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Essential Habit #3: Greetings and Goodbyes

In case you missed them, here are the links to the first 2 habits

Habit #1 – Smile on Waking
Habit #2 – Situational Gratitude

This is a series of articles on the 4 essential daily rituals, 5 essential daily habits and 6 energy boosting life hacks. We have covered the 4 daily rituals. If you would like to catch up after reading this article, please visit to read the series.

Why are greetings and goodbyes so important?

And why is it such an important habit to cultivate? Greetings and farewells are an important catalyst between people and situations. It sets the tone, pace and energy transfer between people. It’s an impression you leave on people that either engages them or repels them, consciously or subconsciously. This is critical socially and in business. It can be your secret weapon or your greatest weakness. And it is a relatively easy habit to implement and has the most powerful impact on all your personal and professional relationships.

In this article I will step you through how to cultivate this daily habit with your partner, your family, your friends, your colleagues and your clients; so people get to experience the real you. “But I am not charismatic or charming. In fact, I can be awkward” I hear you say.

I am not asking you to be fake. I am asking you to master the art of greetings and goodbyes in a way that attracts people to you, whether you are an introvert or an extravert, forward or awkward, cheerful or reserved, talkative or observant. Some of the most lovable people I know are introverts.

But first some science….

Psychologists have for many years confirmed that there is energy transference between humans which mean people ‘feel’ your energy first and hear what you have to say second. The ancient sears also declared there is an invisible force that connect all humans and animals, a universal consciousness. We know it as ‘spirit’, ‘Prana’ or ‘Chi’. Microbiologists are now saying there is a cellular basis for it as well. Our microbiome (gut bacteria) speak to each other and decide whether there is “chemistry” between us. So, what does it mean for greetings and goodbyes? It means how you greet and bid farewell to people is an energy transference.

How to Greet and Farewell Your Partner

As Dr Guy Winch said at Upgrade Your Life 2019, “it’s in the little gestures”. The research shows that lavish gifts are easily forgotten and mean very little compared to the compounding effect of small daily gestures. You need to get into the habit of kissing and hugging on seeing your partner and on saying goodbye. It will strengthen your relationship and builds connection at a deep level.

Rule: It does not count if you don’t look your partner in the eyes. The kiss needs to be on the lips and the hug, full body. Every time you leave and return, without fail, no exceptions, whether in a hurry or not, whether they reciprocate or not. Back it up with loving words and a smile. Make it a commitment from this day onwards and watch your relationship transform. It’s in the little things….

Your Family

The bottom line here is to greet and say goodbye to your family every time. Never ever sneak out. It sends a message to your kids that they do not matter. Greetings and goodbyes make children feel more emotionally secure.

Have a family meeting and tell your children it is important for the family to greet and say goodbye to each other. Make it a family rule. It will feel weird at first, if you have not done it in a while, but in a few days it will feel natural and reassuring. It will fill your home with joy and love. It is that powerful.

Children love big hugs– especially big family group hugs. Teenage children not so much but you can still insist on a small hug. Young children also love secret handshakes as a way of saying hello and goodbye.
Rule: Do not wait for them to come to you. If you enter the house it is your cue to announce your entry and find your family members. Be playful, fun or endearing. “How is my gorgeous family tonight?”

Your Friends

Greeting friends should be done warmly, with a smile and their name spoken out loud. People love to hear their name. It is a primal trigger for them to get closer to you. It builds instant connection, especially if you have not seen them in a while. Using phrases such as “Hey mate/buddy/beautiful” or “See ya mate/buddy/beautiful” are also terms of endearment you can use for friends you see often.

Should you kiss, touch or hug? If you know them well, then yes otherwise this should be limited to people of the same gender. More discretion should be exercised with the opposite sex whatever your heritage. An air kiss may be more suitable. You need to treat each friend individually. Some are affectionate and love a hug, others are uncomfortable and prefer their private space.

When saying goodbye to friends always leave them with a compliment that is genuine and leaves an impact on them.

Your Work Colleagues

Handshakes are usually adequate. High five’s is also okay in a team environment.

It is not appropriate to kiss colleagues unless you are long time colleagues who have become friends and you are meeting at a social function outside of work.

If you work in an office within a team, you need to make it your daily habit of greeting and saying goodbye to everyone in that team. A work environment resembles a family one. And all relationships require a sense of recognition and connection. Greeting and farewelling makes everyone feel valued.

Your Clients/Customers

The bottom line with clients and customers is to always leave an impression that you genuinely care. You need to be professional at all times. Shaking hands with eye contact and a smile is the general rule. A two cheek European kiss is not appropriate unless they are a long-time client. A warm but professional greeting captures their attention and builds instant rapport. “I was really looking to meeting you today.” A graceful and charming exit will make you unforgettable. It is how you make them feel on exit. It should never be hurried. “I enjoyed our meeting. Rest assured I will always do my best for you. This I promise you.”

Some Rules

Be present when you kiss or hug or shake hands. It never counts if you do not look the other person in the eye, warmly. Looking away is a big no-no. Never make too-personal comments, especially in cases of divorce, bereavement or illness.

If you are arriving home from work and in the wrong head space, stay in your car and do a brain dump in your diary to get your ‘to-do’ list out of your head. That way you can switch off and greet your family from the heart.

If you are at work and preoccupied when someone greets you, bring your awareness to your breath. This will bring you to the present moment where you can switch your attention to them and greet them properly and listen attentively.

Back it up with words. Whether you are greeting or saying goodbye, words in conjunction with a kiss, hug or handshake makes it more personal. “I love coming here…” applies when visiting not only family but also friends. “You always make my day…” is another example with friends and colleagues. Make it genuine and make it appropriate depending on the closeness of the relationship.

What is your trigger? Ask yourself this question. “If this is the last time you get to see this person, how do you want them to remember your last interaction. When it comes to your partner, family or close friends, even more so. You never know what happens in life. I know this is a morbid thought but knowing this helps make you memorable. It puts your greeting or goodbye into real perspective.

My Promise

I know the habit of greetings and goodbyes is simple and this article is unremarkable, but simple habits such as this need not be remarkable. The fact that it is ordinary should make it an easy habit to infuse into your days. And I promise you when you master the art of greetings and goodbyes, you will become unforgettable and bring joy to everyone around you.