If you are in a situation where you are in a room with two or more women, this is not khalwa and there is no need for you to be uncomfortable.
Obviously, if you live and work in the West, everyday you will see women who are not properly covered.
What you need to do here is to simply be modest, behave respectfully, and avoid looking at women without need.
But try to do it in a way that does not offend the other person.
For many non-Muslims, if you simply explain to them that your religion (or culture) does not permit shaking hands and that you mean no offense, then usually people are okay with that.
However, when there is only one woman, this situation is considered as seclusion, and becomes unlawful.
Obviously, this is for the protection of the woman and the man (or men) so that a situation will not arise where the male becomes tempted and the woman possibly harmed.
In Western societies, guarding one’s gaze can sometimes be interpreted as a lack of assertiveness or respect for the other person.
However, with Muslims, guarding one’s gaze indicates respect for the other person’s space and modesty of intention.
In adhering to the boundaries set by the Sharia, we can uphold the Quranic command to the believing men and women to be awliya of one another, or protecting friends, while at the same time maintaining the modesty and purity of heart that come from obeying Allah and His Messenger in this regard.