Get a Grip

One thing that regularly irritates me in the US is the fact that most people can’t shake hands properly. In most of Europe, you shake hands from an early age, so people tend to get the hang of it. In the US not so much.

While there are a fee out there who know what they are doing in the handshake department, on the whole, Americans tend to fall into one of four camps:

  • THE DEAD FISH – the one where they sort of dangle a limp (often damp) hand next to yours – that’s not a handshake, that’s an insult.
  • THE HALF ARSE – the one where they just grab your fingers (Ok we’ve all had a near miss but it’s not that difficult to get palm to palm). This one always leaves me feeling sort of cheated.
  • THE GRIP TEST –  I blame whoever went banging on about having to have a firm handshake for this one. “Firm” means “contact you can feel”, ie  not the dead fish or the half arse. It does NOT mean “crush the bones of the hand to compensate for your minuscule manhood”.
  • THE HOLD – Where the handshake is OK, but they hold on to your arm, elbow or shoulder. Just watch any politician shake hands – it turns it into a full on power play, probably preceded by walking towards each other hands outstretched. If you aren’t a presidential candidate, don’t do this. Don’t even think about shaking with both hands, and NO PATTING. OK? And don’t, for Goodness sake, hold on. Unless you are, say George Clooney, it tends to come off a bit creepy.

I’m a bit concerned that there might be a new entrant to the list soon. According to a newspaper (so must be true – right?) there’s a company called “Attraction Methods” where they suggest that a guy should gently stroke along the palm as he slides his hand away. Eeeeeuuuuuw. All that might attract from me is a swift departure, possibly preceded by a left uppercut.



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