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The handshake

How I loathe a handshake as clammy and limp as picking up an earthworm. Ugh.

I mean really: does it take that much effort to put a little grip into it, a quick, confident jerk of assurance?

Wikipedia says “A handshake is a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each others’ like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands.”

Thought to have originated as a peace-making gesture (the hands were shown to be free of weapons), in Anglophone countries the handshake is considered a standard greeting in business situations and was was often used as a binding contract in place of signing a document. While it is considered somewhat vulgar to have too strong and obnoxious a handshake, the ‘dead fish’ handshake is often perceived as a sign of weakness. And unless you have a good reason (a cast on an injured hand) it’s generally considered extremely rude (pretentious even) to refuse to shake someone’s hand.

Because a handshake can say a lot about the shaker, it’s an important skill to master as it will be a reflection of your “self PR”, as essential as having an elevator speech prepared or your business cards on you at all times.


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