Mastering Your Greeting: What Your Handshake Says About You

March 20, 2019

It is no secret that body language and facial expressions can tell a lot about a person’s temperament and character. A single touch can speak volumes. A handshake, for example, can send a whole range of signals: it can be weak or strong, which, accordingly, is a sign of either humility or excessive self-confidence and domination.

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A handshake is a sign of trust used as an assurance of good intentions. Of course, this gesture is more typical for men, but in the modern world, women often use this type of business greeting. In The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others' thoughts by their gestures, authors Allan and Barbara Pease described how different handshakes can characterize a person. Every detail is important! Here we will describe the 5 most common types of handshakes.

1. Dominant handshake

The hand of your opponent may seem on top, but the essence of the dominant handshake is that it is a person whose thumb is on the top who seeks to occupy a dominant position. Often this handshake is used by business people whose craving for power shows in every possible way.

2. Submissive handshake

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However, allowing your opponent's thumb to be on top makes your handshake submissive. Thus, you seem to deliberately give the other person the reins of control and are not ready to assume the dominant role.

3. The double-hander

If at the time of a handshake you use your second hand as well, placing it on the back of your opponent’s hand, this way you show the dominant person that you are ready to be on equal terms with him or her or even to take over the control. As you can see in the picture, the other hand lies just above the dominant hand of the opponent. It is a trick a power player won’t expect!

4. The wet fish

As you can see in the picture, if in a handshake your hand is as limp and cold as a fish, then you are as indifferent as it gets at this moment. Such a handshake shows a lack of commitment and sometimes even weakness. And yet, in some African countries, a limp handshake is customary, while a firm one can be considered offensive.

5. A bunch of carrots

This is a distant relative of the ‘wet fish’ handshake. It is almost the same, but while the previous one indicates indifference, this one speaks of passivity. It is jokingly believed that people with such a handshake present their hand like a bunch of carrots, which they simply stick out for others to shake without even trying to show their character.

As you can see, a handshake can reveal your nature to others. So if you don’t want to pass for a weak-willed or indifferent person, better get to work on your handshake!

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The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.