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How to Know When it's Appropriate to Kiss

To kiss or not to kiss? Find out all the who, what, where, when, whys, and hows of social kissing.


  • Step 1: Kiss strangers socially only Kiss people you are being introduced to only if you are introduced in a social environment, like a party or at a bar, and only if the person introducing you two knows both of you well. Otherwise, a handshake is usually appropriate.
  • Step 2: Consider colleagues Consider factors like level of familiarity and profession when kissing colleagues. A kiss in the boardroom would be inappropriate in most businesses, but is common in the fashion and theater worlds.
  • Step 3: Let others lead Let the other person take the lead if you're not sure if kissing is appropriate. Although it's becoming more common, it's still not right in all circles.
  • Step 4: Be clear Be clear of your intention when going in for the social kiss so the receiver is sure of the gesture and can react appropriately.
  • Step 5: Begin with the right cheek Begin kissing the right cheek of the receiver or offer your own right cheek to them if they go in for the kiss first.
  • TIP: Be prepared to change direction at the last minute, though, in case of a mix-up.
  • Step 6: Don't reject a kiss Don't reject another person's social kiss, which is considered extremely rude. Pucker up!
  • FACT: A 2010 survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that most adults under the age of 25 prefer to touch fists, air kiss, or wave instead of shaking hands.

You Will Need

  • Social kissing etiquette
  • Consideration of situation and level of familiarity
  • Proper technique

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