Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

A kiss is just a kiss …

unless you are a German businessman. The Knigge Society, a body set up to preserve etiquette, is not happy and is complaining.

It says that kissing has become commonplace with men and women kissing each other in the office and in meetings.

Traditionally Germans are taught to keep a respectful distance (60 cm is recommended), to shake hands and briefly bow the head (they no longer suggest clicking your heels but you get the idea).

The Society’s advice is no kissing in the office. Apparently some people are even receiving two kisses French style!

It sees this as a form of terror and suspects there may also be an erotic element to it. The chairman of the society says he respects the French habit, and the Russian one of men kissing men – but that’s not the German way and is an affectation of the “In crowd”.

No we know the French are the most miserable europeans so you can’t blame them for a bit of lip exercise but it can get a bit confusing once you cross a european border.

I know this from personal experience. Some years ago I had been in Ukraine where everybody kisses everybody three times (how would the Germans cope with that I wonder) and shortly afterwards found myself in neighbouring Lithuania.

I was saying goodbye to a professional colleague and thanking her for inviting us to her university. I shook hands then kissed her on the cheek. At that point I wondered how many kisses was normal so asked if it was two or three. Her answer was none.

My English colleague thought this was hilarious and never lets me forgot (although I do wonder if she was winding me up as most Lithuanians, whilst not over-familiar are friendly when they get to know you).


Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

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