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“Sorry…I was going to give you a nudge but he pushed me.”

By Sammie Levin
Published: April 2010

In a popular scene of the movie Superbad, Michael Cera’s character, Evan, is talking to a girl that he has a crush on when he is pushed by a passerby, causing him to accidentally punch the girl in the chest.

After this awkward mishap, the two say goodbye, only to realize moments later that they are headed in the same direction. Upon realizing this, the awkwardness of the situation heightens, and Evan speeds up to avoid having to prolong the already uncomfortable encounter.

Unfortunately, situations like this are all too familiar in the real world. Walking through the South hallways several times a day, students are bound to suffer awkward encounters, or at the very least, a difficult decision on how to greet certain people. In any case, awkward or not, there are countless manners in which people greet each other.

When passing a friend in the hallway, a greeting comes naturally. “If I see close friends in the hall, I might tackle or push them, senior and former member of the wrestling team Josh Cohen-Kaplan said.

If you have time to spare, you have the luxury of stopping and chatting with a friend that you pass, allowing for an affectionate, social interaction often accompanied by warm embraces.
“I definitely hug a lot, Cohen-Kaplan said, showing a softer side. Junior Rachel Davidson also likes to give enthusiastic greetings to friends, claiming, “If I see someone that I’m close with, I usually like to run up to them and give them a hug.

The only concern in these instances is spacing in relation to the rest of the hallway.
It is simply poor etiquette, let alone hazardous, to carry on a long embrace or conversation with a friend in the middle of the hallway, or worse, right in front of a doorway.

Greeters often overlook these implications and choose to position themselves in these inconvenient places, causing pandemonium and distress in the halls. “When people are blocking the doorway, I get really frustrated and push my way through them, sometimes without even saying ‘Ëœexcuse me,’ Davidson said. Junior Jeremy Einhorn expressed his annoyance at these people, explaining that they “ruin the order of things, and “should find another place to talk.

If time does not allow a long embrace or conversation, then only a short greeting to a friend is possible. In this case, people must choose one of the many available greeting options.
“There is the fist bump, the point, the wink, the quick hug involving two slaps on the back, the handshake and hug’€the ‘Ëœslap and dap’, or the bash-brother’s forearm, junior Nate Kropp said, listing his greetings of choice. “I like to give a kind hello or a suave head nod and SUP, Einhorn said.

Passing someone that you are not as close with or barely know is a trickier situation’€a greeting conundrum.

“If I pass someone I don’t know too well my greeting might be nonverbal, like a head nod of sorts, Cohen-Kaplan said.

“If I pass someone I don’t know, I don’t have any interaction with them¦but if I sort of know them I’ll smile briefly, sophomore Isabel Granaham-Field said.

The trickiest of all greeting dilemmas is when you find yourself at one end of a hallway that is empty except for one person who you do not know how to greet at the opposite end walking towards you.

Whether this person is a friend that you are in a fight with, a classmate that you know but have never talked to, a past teacher that you did not get along with, or a “random hookup from the prior weekend, there is no way to avoid the impending awkward greeting.

You are trapped in a seemingly endless vacuum of discomfort and despair. This situation can be handled in several ways.

Sophomore Mikayla Bogart advises that in these situations “you check to see if they are going to make eye contact with you and if they do, give a friendly smile, but if not then look somewhere else.

Davidson emphasizes the critical role of eye contact, explaining, “If there is eye contact I would give a small wave or smile, but I would try to avoid eye contact.

If you are ever concerned with what greeting to choose or how to handle a hallway encounter, just keep Evan from Superbad in mind’€he punched a girl in the chest and scurried away but still managed to score her in the end.

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