Handshaking – should you do it?Posted: 21st of December 2015 by
Handshaking is a peculiar custom. It can be especially perplexing for females – should you shake hands or not?
When you arrive at an interview or for a meeting what is the right etiquette when it comes to handshaking? If you shake one person’s hand, do you have to shake everybody’s? If there are a lot of people in the room it could take a long while to get down to business!
A handshake is a friendly, welcoming signal with a long history but is it too familiar or too formal? Obviously you would never shake the hand of someone that you know really well but what exactly is the right thing to do?
Here are a few ‘antiquated handshaking rules’ that I came across:
A man should never take a lady’s hand unless it is offered
- Ladies should shake hands with each other softly
- You ought always to rise to shake hands and not do it seated
- You ought not to offer your hand to a superior but should rather wait for them to offer theirs
- You ought always to shake with the right hand (unless you are French)
- You should always remove gloves to shake hands
All those old rules about superiors and ladies make handshaking a bit off putting in the modern day – perhaps it is the case that we’ve all moved beyond the fussy intricacies of handshaking etiquette. Handshaking as a rule is a nice gesture and physical contact can cement a memory of a person as well as build trust perhaps. So, if we are going to keep shaking – what’s the best way to do it?
People apparently judge us on our handshake – frankly, if anybody has a problem with women appearing too forthright this really isn’t worth worrying about. When you arrive for your apprentice interview for example though, you want to get it right.
There are a few things though that will create the wrong impression when handshaking.
- A weak handshake – people are put off by a handshake which amounts to a limp hand just placed in theirs – if you are going to shake hands then do it properly and like you mean it
- Don’t overdo it – there’s nothing worse than having the bones of your hand crushed you really want a happy medium
- The double-grab – Don’t be tempted to shake hands and use your other hand to grasp their arm – it’s a bit overkill and can make people think that you’re a control freak
- Use your hand – not your fingertips – this is another version of the weak hand shake but being offered someone’s fingers to shake is just weird.
Eye contact – nothing to do with what you do with your hands but do make eye contact with the person that you are shaking hands with otherwise it can look a bit creep.
So, there you go – handshaking sorted. Do shake hands, don’t’ worry about old fashioned rules but do do it properly so that you avoid making a bad impression.
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