Warm greeting dilemma

Every Sunday, I stand outside the church to greet churchgoers before and after the service. People marvel at this in the winter, but my good English wool cloak and my Canterbury cap are actually quite warm. Anyway, I now have a dilemma. I mostly stay warm, but my hands do get cold. If I wear gloves, then it would seem less personal as I shake people’s hands. However, the Washington Post reports there are data to report what I’ve long suspected:

Yale researchers have found that having your hands warmed up is likely to give you a warmer first impression of someone. Lawrence Williams and John Bargh tried it with two groups of students. They found that students who held a hot cup of coffee or a hot pad just before getting a description of a fictitious person rated that person as being more generous, sociable and good-natured than did students who had held a cup of iced coffee or an ice pad.

So, should one be impersonal or unfriendly on a winter day shaking hands? I keep hoping someone will donate money for one of those huts like the guards outside palaces use. Or maybe one of those heat lamps that some hotel porters enjoy. Until I get this resolved, I’ll just hope for spring.

Thanks, Ann, for pointing me to this. Photo from flickr user misswired.

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1 Response

  1. Larkin says:

    Scott,
    If memory serves, your problem lies in surface-to-volume ratio. I suggest:
    1. A high protein diet to change the afore-mentioned ratio.
    2. Re-constructive surgery on the circulatory system of your hands to deploy a countercurrent circulatory system, similar to how gulls keep warm while standing on ice.
    3. Grab some of those Insta-Heat packets that we hunters use to stay warm outside. Keep one hand behind your back with the heat packet and shake hands with the other. Then, switch.
    4. Wear the type of gloves the pianist wore at the Inauguration–finger tips open to give folks the feeling you still care. Just don’t pre-record your handshake, as they did the music.

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