AWKWARD continental-style hugs and kisses are a social minefield. Here’s how to get them really wrong:
Hug for too long
Whether hugger or huggee you can unsettle the other party by creepily prolonging the hug, implying you desperately need any form of human contact and will happily stand there for 20 minutes.
Be paranoid about boob contact
If male, make your body as concave as it needs to be to avoid physically touching a woman’s breasts even though they’re buried under several layers of clothing. Your weird attempt to avoid being pervy will send out the message that you have previously been fired for sexual harassment.
Kiss on the lips
If someone attempts to air kiss you, go into panic mode and do what comes most naturally: a kiss on the lips. A great relationship could start this way, but only in Richard Curtis films. In reality the other person will go on to warn everyone about you.
Get an erection
Like dogs, erections tend not to be entirely rational. Awkward enough if you’re hugging a female colleague, but far worse if you and a fellow man accidentally ‘cross swords’. Or ’bump cocks’.
Make a joke of it
If you’re uncomfortable with hugs and air kisses, it’s tempting to defuse the situation by going ‘Mwah! Mwah!’ as you pretend to kiss someone’s cheeks. However they might be genuinely pleased to see you and now you’ve mocked them for it.
Totally misjudge the velocity of the hug and plant the nut. Nothing says ‘professional’ like assaulting a work colleague as if it’s 2am outside a Southend kebab shop.