants something from me.

O'Dell

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2012, 09:59:56 AM »
I wasn't aware that if someone puts their hand in the air in front of me, it's a huge insult to not suddenly grab it. Isn't that the equivalent of saying it's rude to decline an invitation to a party, or to not accept a gift? An outstretched hand is an invitation, nothing more. No-one has the right to decide how and when we should react by making a specific gesture.

Again, I apologise because my view is contrary to so many others', and no personal offence is meant. I only wish to put forward my ideas here, nothing more.

I think it must be a cultural thing then. To not shake hands with someone, especially in such a pointed manner, is along the lines of a personal rejection. It is insulting. I say this a person that is not big on shaking hands and rarely initiate it. But even I would never refuse to shake a person's hand without reason. I have occasionally refused because my hands were dirty/greasy beyond the norm or when I'm sick and then I make sure that the other person knows why. That's especially true here where the brother is in the uncle's home. I can't think of an analogy, but it has the flavor of insulting someone or giving them an obscene hand gesture. It's not as simple as your analogy of an invitation. There is much more social baggage with it.

CrocheFanatic, I really think you and your brother need to study up on the cut direct if that is what you want to give your uncle. You've said in the past that you don't want the drama of being around him, but it seems to me that your brother and you are doing things that aggravate the drama and not things that minimize it. If you want to give him the cut direct, you don't go to events that he is hosting. I really don't think either of you should have gone to the christening. In this case, because he has young kids, the cut direct is truly a nuclear option. It *will* effect your relationship with your nieces/nephews. There is no getting around that. You have to decide: do you put up with your uncle a little bit so you can have some sort of relationship with his kids, or do you give him the cut direct and seriously curtail any contact you have with them.

Right now, with the 2 of you straddling the fence between those 2 options, you are continuing the drama that you say you don't want. If you don't want drama with someone like your uncle, you have to be firm and proactive. Whichever option you take, it's going to take time and many encounters for your uncle to understand and accept the change in how you and/or your brother treat him. That's why you have to be especially firm and consistent in acting out the cut direct. Every time one of you deviates from the new norm, you give him hope that he can pull you back into the drama. I expect you'll have to weather a number of his tantrums before he "gets" it and stops. Every time you deviate from the plan, delays him accepting the new norm.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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JenJay

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2012, 10:09:23 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).

I agree with Two Ravens.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2012, 10:10:18 AM »
I wasn't aware that if someone puts their hand in the air in front of me, it's a huge insult to not suddenly grab it. Isn't that the equivalent of saying it's rude to decline an invitation to a party, or to not accept a gift? An outstretched hand is an invitation, nothing more. No-one has the right to decide how and when we should react by making a specific gesture.

Again, I apologise because my view is contrary to so many others', and no personal offence is meant. I only wish to put forward my ideas here, nothing more.

I think it must be a cultural thing then. To not shake hands with someone, especially in such a pointed manner, is along the lines of a personal rejection. It is insulting. I say this a person that is not big on shaking hands and rarely initiate it. But even I would never refuse to shake a person's hand without reason. I have occasionally refused because my hands were dirty/greasy beyond the norm or when I'm sick and then I make sure that the other person knows why. That's especially true here where the brother is in the uncle's home. I can't think of an analogy, but it has the flavor of insulting someone or giving them an obscene hand gesture. It's not as simple as your analogy of an invitation. There is much more social baggage with it.

CrocheFanatic, I really think you and your brother need to study up on the cut direct if that is what you want to give your uncle. You've said in the past that you don't want the drama of being around him, but it seems to me that your brother and you are doing things that aggravate the drama and not things that minimize it. If you want to give him the cut direct, you don't go to events that he is hosting. I really don't think either of you should have gone to the christening. In this case, because he has young kids, the cut direct is truly a nuclear option. It *will* effect your relationship with your nieces/nephews. There is no getting around that. You have to decide: do you put up with your uncle a little bit so you can have some sort of relationship with his kids, or do you give him the cut direct and seriously curtail any contact you have with them.

Right now, with the 2 of you straddling the fence between those 2 options, you are continuing the drama that you say you don't want. If you don't want drama with someone like your uncle, you have to be firm and proactive. Whichever option you take, it's going to take time and many encounters for your uncle to understand and accept the change in how you and/or your brother treat him. That's why you have to be especially firm and consistent in acting out the cut direct. Every time one of you deviates from the new norm, you give him hope that he can pull you back into the drama. I expect you'll have to weather a number of his tantrums before he "gets" it and stops. Every time you deviate from the plan, delays him accepting the new norm.

Thank you.  It's hard to hear some of that, but I can't say any of it isn't true.  Half the time, I'm not even sure what I want to do, and what makes it difficult is the fact that we won't be able to avoid them if they're over for a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I'm 100% sure that our mom will never completely cut him out of her life, so that's not really an option for us unless we move out...which is most definitely not an option, financially.  We're lucky to be able to stay here.  So, the main problem I'm having is, will giving them the cut direct come back to bite me later when I can't get out of seeing them?  It might be plain stubbornness on my part, but I see no reason why I should be chased from the house on Thanksgiving or Christmas just because they're over. 

But now I'm getting way off topic.  There doesn't seem to be an answer to those questions, at least not one that won't result in the familial equivalent of a TNT blast.