The gesture of a handshakefizkes/Shutterstock
A handshake is perhaps one of the oldest forms of introductory communication, dating back thousands of years. Though its origins are murky, a popular theory is that it began as a way of relaying peaceful intentions. A person would extend their empty right hand to show a stranger they were not holding weapons and did not have ill will toward them. The up-and-down motion is thought to have been a means of removing any knives or daggers hidden up a sleeve. A handshake is also thought to have been a symbol of good faith when making an oath or promise. Today, handshakes serve as a form of introduction meant to initiate conversation, whether it be in a social setting or a professional one. But it holds a lot more weight than just serving as an unspoken greeting. Handshakes reveal a lot about the type of person you are, and how you feel in the situation you are in when doing it. Find out if your handshake is working for or against you, and how you can ensure you do it right every time.
The dominant handshakePressmaster/Shutterstock
Research shows that handshakes matter, and some think that a dominant handshake goes in too hard. You never want the other person to feel like you’re trying to take the upper hand by forcing their palm up. Lillian Glass, PhD, a renowned body language expert, based in Beverly Hills, California, says shaking someone’s hand too hard shows competition. “It’s a power struggle,” she says.