What You’re Saying With Your Hands


I didn’t realize how important a quality handshake was until I met my sister’s boyfriend, a few years ago. We met up at a restaurant for a double date, and to this day, that dude’s flimsy handshake is the main thing I remember about him. I was ready to size up the new guy to make sure he was good enough for my little sis, but that wack handshake told me everything I needed to know about him: weak, no confidence and immature.

First of all, I initiated the handshake after being introduced. He looked a little caught off guard. And then proceeded to gently shake my four fingers. Um… okay… huh?  I was completely thrown off. I just didn’t expect this 6-foot 6-inch guy to be so uncomfortable with a simple handshake. If this is how he operates in a casual dinner setting, he’s clearly not ready for prime-time. That handshake would not work in front of the parents, and I’m positive that it would be detrimental in any business setting.

Throughout the dinner, his continued mannerisms or lack thereof, lived up to the low expectations set by his greeting. A few months later my sister was back on the market. A true testament that handshakes do matter. Especially to those of us, who pay attention to the tell tale signs that separate the weak from the strong.

Have you ever stopped to think about what your handshake says about you?

Etiquette Tip: A firm, strong handshake is always better than a weak handshake. You don’t want to crush the other person’s hand, so pay attention to the pressure behind their shake, and adjust your grip accordingly. Understand that your handshake does matter, so don’t blow it off. Extend your hand for a quality shake to make others respect and acknowledge your confidence… from the very beginning.

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