The Influence of the Handshake

young boys shaking hands

Around the world, the handshake is recognized as a form of greeting. The way in which a handshake is offered can tell you a lot about a person. It can speak to their social status, level of confidence, and more.

Do you ever think about your handshake? Most people don’t give it much thought – and that’s why the handshake can be so revealing. How someone extends their hand can be a natural reflection of their true personality.

Influencers know that what they do is just as important (if not more important) than the words they speak. First impressions often include the handshake, and its influence can leave a lasting impression, so it’s worth getting it right!

What Your Handshake May Be Saying About You

It’s not just your handshake that’s revealing, but also, how the rest of our body takes part in the act.

Interestingly, I’ve read that the handshake is thought to have originated as a way of showing that the hand traditionally known to hold a weapon was empty, and extended as a non-threatening greeting to the other party.

Here are some things your handshake could be saying about you, and why you should consider the influence of your handshake in the level of your success.

  • Half-Handed: When someone offers only half of their hand, it arouses suspicion. What else are they holding back? Why only partial engagement? Half-handed could be interpreted as half-hearted – not the kind of lasting impression an influencer wishes to leave with others.
  • Limp-Handed: When the hand is limp, it could mean ‘no backbone’ as well. Check for a pulse – because this level of energy can’t offer the world much.
  • Hand-Crusher: Influencers should avoid the ‘power play’ type of handshake. Bone crushers are often compensating for something. Self-importance and insecurity are often belied through a dominating grasp.
  • Hand-Puller: Another inconsiderate attempt to dominate occurs when one grabs the hand of another, pulling that person toward themselves. It’s an act of handshaking defined by his terms, not yours.
  • Hand-Pusher: Pushing the hand away as part of the handshaking process is a sign that the interaction is not welcome. The person is either uncomfortable with having contact, or their impatient nature has been awkwardly exposed.
  • Hand-Swiper: Barely making contact, this type of handshake is usually a ‘hit and run’ experience that leaves you wondering what just happened. The evidence left behind is that of a selfish attitude.

Be Present and Offer a Firm, Full-contact Handshake

When you extend your hand, you’re extending yourself and showing that you want to connect with someone. You are influencing the other person, if only for a moment, so make sure the contact is positive for both of you.

How would you describe your handshake? You can know the influence it plays by reading the other person’s body language. If they don’t want to let go…you may be on your way to a lasting relationship that could help to promote your success!

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