Is It Rude To Not Say “Hi” Back?

From a social point of view, the act of greeting is almost as important as breathing. The greeting is a staple of good manners and a way to maintain cordial and pleasant social relationships.

The simple fact of meeting a known person is enough to have to make a greeting out of simple courtesy. When greeting, you don’t need to chat or stop if you don’t consider it appropriate, but you should not ignore a greeting.

Is it rude to not say “Hi” back? The answer is clear: Yes! Anyone who denies the greeting is regarded as a haughty and arrogant individual who, due to his rudeness, earns the people’s antipathy.

Reasons Why a Person Doesn’t Say “Hi” Back

When we talk about greeting, the most normal thing is to receive a return greeting, even out of courtesy, but there are times in life that this doesn’t happen like that.

Personal relationships are often complicated on many occasions, and here are some reasons why a person might not have greeted you:

The person was clueless

Some people don’t remember having been to a birthday, meeting, outing, or some kind of event with you, and the next time they see you, they think it is the first time. It’s not rude, they just don’t remember.

Another possible cause is that the person has not seen you or has not heard if you said “Hello”. In such a case, it doesn’t count as rude because it isn’t their intention to leave you talking alone.

The person is shy

Although they know us, some people are less sociable, perhaps, and avoid the lookout of embarrassment, or they don’t come to say hello to not interrupt.

That degree of shyness or complexity prevents them from having the decision and psychic energy to be able to respond to the greeting.

The person believes himself superior

Some people don’t greet you simply because they don’t want to. Even though they have shared with you perhaps more than once, they are too busy or too superior to come forward to say “Hello”.

You can be very nice and stand in front of that person and greet him, but his superiority complex leads him to walk by and leave you with the words in his mouth or with his hand extended.

Throughout your life, you will meet several of these human beings.

The person is upset with you

Perhaps this is the most normal point, or that occurs the most in everyday life. Who has not fought with a friend or an acquaintance?

At the time of an exchange of words or an argument with another person, there is always one side that feels more affected than the other, one that finds it more difficult to overcome it.

For example, if you and your friend argued, but you’re not as upset as he is, you may greet him out of courtesy, but it’s no wonder he doesn’t greet you.

Don’t stop saying hello until you can talk and fix things.

If the opposite is the case, that you are upset with your friend, forget that being polite doesn’t take away the courage, so return the greeting to show that you value him a lot despite being upset.

You haven’t talked in a long time

This case is related to the time we have without seeing well-known people, and there is a reunion.

There is something between us that, for some reason, you don’t see someone for a while and that someone already become a stranger.

When by chance, a reunion occurs, we don’t know whether to say hello, speak, laugh, hug or simply do anything.

In case you say hello, and the other person doesn’t, he surely thought the same as you and was sorry to answer, or he simply ignored you because she felt uncomfortable.

Importance of Greeting

When we begin to relate, we need different formulas and ways of approach to express our intentions.

Be it physical or verbal, the forms of greeting are one of the first elementary courtesies that we offer when we enter a place when we meet someone or meet a friend.

The greeting has a symbolic value depending on the way it is expressed. The importance of the greeting is in its symbolic value.

The way we express, it will be interpreted as a sign of proximity, affection, distance, professional approach, or simply a formality of courtesy and good manners.

When they greet us, it is good manners to respond to the greeting as a sign of kindness. Refusal of the greeting can be interpreted offensively.

According to the tradition and culture of the place, the absence of the greeting can be interpreted as inattention, irritation, or anger.

The phrase “withdraw the greeting” is very common in colloquial language, reflecting hostility or an unfriendly attitude.

The greeting is a simple and daily custom that we learn from childhood, and it is our most visible letter of introduction.

When it comes to a job interview, the greeting is important in the same way as physical presence, body posture, attitude, language, and gaze.

In everyday life, the greeting demonstrates warmth and affection, depending on the place and the person we are greeting.

Cultural customs determine the type of greeting expected in each region, presenting multiple ways of greeting.

So whenever you are greeted with a ‘Hi’, just greet back in a friendly manner.

How to Greet Correctly

There are different greeting ways, including a slight nod of the head, brief words, and even a handshake or a hug. Each culture has its way of greeting, but in most, the most used is the handshake, especially among men.

It isn’t enough to consider some elementary rules: When you greet, you should look into the person’s eyes, always raising your forehead. When entering an enclosure, the one who arrives, naturally, is the one to greet and the one who leaves to say goodbye.

Shaking hands should be done firmly but without being rude. Too gentle a greeting, even from a woman, doesn’t leave a good impression.

It isn’t in good taste to kiss whenever you greet someone you don’t know, just offer your hand and introduce yourself pronouncing her name.

Under any circumstances, you should always greet, as this attitude has a positive effect and will make those who receive it feel good.

Greet everyone you meet: The doorman, the elevator operator, the receptionist.

In a store, say hello before requesting a service, in a taxi, before giving the address where you want to be taken.

You should not greet with your hands in your pockets, with a cigar in your mouth, eating, chewing gum, or similar attitudes.

If you carry a package, bag, umbrella, etc., in your right hand, you must exchange hands to say hello.

Remember, saying hello is an easy way to express kindness and appreciation. Let’s not forget it.

How Can I Say “Hi” In Different Ways?

When it comes to greeting verbally, the most common is to say “Hey!”, “How’s everything?”, “Hello” or to call the person by name.

In the American Southwest, the use of “Howdy” is very common.

If you are bored of saying hello the same way or want to introduce yourself to someone for the first time, here are some phrases that will surely help you:

When introducing yourself or meeting someone

“No one has introduced us: I am the manager of the company.”

“Excuse me, what did you say your name was?”

“It is always a pleasure to meet someone so special.”

“How can I help you?”

“My name is James, nice to meet you

Alternative greeting phrases


“Hi, how are you?”

“What’s up?”

“What’s going on?”

“Good day!”

“Hi there!”

“What`s new?

“How’s it going?”

“I didn’t recognize you!”

“How are things going?”

“What a pleasant surprise”

“Great seeing you here!”

“It’s been ages! (Since I last saw you)”

“Finally see you!”

“Long time no see!”


The greeting is a gesture of daily and professional life, a sign of respect and consideration for others, and the opportunity to please our clients, collaborators, or colleagues.

It is easy to greet someone when we see that he/she has the same interest in greeting you. A person with dynamism, a desire to live, and always a smile on his face gives you confidence and makes you feel good.

These people are by far the ones who deserve your attention, the best greeting of all.

Therefore, we should endeavor to greet correctly and courteously, according to the place and the circumstances in which we find ourselves.