How hard can it be to shake hands?!
Men and women often suffer awkward moments when shaking hands. The reason is that the man has been brought up to see the handshake as the introductory point, but the woman has not; she’s more interested in the face. So when the man reaches his hand out for her to shake, she doesn’t notice. He then sees this as a subtle form of rejection, and she feels silly for having not seen the man’s outreached hand.
… with this in mind, you might wonder whether instead of a business meeting email is preferable. . .
All this can be corrected, however, and with the utmost ease. Guys, just say something polite like, “Let’s try again,” then put her hand in yours and shake it. She’ll feel complimented because you’re interested enough to bother to get the handshake right, which is a great starting point to build on. And girls, be aware that he might be reaching out to take your hand. You don’t have to look him in the face always!
All is resolved! Which is just as well as next to a proper business meeting email is still painfully lacking. . . Anyway; that’s the most common problem between men and women when shaking hands, but there are many more, as we’ll see as we look at . ..
Good Body language And Bad Body Language.
Unattractive Body Language & Handshakes
Your Hand Hugging Feels like a Mugging: The Double Hander
Let’s start with a gesture which certainly is not good body language. A mistake people make when meeting someone for the first time is to wrap both hands around the other person’s single hand when handshaking. The result is that the receiver’s hand is completely engulfed. This feels intrusive and is only acceptable with someone you are already close to. It’s really not good body language!
If you notice someone using this handshake on you, they are likely trying to convey sincerity and depth of feeling. Notice how high their left hand is on your arm. The higher up it is, the stronger the feeling they are conveying. Given that this handshake suggests intimacy, you may be considering using it on someone you want to get close to. Think again. If you use an intimate double hander on someone you’re not close to you’ll leave them feeling very uncomfortable. Again, not good body language. There are much better ways to get close to someone, which we’ll look at later on.
Definitely Not Good Body language: Are they Scared or nervous of you?
Are you a scary person? Are people often intimidated by you? How would you know? One way to discover if people are tense when meeting you is to feel the temperature of their hands. When someone feels tense, blood leaves their hands as it moves to their legs, ready to run. So if the person whose hand you’re shaking feels cold, chances are they’re feeling tense (though you might not necessarily be the cause of their tension—they might just be feeling tense anyway).
The Meaning of Different Handshakes
Too Firm Grip: Don’t grip someone’s hand too hard. It conveys an eagerness to dominate them rather than being equal. The effect is doubled when you offer your hand to them with your palm facing downward.
Wet Fish: Sweaty hands show weakness of character. Check that your hands dry before a handshake. If they aren’t, you might want to give them a good wipe
Grabbing the Fingers: People who grab the fingers in a handshake are under confident. They grab the fingers, rather than the hand, to keep distance between themselves and the other person.
Straight-Armed: People who shake with a straight, stiff arm are trying to keep distance between themselves and the other person and are likely aggressive.
Pulling: When someone pulls you towards them while shaking your hand, they’re either insecure–and therefore pulling you into their safe personal space– or they are trying to control you.
All these handshakes are not good body language, so what the heck is good body language?
Confident, Equal and Comfortable: Finally, we get to a good body language handshake. This is the correct way to shake hands. Each person should be using one hand. Both hands should be level (rather than having one palm turned up and the other turned down) and the grip should be firm but comfortable and dry. This conveys confidence and equality, which in most cases is the right was to start a relationship off.
Having seen how much a handshake can convey, try to be more aware both of your own hand gestures and other people’s. You’ll find that good body language in your hands can go a long way to developing positive and lasting relationships.