The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Monday, November 24, 2014

Handshakes: An Elusive Art

The other day, I was introduced to someone by a mutual friend. Naturally, I reached forward to shake their hand, and was absolutely horrified. Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever encountered what I fondly call the limp-fish-grip? Because I have, an unfortunately high amount of times.

Needless to say, I wasn't very impressed by this person. Worry not, I didn't base my judgement solely on their poor handshake; subsequent conversation confirmed what the handshake had hinted at. This happens often enough that I would think most of us know by now that a good, strong handshake is a vital part of a good first impression (depending on circumstances of course, but true a lot of the time).

Of course, I've also experienced the opposite type of handshake; given my hand to someone only to have my bones crushed to dust. Well, almost, but you get my point.

Is it nervousness that leaves many of us unable to properly shake a hand? It very well could be, and thus it's very important to be able to calm your nerves if you know you'll be in a situation that will require a lot of handshaking, like a conference or a job interview. Yes, it definitely isn't fair to judge people on their ability to properly shake someone's hand. I've met lots of people who had limp-fish-grip, and who turned out to be absolutely fantastic people despite this. Heck, many people don't even know that handshakes are this important! I know that I never gave them much thought until a few years ago; they were just a social 'thing' that weren't really that important in the grand scheme of things. 

I'm by no means an expert, so I thought that I'd go ahead share an article (by Etiquette International, so hopefully the name means something) giving tips for a good handshake. Here you go! 6 Tips for a Good Handshake

May we all steer clear of limp-fish-grip this Thanksgiving. Have a great week!

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