Interpreting handshakes

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    So, my best friend and her husband and I have been talking about this subject—can you determine the personality of someone from their handshake?

    I have always had a weak handshake since I have always had a strong grip. I have always been afraid to hurt someone when shaking hands with strangers. My best friend warned me though that important people (e.g. professors, managers, or just people I meet) may perceive me as not being very ambitious, weak, and lazy. Thus, I am not making a good first impression… and people may not wish to hire me.

    I see things differently, though, I may be wrong. Someone with a gentle handshake, to me, appear gentle, kind, and nice… rather than weak and undetermined.

    More importantly, I hold eye contact with people most of the conversation… very strongly but looking away as to not appear possessed. When shaking hands, I hold eye contact, smile big showing my God-awful puffy cheeks, (I tend not to smile much… so a big smile for me is very special! Lol) and I bow my head slightly.
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    Jan 03, 2009 1:20 AM GMT
    most people give piss weak handshakes, as much as you'd like to think it comes across as kind and gentle, it just doesn't.

    A strong firm hand shake, you don't need to crush there hand but you can grab a persons hand pretty firmly before they even get anywhere near the territory of hurting someone.

    I hate that girly little hand shake, I accept it from women but from a guy it just irritates me
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    Jan 03, 2009 1:31 AM GMT
    Some people complain that my handshake is too firm. They're also surprised because I'm small in stature and not muscular.

    But I've been riding motorcycles for 42 years, which requires squeezing the hand levers frequently, and keeping a firm hold on the grips. I'm sure this is what has made my hands so strong. I'm always the guy people ask to open jars in the kitchen that no one else can.

    Naturally I use a gentler handshake if the other person appears less strong, and I also have a different handshake technique for women. But most of the time my handshake is firm, because I agree that a wimpy grip often implies a wimpy person.
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    Jan 03, 2009 2:36 AM GMT
    Yeah, I prefer a firm handshake. But I don't necessarily think less of a guy with a weak handshake. Some guys just aren't into physical contact in that way.
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    Jan 03, 2009 2:54 AM GMT
    Always go with a firm handshake -- it makes a much better impression.
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    Jan 03, 2009 2:55 AM GMT
    I prefer a firm shake and like to give a firm shake in a business situation...and, also when I meet someone (male *or* female) socially.

    I think a firm grip conveys confidence and a sense of professionalism.
    However, I don't necessarily judge others as lacking either if they do not have the same style.

    Every day when I was a kid, my father would come home, reach out his hand, and he'd say - I swear, God's honest truth - "Boy, how was your day, son?" And I was trained to grab his hand firmly and tell him how exactly was my day and ask him the same question. He would say that this is how things are done at work.

    I know things are different now, 30 years later, and that things may not have been exactly as he said back then, however, that daily lesson stuck with me...and it's one of my most vivid memories of my father, in part, b/c I lived/relived it about 3 times a week growing up.

    I could go on, but I'm not going to...I just kinda got lost in my own head when I saw the question and I went off to a far away place and just returned to reality...ha!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2009 2:57 AM GMT
    A firm handshake, always, always, always -- unless it's a very old or sick person who may have arthritis.

    Eye contact is also very important.

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    Jan 03, 2009 3:01 AM GMT


    Different handshakes mean different things, don't they?

    Weak limp handshake means ,"Hi-how-are-you-I'm-fine-and-not-really-into-this-handshake-thingy."icon_redface.gif

    Stiff tight awkwardly square feeling handshake means, "Oh dear God he's gay."icon_eek.gif

    Warm, thick, heavy close feeling handshake means, "How do I do?"icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2009 3:09 AM GMT
    If you greet someone in any way, try to do so intending to convey genuine interest. Whether or not something fruitful comes of it, it won't hurt.

    I try to be a quick read and note the difference between someone nervous or just being themselves, someone just happy and relaxed, and someone insincere or superficially disinterested, and move on with the business at hand - or lack thereof. That's a bit simplified, but I hope I conveyed my point.

    Greeting someone, whether a handshake, a kiss, a hug, a bow... is a form of body language and those well schooled in it can read people quite well. I'd say I'm good at it. Not expert.
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:05 AM GMT
    I'd think in a business atmosphere (and maybe even some social situations) the handshake is crucial. I remember shaking hands with one of the main guys at one of these business conferences and he just had the most awkwardly limp hand shake ever. I still remember it and it's not a good thing. I think you can't tell a lot about a person's personality, but a person's first impression is usually based upon appearance and that handshake. And nobody wants that dead fish in their hand.
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    Some people think that when shaking hands you should be firm and only do one up down movement then let go and if you keep doing it it's perceived as a weak handshake. I don't believe it's a weak handshake if you keep shaking but I do shake hands this way. It does throw some people off when their hand is still moving and your pulling away though. I also look them straight in the eye during and while talking. Not the whole conversation but most of it.

    I do like the handshake that once you clasp hands you basically hold the other persons hand with both of yours with a couple of up down movements but that's for more personal friendship settings.
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:15 AM GMT
    Oh reat! I guess I better start practising. Like i said, i have a firm grip... I just never used it. I supposed it started when i was young... going to catholic churches we'd shake everyone's hand. Most people that went to the church were elderly.

    I'll never have to worry about bing in the business field..


    What about as a doctor? always firm/adjust to the person?
    always gentle/adjust to the person?




    PS: can you tell I have OCD? lol
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:22 AM GMT
    An appropriate handshake should be equal in firmness without crushing between the people and hand held perpendicular to the floor. The few people who are not expected to have a firm handshake are people with problems with their hands or professional such as a piano player who must use keep his hands in good condition. If you are not as firm you will be interpreted as submissive and if your grip has too much pressure you will be seen as arrogant.

    The palms should be perpendicular to the floor because if at a diagonal the person whose palm is facing the floor would be dominant and the other's would be the submissive and seen lacking confidence.

    Never place your hand over the shaking hands unless your relationship with the other person is that where you would be comfortable with hugging or touching on the shoulder. Placing your hand over like that would imply dominance and may not be welcome.

    Number of shakes and general firmness vary from culture to culture and women usually are less firm with their hand shakes.

    If you want a good book on body language read the The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease. It is a good introduction to many gestures we see everyday. And will explain handshakes better than I.
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:27 AM GMT
    Wouldn't want a surgeon w/ a loose grip now would you? icon_razz.gif

    Or at least forget to take what they dropped in before closing you back up.. guess I thought too far into that one lol
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:27 AM GMT
    RPMSoccer said...And I was trained to grab [my father's] hand firmly and tell him how exactly was my day and ask him the same question.


    My father & I never did that, but I wish we had. The only time I ever shook my dad's hand was when I entered the Army, at age 20.

    He personally drove me down to the Federal building, where the military entrance station was located. From there they bused us to an Army Reception Station, and from there after a week to begin Basic Training.

    And as he dropped me off at the Federal Building, he extended his hand, and I was caught off guard. My own father, shaking my hand?

    But I took it, and was touched by his gesture. He wasn't a man to express physical emotion, so I understood how moved he was to be saying goodbye to me. I never shook his hand again, though he lived for another 28 years.

    And so that moment is very special to me, one of the very few times my father & I ever touched in an expression of affection. I would have done anything to have had a hug from him, but that handshake was at least something.

    And ever since then, when I shake hands, there's a fleeting image of that moment with my father, way in the back of my mind. Maybe that's another reason I do handshakes with firmness & enthusiasm.
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:28 AM GMT
    If your grip is strong enough to turn a door knob, it's perfect for a handshake.

    Personally, I morn the death of the handshake in the gay community. Why is it EVERY time you see a gay friend, you have to hug? Why isn't a handshake good enough in the gay community?
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:32 AM GMT
    COLORED TEXT GOES HERE

    Hello you ALL from Mill Valley Marin CA. I am north of SF CA. I always give firm handshake. As for mine CLEVER EVIL /LITTLE DEVIL whom give a dirty joke of a very sweat or hand tack or a sting handshake and he think its funny! Chris is mine ex-bf of 5 yrs and STILL act like a child or a teenager! Chris is the guy in the middle of his band pic:

    www.myspace.com/eclipsecontrol

    When I was with the dude I get so embarassed and he seem to place me in his FAT JOKES! I am glad we split! I am moving on and that sob STILL follows me around no matter I go!

    SP
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    Jan 03, 2009 5:33 AM GMT
    NakedDevil saidIf your grip is strong enough to turn a door knob, it's perfect for a handshake.

    Personally, I morn the death of the handshake in the gay community. Why is it EVERY time you see a gay friend, you have to hug? Why isn't a handshake good enough in the gay community?


    What about a lousy weak hug? That's about as bad as a limp handshake.

    But I'm sure they want to hug you because well, look at your pictures.
  • Bunjamon

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    Jan 03, 2009 5:55 AM GMT
    GO FOR THE FIRM HANDSHAKE.

    But firm doesn't mean you're going to crush someone's hands. Just hold on instead of leaving your limp clammy hand in someone else's like you're the corpse of the Queen of England.
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    Jan 03, 2009 6:01 AM GMT
    I think all of the Wall Street bailout agreements were made with firm, perpendicular handshakes (not too long and not too short).

    God, I hate "body language experts." You can't tell shit from a handshake, unless it smells like shit.
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    Jan 03, 2009 6:02 AM GMT
    Erikk said
    What about a lousy weak hug? That's about as bad as a limp handshake.

    But I'm sure they want to hug you because well, look at your pictures.

    icon_sad.gif I'm not allowed to hug people any more... I give people bear hugs.. I broke one of my mates ribs.. I been banned icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 03, 2009 6:07 AM GMT
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    Jan 04, 2009 12:20 AM GMT
    When ever I meet a person, I give him a firm handshake with a strong grip. That shows my sincerity.
    I can't stand those weak, limp shakes. I had plenty, and this conveys the message that the person involved has no interest in me at all, and just holds my hand as a polite gesture, and he is glad to get that bit over and done with. But here in England, I guess that white-collar workers find shaking hands with a manual worker a little embarrassing.....?
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    Jan 04, 2009 12:26 AM GMT
    I look them straight in the eye and give them a firm handshake. Guys have told me that my hands are big and strong and sometimes too firm, but they got over it real fast........
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    Jan 04, 2009 12:42 AM GMT
    Replace the verb "handshake" with "schtupping," and noun "hand/s/hake" with "dick" and this topic would be more interesting.