Author Topic: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?  (Read 9445 times)

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Judah

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2012, 10:12:39 AM »
It's not so much the refusal to shake hands, as it is the way you refuse. It's one thing to refuse to shake hands but offer a greeting with a smile; it's a completely different thing to refuse to shake hands by crossing your arms in front of you and acting cross.
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RingTailedLemur

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2012, 10:32:58 AM »
It's not so much the refusal to shake hands, as it is the way you refuse. It's one thing to refuse to shake hands but offer a greeting with a smile; it's a completely different thing to refuse to shake hands by crossing your arms in front of you and acting cross.

True.

VorFemme

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2012, 11:50:56 AM »
If your mother is not going to cut Uncle and his family out of her life - it's her choice.  If you or Brother are living with her or accompanying her to places where Uncle will be...

It is time to start carrying in (and out) glass casserole dishes for your mother (assuming that some of these are potluck family gatherings instead of fully hosted dinner parties at the holidays) or otherwise making it plain that "handshakes" aren't going to be happening "today".

Cut a finger chopping stuff while helping prep the potluck dish?  Sprain a wrist at work?  Carpal Tunnel acting up?  Wart remover applied too heavily and you've got the wound covered for a couple of days?  Holding a squirmy (or sleeping) baby cousin or cousin's baby (depending on who has the young babies & toddlers in the family)?  Just getting over the flu?  Exposed to the **** at work (especially good for teachers - kids get taken to school with just about anything when both parents work) and you don't know for sure if you have it or not...but you're going to limit exposure (if you can't control your facial expression - wear a face mask, too)? 

Or drop by for thirty minutes with Mom and then go somewhere else, coming back to pick her up when the event is winding down - by which time she'll need help picking up her stuff and "you're in a hurry".  Unless Mom is the one driving - when a passenger might end up stuck.....then it's easier not to go because "you've been exposed to ***** at work and might be contagious".
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NyaChan

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2012, 11:51:52 AM »
It's not so much the refusal to shake hands, as it is the way you refuse. It's one thing to refuse to shake hands but offer a greeting with a smile; it's a completely different thing to refuse to shake hands by crossing your arms in front of you and acting cross.

True.

Yes, and having allergies or conditions that make handshaking uncomfortable or impossible are definitely exceptions.  It is all in the way it is done - i.e. my mom did not used to shake hands for religious reasons, she'd smile and quickly explain that it was a cultural/religious thing and people were fine with it.  I have also declined to shake citing a strained muscle and that was fine too.  The point of OP's brother not shaking hands though was to get across the sentiment that he did not feel friendly enough towards the uncle to participate in the gesture with him.  It is very different from the situations described by Pen & RingTailedLemur.

DavidH

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2012, 02:01:19 PM »
In the US at least, refusing to shake hands when someone extends there's to you is quite insulting.  It is fine to say I'm sorry, I'm sick, my hand is dirty, I have a medical condition that prevents me doing so, but otherwise, you are pretty much obliged to do so. 

Once you've gone to their house and accepted their hospitality, you can't then say I'm still so angry at you, even if with good reason, that I won't shake your hand.  A refusal, particularly one as blatant as the one described here carries with it a major social slight.  In this case, since the slight was intended it is that much worse. 

Magnet

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #50 on: November 06, 2012, 09:35:19 PM »
I'm confused.

Whose baby is this? 

gramma dishes

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #51 on: November 06, 2012, 09:56:29 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.

PeterM has asked the question that immediately popped into my head when I first read the opening post.  I thought the uncle was basically baiting your brother. 

However, I also was confused about whose baby and whose house, so when I finally figured all that out, I think your brother probably should have declined the invitation (assuming there actually was one) to your Uncle's house if he is still that angry, even though I certainly don't blame him for being that angry. 

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #52 on: November 06, 2012, 10:51:54 PM »
Oops, sorry.  She's my uncle's baby.

Magnet

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2012, 07:12:09 AM »
Oops, sorry.  She's my uncle's baby.

So your uncle hosted a party at his house, in honor of his child, and your brother thought it correct to attend this celebration but not shake his uncle's hand?  I'm sorry, your brother is way off base here.  He should have stayed home.  Your brother showing up and then refusing to shake your uncle's hand has only furthered this dispute. 

Sharnita

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #54 on: November 07, 2012, 07:17:07 AM »
That might explain uncle shaking hands even if it isn't his norm.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #55 on: November 07, 2012, 09:49:31 AM »
This is probably the last I'm going to post in this thread, but as far as I'm concerned my brother's offense was the lesser of the two.  Yes, he was rude.  That's been established.  It's been discussed at our house as well, and he knows.  I don't mean to sound annoyed, but now it feels like my brother is under attack in this thread, and if possible I would like this thread to be locked.  I seem to have a bad track record of getting my topics locked, but I don't mind so much for this one.

rashea

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #56 on: November 07, 2012, 12:32:17 PM »
CrochetFan,

I think people are discussing your brother's rudeness because there's no question that your Uncle was rude, so it's just not an interesting discussion. I also don't think that people are trying to rank them (for the most part), because to me, that's not really how etiquette is supposed to work. Your brother was rude, though it sounds like it was more that he didn't know how to handle a situation that came up and handled it badly. Your Uncle was rude, and it sounds like that's a pattern for him.

I think this is an opportunity for your brother to sit down and think and plan for the future. Will he go to his Uncle's house? How will he act there? What level of response does he need to give if he's partaking of his Uncle's hospitality? Will the Uncle come to his house? What about after he moves out and has a place of his own? What level and type of response will he offer Uncle in these situations? How will your Mom handle it if bro decides not to speak to Uncle when he's visiting? Will it be better if bro isn't in the room when Uncle visits? How will bro handle family get-to-gethers? Is he willing to not attend to avoid Uncle? Would he rather attend but keep separate? How will he handle it if Uncle tries to force interaction?

Brother has a chance here to take one moment of trouble, and turn it into an opportunity to map out future interactions ahead of time.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #57 on: November 07, 2012, 12:42:16 PM »
None of us know your brother, so he is not being personally attacked. Is he even aware of this thread?

What people are trying to tell you is that it doesn't matter who was "more" rude. Rudeness does not cancel out. Polite people are supposed take the high road.


SleepyKitty

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #58 on: November 07, 2012, 12:57:07 PM »
I think people are discussing your brother's rudeness because there's no question that your Uncle was rude, so it's just not an interesting discussion.

This, absolutely. It's nothing personal at all against your brother, it's just a much more interesting topic than Uncle. Shouting and swearing is simply unquestionably rude - there's not room for discussion or debate there. Your brother's situation not cut-and-dried, so it's a good topic for conversation.

Your brother's offense was certainly the lesser of the two. It just happens to be the most interesting.

DavidH

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Re: Rude Not to Shake Hands with Family Member?
« Reply #59 on: November 07, 2012, 12:58:48 PM »

The timing matters too.  Since uncle was rude, and in fact more rude AFTER brother was rude, it can't be a justification for brother's action.  Had uncle gone on a new rant at the party about how he still disliked your brother and all that and then stuck out his hand to be shaken, then your brothers action would be reasonable. 

Incidentally, the original question was, " My question is, was my brother rude to refuse the handshake?" so it seems a bit much to complain that posters are answering that question.