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A HANDY GUIDE TO HUMAN HANDSHAKES






When I was a young lad, my old gran taught me how to shake hands: Decent grip, but not too tight; good eye contact; sincere smile; early release. Once I’d ‘grasped’ the basics, we moved on to the advanced level, in which she taught me the other techniques people employ when shaking hands.

Writers are always heading out to conventions, conferences and other writerly-type gatherings, so being the helpful chap I am, I thought I’d produce them here in this ‘handy’ guide.


A HANDY GUIDE TO HUMAN HANDSHAKES

1. GLUE HANDS
The handshake starts off well, but for some reason, the other party just won’t let go. They keep on talking, punctuating each sentence with a slight pump of your hand. In the end you have to pull free.

2. THE BONE-CRUSHER McNOONY
This was my old gran's speciality. These greeters use a handshake as a way to show how tough they are. They squeeze your hand so tight, you wonder what you did to make them so mad at you (except in the case of my old gran, in which case she'd already told you).

3. THE LIMP NOODLE
Somewhere between ‘Hello’ and the actual handshake, these folks forget to tense their fingers. Result: You feel like you’re holding lukewarm (often somewhat damp) sausages.

4. THE LADY DOO-DAH
The hand comes towards you. Too late, you realize the fingers still point to the floor. You don’t know if you’re expected to kiss the hand or curtsey, so you end up holding the other person’s fist.

5. THE VENUS FLY TRAP
Timing’s the issue with this handshake. As soon as you get within reach, these folks grab hold. You’re left feeling a little embarrassed as they shake the top half of your fingers rather than your hand.

6. THE DRIVE-BY GREETING
The grip’s okay, the smile sincere, but even as they reach out to shake your hand, these folks are scanning over your shoulder to see if anyone more interesting turned up.

7. THE ‘I’M NOT TOUCHING THAT.’
Sometimes it’s a phobia, sometimes it’s an insult. Either way, you’re left feeling a little silly when you've extended your hand and it becomes clear they’re not going to take it.

8. THE THUMB WRESTLER
You think you’re going to shake hands, but these folks have other ideas. The palm-slide, knuckle bump, thumb press technique can be great fun, but the first time someone hits you with it, you wonder if they think you’re a freemason.

9. THE WALLFLOWER
These folks are shy. The good intent is there, but not the eye contact. They get ten out of ten for stepping up to the plate, but something in their demeanor screams ‘I’m not comfortable with this!’


I think that’s all of them. Let me know if I missed any. In the meantime, Happy Shaking!


If you enjoyed this, you might also like 10 HELPFUL PEOPLE YOU MEET ON THE ROAD

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
snapes_angel
Mar. 26th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
The Teaser
Extends their hand for you to shake it, grins maniacally, whips their hand away, then insist they were kidding and extend their hand again. Sometimes repeats.
snapes_angel
Mar. 26th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: The Teaser
That can be followed by a bone crusher, a thumb crusher, a sausage, or a wet noodle, usually, when they finally do shake.
jongibbs
Mar. 26th, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Re: The Teaser
Lol, like the one in the smiley icon :)
wendigomountain
Mar. 26th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
The one I despise is what I call "All-Fingers". It's when they turn their hand in such a way that you are clasping just each other's fingers. No palm to palm contact.

A specialty of little old ladies and smooth skinned men types.
jongibbs
Mar. 26th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
Careful with those 'smooth-skinned men' comments, some of us are folicly-challenged :P
wendigomountain
Mar. 26th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
I meant of the sans callouses variety. On the top of the head, I can totally relate. :)
year_anda_day
Mar. 26th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I don't know what you'd call it, but the worst handshake to me is when someone has sweaty or clammy hands. And they always seem to hold on the longest.

As a person with sensory issues, handshaking can be rather overwhelming to begin with - I never know how long to keep my hand there and it always seems a little invasive to begin with. So I'm probably like an Escape Artist or something when it comes to my handshake style - tries to avoid them where possible, gets out of them as soon as she can.
jongibbs
Mar. 26th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
That's where a Judo black belt would come in handy ;)
phoenixfirewolf
Mar. 26th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
The naturally firm grip from a girl that no one expects and everyone comments on...

I'm strong naturally, and I do a lot of physical stuff with my driving job (lifting luggage) so I'm strong. I expect men to have solid handshakes. Every once in a while I come across a limp noodle handshake man... that never goes well. More often I come across men who aren't prepared for a man-like handshake from a girl... I'm not trying to crush people's hands, I just have a solid handshake... There is no squishing as in the bone-crusher mentioned above just a frim handshake. I swear.

It surprises people.

Speaking of Cons... I went to one last weekend and yeah, got comments on my handshake. Hehe.

jongibbs
Mar. 27th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
I think most women have a better handshakes than men.
phoenixfirewolf
Apr. 1st, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
LOL
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Mar. 27th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Lol, at least you don't have to worry about shaking hands with guys in the men's room :)
jongibbs
Mar. 27th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
Oops, reading that reply again, It may have come out a little differently than intended.
(Deleted comment)
shoebrera
Mar. 27th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Jon,
Thanks for this timely list. I hate it when, just because I'm female, a man won't SHAKE my hand! With my 1st conference coming up, I expect to be extending my right hand a lot. Thanks to you, I'm reminded to 'do it right,' as my old gran would say.
jongibbs
Mar. 28th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
Enjoy your first conference. It'll change your life :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


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