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A Different Perspective on Handshaking

Copyright June 1, 2017 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.

Handshake Most men have been taught that a man needs to have a "firm" handshake. Therefore most men grip the hand of the other person and apply "firm" pressure without realizing that they are causing discomfort to the other person.

It is sad but most men also apply too much pressure when they shake hands with a woman, even though they grip her hand with less force than they would use on a man.

If you ask any man about his handshake then he will immediately become defensive and proclaim that he only has a "warm" handshake and that he absolutely does not use too much pressure when he is brutalizing the hand of another person.

The primary problem with a "firm" handshake today is that almost all men do not understand what the word "firm" means when applied to a handshake. A person can pick up a fragile light bulb using a "firm" grip but without applying too much pressure. If too much pressure is applied then the fragile light bulb will shatter and break in your hand.

A "firm" handshake should be warm, sincere, friendly, and gentle but not limp or wimpy. A "firm" handshake should include brief eye contact with the person you are shaking hands with. A firm handshake should be "firm but loose" similar to way you would grasp a fragile light bulb. A "firm" handshake should not be so "firm" that the other person feels "trapped" in your grasp and the other person knows he cannot do anything until after you release your "firm" grip on his hand. This type of "firm" handshake is not a friendly greeting. Instead it is a display of the physical strength of a person who is trying to establish his dominance over all the other people he meets.

Our current misunderstanding of how to have a "firm" handshake is one of those things that has become so engrained in our society that there is no way it will be changed during your lifetime. The only thing you can do is to immediately stop hurting other people, and perhaps you may be able to "educate" some of the other members in your own family. But you are not going to be able to change the rest of the world and you need to be prepared to have you hand brutalized by other men for the rest of your life. However, you do not have to continue to be part of the problem. You have the right to make the decision that you will become part of the solution.

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Grandpappy's e-mail address is: RobertWayneAtkins@hotmail.com