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The Impression Of A Handshake | Does Yours Last In A Good Way
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Whether in business or meeting someone new in a personal way, the impression of a handshake often lasts if it is a great handshake or if it the kind you can’t get away from soon enough. Any kind in the middle is generally acceptable but may lack the nice qualities you can get across in this physical greeting.

I like a good or great handshake. It tells me a lot about a person. So does a bad one. Unfortunately, a bad handshake will last in my mind a lot longer and taint any future relationship with the other person in a negative way. We will not have started off on the right foot, so to speak.

As a reporter, I once did a story about a female pilot who worked for a major airline and flew huge planes like 747s. When I first met her and shook her hand, her handshake gave me the idea for my lead sentence. Something like...When you shake Ms. J’s hand, you just know she can handle the stick of a 747... What a great handshake! I instantly liked her just because of the way she shook my hand.

I consider a great handshake to be one where both parties grasp each others’ hands somewhat firmly but not crushingly so. Applying a little pressure lets the other person know you are paying attention and are happy to meet them. It says you are genuine and focused on the introduction. Add a few, slight up-and-down motions, not too much and not too many,

and then release. Holding on too long or shaking too vigorously will not be easily accepted unless you are a totally gregarious person and everyone knows it.

Bad handshakes in my estimation are those that are limp and lifeless. Add clammy to the mix and you may as well be shaking hands with a dead fish. Then there are the kind where the person is distracted or disinterested in this social more. There is nothing I want to do more than let go asap from a hand that is barely there. Some people don’t actually grasp your hand; they just hold theirs out and expect you to do the rest. Gee...makes one wonder how they are in bed...

Can you imagine the impression a bad handshake makes when you are first introduced to a business associate, colleague, or even worse, a client? If you are guilty of not considering the impression your handshake makes or of its lasting value, better rethink that.

The reason I bring this all up is because I recently shook the hand of someone I thought I would give automatic respect to and did -- until I shook his hand. He is a genuinely nice guy and deserves respect for the office he holds but that did not come across in his handshake. This led me to thinking about my first impression of him and how difficult it would be to win me over in other ways. And I don’t think he is even aware of the impression his handshake made on me when we were first introduced.

So I wrote this to get you, dear reader, to think about the the impression you might be leaving on those who shake your hand. Whether in business or your personal life, you can make a good first impression with a good handshake or you can leave others with the impression that you could care less about meeting them. If you want a future relationship, a bad handshake will mean that you will have to work that much harder to sustain it.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid this person you are meeting in the future, a bad handshake will get the job done.


Street Talk

Great read Anne Marie!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
joe witt  

very interesting article Annmarie

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

thanks, Joe :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article! I also love a good handshake but to be honest just a couple of times I have used a bad handshake to avoid someone...

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Oh..so my last comment does ring true...and I was kidding.... LOL I guess if you have any bad preconceived notions from hearsay about the person, that may be one of those times. Thanks Maria!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Have you ever just messed it up.....not good always feel terrible about them....I agree a good hand shake makes me confindent in myself and the shakee's...but sometimes it just does not go right....oops! True AnnMarie good artice

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

They can be awkward at times, I agree. We are only human, after all. Hopefully, we don't mess them up when they really matter. Thanks for the comment, Tim.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Golfspice  

Great article AnnMarie and so true. The handshake that I do not like is the one where people half heartedly shake your hand while looking away - so ill mannered in my opinion.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Exactly! Thanks for the comment, Golfspice!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article AnnMarie... such an important first impression maker.. My Grand Father a Scotsman and very correct person taught me as a child the importance of a handshake, something I follow to this day... as he used to say "a good hand shake will open many doors" great thoughtful article... although it never crossed my mind that a women might wonder how I would be in bed by my hand shake... food for thought... might need lessons in that ... LoL

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

What a great lesson to learn as a kid. And I actually meant that comment for both sexes. Weak handshakes with not effort to grasp a hand makes me think they would let their partner "do all the work"...lol

Reply
  about 7 years ago

There is just so much you can judge about a person based on that first handshake. It's a wonder why many people still don't know how to give an acceptable handshake. The lifeless handshake has usually been a good tell tale of things to come with the one's I've met and shaken with.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for the comment, Jay. A good handshake is a must in business.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I agree. You can tell a lot by a handshake. I have always used it as a first impression gauge. Liked and G+'d

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, John. Appreciate it! :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I agree! The handshake tells all, doesn't it? I find the people that have that crush-your-hand type of handshake are the ones that don't want you to know just how inferior they feel! The limp fish peeps are the ones I think are somewhat lazy and don't really care for themselves much. You are right in that a bad handshake leaves a bad taste in your mouth and it lingers too! Thanks for that great article. Seemed a bit rough on the front side, but you hit a home run by the end!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

I have been accused of being too frank and too honest. Hope it wasn't too rough. I have written lighter articles like the battle between Antioxidants and Free Radicals and another about Garlic warding off more than just vampires. Didn't think of a cute twist for this one though so just wrote. Shows how much I am turned off by bad handshakes. :) Thanks for being in my network and reading my articles. I enjoy yours!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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