Just like we form an impression about someone by what they’re wearing (yes, we do assess a book by its cover), how we shake hands speaks volumes about our self-confidence and personality. Different cultures have different greetings, but here are some basics:
What are the 7 Ingredients to a Confident Handshake?
1. Eye contact. Look into the other person’s right eye (the one on your left if you’re looking at them). Good eye contact shows self-confidence and receptiveness. Eyes are the windows to the soul!
2. Introduce yourself. Speak up before you extend your hand. Shoving your hand out before introducing yourself appears too aggressive.
3. Match their grip. Now is not the time for a power struggle, or to show-off the hand strength you’ve built with your Gripmaster Hand Exerciser. Match the other person’s grasp, keeping in mind that they may have some sort of hand injury or arthritis that prevents them from clasping your hand too tightly.
4. Avoid extending the “fish hand”. Yeah, you know the kind. ‘Nuf said.
5. Use your entire hand. If you’re at a débutante ball, a woman may use the “kiss the back of my hand” type of handshake. In general society, a ‘lady finger’ handshake isn’t appropriate.
6. 2-3 pumps. A handshake should only last a few seconds. More than 2-3 pumps is considered too personal, intimate, and intrusive.
7. Pump only an inch or two. Shake from the elbow (not the shoulder) and only go up and down a slight bit. You don’t want to rip someone’s arm off.
Don’t worry if you make a mistake. A smile can ‘end wars and cure cancer’!
What’s your biggest frustration when you shake hands?
Image courtesy of MorgueFile.com