Alternative Greeting for Hyperhidrosis Sufferers

The namaste - a modern handshake alternative.

For nearly 18 months, the world has endured various forms of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there’s nothing pleasant about it, palmar hyperhidrosis sufferers haven’t had to shake hands with coworkers, thankfully. 

And the social distancing protocols have given rise to many new forms of greetings that involve no direct contact. While hyperhidrosis sufferers get a better handle on their sweating, they can use these now-socially acceptable greetings if they have to return to the office. This post will highlight these greetings further. 

1. Namaste (Yoga Bow)

Now that everyone and their grandma practices yoga, the namaste is no longer seen as an esoteric gesture best reserved for master yogis. Although it is derived from a Hindu culture, the namaste is now widely recognized as a friendly greeting and farewell send off. 

It also carries a connotation of peace, making it a warm-hearted way to acknowledge someone. Executing the namaste involves the following: 

  • Press your hands together with the palms touching each other 
  • Keeping the fingers pointing upwards. 
  • Keep the thumbs close to the chest. 

The beauty of the namaste is that you can use it at a wide range of functions including professional or casual settings.

2. Peace Sign

Who doesn’t recognize the V sign, or the bunny ears sign with two fingers! You’ve probably used the peace sign up since you were in grade school.  What’s interesting about the peace sign are its origins and various meanings. 

Originally, people used the peace sign as a symbol of victory...and peace after World War II. 

As time went on, hippies in the 60s and disco-fiends in the 70s used the peace sign to greet their comrades and then eventually, it became a globally-accepted greeting. 

Today you see people of all ages use the peace sign as a handshake alternative, and you can too. Just keep in mind that the peace sign is a more casual greeting, so you might not want to use it when greeting your boss.  

3. Head Nod

If you want to acknowledge someone respectfully in an effortlessly cool fashion, then the head nod might be the greeting for you. It’s quick and easy to do, and when combined with a welcoming facial expression (hint: a smile), it can be very inviting. 

People from all backgrounds and walks of life use or understand head nods, and it’s a great way to make a stranger feel comfortable or to break the ice. It’s also a versatile expression. You can use it casually or formally since most people recognize it as a friendly and respectable gesture. 

4. Elbow Bump

The elbow bump is more of a 21st century fixture than the other gestures mentioned on this list. Younger folks were the ones elbow bumping, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become and will continue to be a common greeting for older adults as well. 

It’s really easy to do - you just bump elbows but ideally without doing it too hard. It’s a great way to establish physical touch without having to touch hands, which, of course, is a lifesaver for a person with palmar hyperhidrosis. 

Just keep in mind though that an elbow bump is very casual and chummy. Whether you’re using it with co-workers, neighbours or whoever it may be, you should only bump elbows with someone you have a close relationship with. 

5. The Wave

Of course, it never hurts to err on the side of simplicity, and that’s why you can rarely go wrong with an old-fashioned wave. It’s simple, it’s friendly, it’s universal. With that said, there can be a wrong way to wave. 

Waving too enthusiastically can make you seem like “a bit much”, whereas waving too lethargically can make you seem uninterested or sarcastic. Also, you need to calibrate your wave with the right facial expressions. 

Excessive smiling, no smiling or any awkward glance can reverse the friendly nature of a wave into a more distancing and isolating one. So if you wave, keep it short, smile and then carry on. 

Also, make sure to wave when appropriate. It’s okay to wave if you’re just acknowledging someone’s presence. But if you’re congratulating them or expressing some other sentiment, then a wave might diminish the sincerity of that sentiment. 

Got Palmar Hyperhidrosis? No Need to Shake On It

The COVID-19 pandemic made us all reassess the way we interacted with each other, including the way we greet one another. It’s fair to say that most of us are getting used to a world without handshakes. 

Of course, many of you who have hyperhidrosis may be heading back to the office if you haven’t done so already. You may think that handshakes are inevitable. 

But don’t fret - the post-pandemic work climate has made it possible for many people to adopt radically new ways of doing their jobs and interacting with coworkers. There’s no reason to believe that handshake alternatives will be rejected. 

Want to learn more about hyperhidrosis and ways to manage it? Check out our Neat Freaks blog for helpful tips and insights to control excessive sweating.