At family get-togethers, there’s always a line-up of uncles, aunts and second cousins twice removed waiting to plant a big, wet kiss on your lips.
Yes, family time is kissing time, but health-wise you’d be much better off if you offered your cheek or settled for a friendly handshake. But if you only knew how many germs lurk in one kiss . . .
The herpes virus: If you’re handing kisses out to all you come across, you could end up with a cold sore.
Colds and flu: Sharing a kiss is the perfect way to contract an upper respiratory tract infection such as a cold.
The art of the offered cheek
Don’t feel obliged kiss every single friend or family member who crosses your path, says etiquette expert Anne Dreyer, “Kissing is each person’s personal choice. It’s acceptable to offer your cheek or shake hands.” Dreyer says time for over-kissers to realise nowadays people can choose whether or not they want to kissed. “I simply refuse or offer my cheek. If that doesn’t work, I develop a fake cold on the spot, claiming a no-kissing policy so as not to infect anyone.”