This might seem weird to a lot of people. It doesn't come up very often, but here it is.
I don't shake hands with strangers. I try my best not to touch them *at all*. I'm happy to hug my hippie friends, let the cat lick my face, deep kiss my girlfriend... but I want no part of touching strangers. I've gone so far in a business meeting to avoid shaking hands by sneezing right as I'm getting ready to leave, so as to avoid having to be put in the situation.
Why? For a couple of reasons.
I don't know those people from Adam. Who knows what sort of gross personal habits they have, or what they might've picked up? Is this guy a nose picker? Did this woman change her baby son before coming to work without washing? Do they have a cold? Is it slimy, clammy, or wet from them just being a sweaty, clammy or moistly sticky person? Yech. I give blood, I don't want hep.
Few people know how to shake hands properly.
I'm a scary, big man. I've got big hands. People's hands vanish in mine... imagine a baseball glove. them's my paws. When I've shaken hands in the past, invariably some wanna-be alpha male tries to play the "crush his bones, show him who's boss" testosterone thing. If I'd been feeling uppity, I'd give the death grip right back, hoping to hear the spintering of bone, and rending of sinews on the wanna be he-man. Other times I just give an impassive look, and returned with a firm, but friendly grip. It's not limited to men, either. I've seen a few "I'm as tough as any man" misguided females try the same thing, and get *nail marks* in my oversized mitt, when they can't fit the dainty meathook of their own around it.
On the flip side, although I'm a gentle giant... sometimes I don't know my own strength. I don't want to do the aforementioned accidental marrow-leaking death grip on a frail person with the bone structure of dried maple leaves.
Then there's the social side of it. The quote below sums it up for me pretty well...
"if you feel compelled to grab part of my body and shake it, before you can even be friendly, you've got far worse problems than you think I have." http://www.badmovies.org/movies/wosat/wosat3.wav
Why should I have to touch someone I don't know? Can't a friendly smile and a kind voice do the trick without my having to grasp your palm, and have us feel each other out for some bizarre fraternity rite, placing the grip properly so as to let each other know we're fellow masons/ boy scouts / ATO brothers / Illuminatus ?
To heck with that noise. As far as I'm concerned, a handshake is a form of social assault and battery.
I'm thinking that my next way of getting out of it is going to be..."Sorry... I don't shake hands. Not with the ebola and all. Nothing Personal."