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A situation I have encountered in the past:

In a somewhat informal setting, such as a company luncheon or walking down the hall at my company, I meet a new person, who courteously extends his hand. Unfortunately, both of my hands are full.

What's the smoothest way to deal with this situation?

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  • 10
    Any "normal" person would stick with "Hi" as they can see your hands are full...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 3, 2019 at 14:46
  • 4
    Borrow a hand from a person nearby. Ask them to shake for you. If no one is near then scream and run until you find one. Mar 3, 2019 at 16:07
  • Maybe this guy is blind ;)
    – Hans1984
    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:49
  • @SolarMike Even "normal" people don't always notice. They are looking at your face and making eye contact, not glancing down at your hands. Whether they should be checking is another story.
    – LN6595
    Mar 4, 2019 at 16:16
  • @SolarMike Even "normal" people don't always notice. They are looking at your face and making eye contact, not glancing down at your hands. Whether they should be checking is another story.
    – LN6595
    Mar 4, 2019 at 16:17

1 Answer 1

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Simply say: “Hey, sorry my hands are full”

Anyone with sense would know that you’re creating an awkward situation by sticking your hand out for a hand shake when the other person has their hands full

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  • 1
    Yep, don't overthink it.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 3, 2019 at 23:25
  • Yeah, I tend to find a "Hi" followed by an apologetic expression while holding up whatever I'm carrying to catch their attention (usually resulting in a "Oops, sorry" from them) is more than enough.
    – delinear
    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:11

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