Here's some intelligence for meeting, greeting, and retreating, courtesy of First magazine:
- Right off the bat: if you want to appear enthusiastic when you meet someone, keep your hand gestures within the borders of an imaginary box. That comes from Dr. Kevin Hogan, author of The Science of Influence. He recommends pretending the box goes from your chin to your waist, and stretches from shoulder to shoulder. Studies show that when you gesticulate all over the place, your credibility is instantly reduced. But keeping your hands inside the box will make you appear passionate, yet reasonable.
- Then, when it comes to greetings: if kissing occasional friends and acquaintances makes you uncomfortable, here's how to keep from hurting anybody's feelings. Beat them to the punch by quickly extending an open hand that says "Shake me!" Or make light of the situation with a little air kissing. Simply pretend you're Catherine Zeta-Jones and say, "Sooo good to see you, dahling" And make a smooching sound somewhere in the vicinity of their cheek.
- And the final bit of intelligence is for retreating from merchandise-related parties. Like "Pampered Chef" demos. These parties used to be a way of showing friends and neighbors something new that maybe they'd want to buy. Now, it seems you're a poor sport or a bad friend if you don't plunk down a wad of cash for things you might not even want. So, next time you get an invitation to a candle party, or a Tupperware 'do', tell the hostess: "I really am interested in finding out more about this. But I should let you know there's no wiggle room in my budget this month. If that's going to be a problem, please let me know and I'll pass." Most likely, she'll want you to come anyway, and you can party without any pressure.