by James Gallichio
The tradition of hand shaking came about in the middle-ages, when warriors would shake hands as a means of signifying that they were unarmed. Over time, the handshake evolved as a custom for greeting strangers, for closing business agreements and for confirming bets made between friends. The handshake, then, is a means of demonstrating that you are trustworthy; that you are an open, honest and genuine person.
A handshake says a lot about a man. We can gauge complex elements of a gentleman’s personality such as confidence, friendliness and comfort-level from something as simple as the way he shakes your hand. I can recall several instances in which my perception of a man has been completely changed by the way he has shaken my hand. There are three things that you want to avoid in order to give a good handshake:
* The Man with Dead-Fish Hands
Having a hand that is too limp is one of the most disappointing ways to perform a handshake. It makes the other person feel as though you are timid – as though you’re afraid of hurting their hand.
* The Man who Tries to Break Your Hand
A handshake is not a competition to see who is strongest. At the complete opposite end of the scale than men with limp, lifeless hands, lie men who squeeze your hand so hard that any semblance of a friendly greeting is thrown out the window, and instead you have found yourself in a spontaneous game of ‘uncle’ in which your partner is trying to fuse your fingers together in a phalange mush.
* The Man with the Sweaty Hands
Last, but certainly not least, is the sweaty-hand. This is perhaps the most common handshake faux pas, as many people can be nervous when meeting someone for the first time, making their palms sweat. This can be avoided by keeping a hanky/tissue in your pocket – when you feel your hands starting to sweat, right before you go in for the handshake, give the hanky a squeeze and proceed to approach the shake with fresh, clean and dry hands.
A good, firm (and dry!) handshake says a lot of positive things about a man; he’s confident, he’s warm, he’s friendly and trustworthy. By avoiding these there handshake faux pas, a gentleman can greatly enhance his first impression, making others feel comfortable when they’re in your presence. Now go forth, shake some hands and make people feel good about you.