These are small signals we send to one another via touch or possibly glance that—despite their apparently fleeting and innocuous nature—are full of meaning .
Did you ever get patted by your mom or your partner? How about that moment when you're just agreeing to that fourth glass of wine at a party or launching into that very long joke? You receive a gentle arm touch to start with, which is a kind of amber warning light Then follows the two swift, sharp pats or taps that have a much more sinister meaning What do those taps mean? Divorce Soon If you don't shut up and get me home
Being patted as a child was different In those days it registered approval or parental pride As an adult in business, though, getting patted is a whole different ball game A once friendly gesture from your parents is a much different thing when you're working, as it places the patter into the higher status role, where they feel it's their right to offer approval for something you've said or done . Patting during a greeting ritual is riddled with silent and subtle signals . Ignorance is no excuse, so here's a swift guide to the messages you'll be sending out . I Hand patting: only for hospital visits . I Wrist to elbow arm patting: suggests the person you're greeting is elderly or frail. I Elbow to shoulder patting: macho and friendly, jovial, implies you have an extracurricular shared interest like playing golf . I Shoulder patting on the side of the shoulder: much more of a physical attack, like trying to disarm your enemy I Top of shoulder patting: a physical attempt to hold your visitor down or restrain him or her. A blatant attempt to raise your status while lowering theirs I Back patting: über parental and therefore a put-down. Implies the visitor is in need of your approval I Head or cheek patting: only try this one if you're into martial arts . This implies your visitor is severely mentally damaged . Or it will signal you're having an affair . I Butt patting: don't even think about it .
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