I might have mentioned before that I am pretty awkward at the best of times, but particularly in social situations, I get myself worked up over the ‘greeting’ stage of the evening, so that certainly doesn’t bode well for the rest of the night.

Although I am a very affectionate person, I am not overly tactile, so I may come across as aloof or stand-offish which couldn’t be further from the truth! (Funnily enough, I am different with kids and with my elderly patients, as I don’t find it hard at all to behave more naturally with them, probably because they are so non-judgemental)!

When being introduced to someone for the first time, I am inevitably nervous and, particularly at a job interview, my hands will be all clammy, and I dread it when they go in for the handshake. Now I was taught that a limp handshake is a sign of a weak person, so of course, I clasp their hand firmly and then dread it in case they recoil and surreptitiously wipe their hand on their clothes when they think I’m not looking!

We Brits tend to just go for the one kiss if we are greeting someone; even that can be an ordeal! Do you actually kiss the person on the cheek? Should you air kiss them? What if you bump heads if you both go the same way?! Should you hold their hand or hug them as well? The opportunity for getting it wrong and making a fool of yourself is endless!

Then you have the Europeans; some kiss both cheeks; some go for three kisses, oh there are just too many choices! What’s wrong with a friendly “Hello” and a little wave?! Mind you; I have even got that wrong on occasion as well!

The ordeal is not over though, of course not; you have got the whole saying goodbye thing to go through as well….

Have you ever done that kind of circling each other thing at the end of the evening? You know, when friends that you know quite well have been to visit and are now about to leave. You go to say goodbye but are not sure whether to give them a kiss, hug or a wave, so you dance about for a bit, waiting for your cue from them. It doesn’t come, so you decide to go in for the kiss as they give you a wave as they turn around, leaving your peck on the cheek in mid-air!!!

No wonder I’m a hermit!