Firm but civil

As young men and women, we are taught that when one shakes hands with another, the handshake should be strong and firm. The purpose is to present yourself as strong and confident. In fact, studies show that a person with a firm handshake is more likely to land a job than a person using the “limp fish” handshake (the “limp fish” handshake is also known as apathetically placing your dead hand in the general path of someone else’s handshake.) So, yes, we must all have firm handshakes and promote ourselves as best we can.

However, let’s not go overboard. Having a firm handshake is one thing, but attempting to crush another person in a kung-fu death-grip is quite another. I have been in some handshake duels in my time – duels that end with white-knuckling and blue fingertips. To some, and it happens mostly with man/man handshakes, the custom itself  becomes a test of manhood. Handshakes become a way to show dominance or win mating rights or something. Let’s take it easy people, firm doesn’t mean pain. Let’s keep this thing civil.

If I shake your hand, I want to know you’re into it, but you don’t need to defeat me.


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