Gender Neutral Niceties: Who extends their hand first?

by epi on November 20, 2013

Q: When meeting in a business environment, should a woman extend her hand first to shake hands, should the man be the one to extend his hand first, or does it make no difference?

A: Traditionally speaking, when a woman and man were introduced, it was up to the woman to extend her hand first, or choose not to, and simply smile and say, “Hello. Pleasure to meet you.” If the man did happen to extend his hand first, then she had to accept it, for nothing is more rude than rebuffing a courtesy.

In a business situation, etiquette is as gender neutral as possible – it does not matter who extends their hand first.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Winifred Rosenburg November 20, 2013 at 10:42 am

Actually, in a business situation the higher-ranking person should extend his or her hand first.


Paola Coronado August 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I think that in a business situation the gender is neutral but the person that comes last is the one that have to extend their hand first.


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