Small Talk

Hard handshaker

December 9th, 2013

A pet peeve is people who shake my hand too hard. Not the pumping up and down part, but the grabbing my hand and squeezing it.

It drive me insane. I usually am wearing a ring on each hand so when clasped firmly like a hand therapy ball, it hurts me. The ring is driven into the flesh of the fingers. I'm usually in a little bit of shock so I don't say anything for a few seconds, and since the shake only lasts a few seconds, it's done. I pull my hand back and rub it and think of how annoyed I am.

I get that image is many things, so I do my part to live up to most of the other things that signal confidence in today's Western society. I wear clean and pressed clothing. I brush my teeth. I make eye contact that would get me attacked if I were looking at an angry dog.

The handshake is one of the things I haven't mastered. I know the handshake can say so much in so little time- if executed correctly: confidence, control, the right blend of aggression tempered with diplomacy. I can do some stuff right. But, I admit I proffer the limp wrist.

I try to to get away with slight bows (since I work for a Japanese company) and A-frame hugs (since I'm in Hawaii.) I can never predict who is a hard handshaker, either - it's happened to me with both genders and in a variety of industries.

My hand has been crushed a few times in the last couple months so I'm really trying to remind myself to be careful when forced to shake hands. I have been curling up a few fingers in my hand really tight so they can't be smooshed as easily.

What's your pet peeve?

Posted in Career | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Hard handshaker”

  1. Rosette:

    well I am not a hugger or a hand shaker ..SO if a guy was to shake my hand I tell him oh my hand stinks and I don't shake hand..I laugh...funny!....I really don't care for shaking or hugging or standing too close to people...with ring I cut it to pieces..problem solve...funny....what you do is as soon as they hand shake you you just give them the tip of your hand fingers..slide it quickly..they will judge how hard you squeese so I squeeze back if they squeeze hard..lucky for me most are gentle shaker or they will hear from me swear what the hell is that HARD SHAKE!

  2. Rosette:

    yes well I am not sure what is worst a hugger or a shaker..I DON'T like them..I try not to shake or hug but if they approach me WELL depending on my mood..I either back away or go with it.

  3. Gale:

    Yow, Diane! Poor you! Do you attract them, like a person draws cats who don't like them to twirl thru their legs?? I am not sure that I have ever had my hand crunched by anyone in my life! That crunch seems to be an aggressive act meant to actively hurt you and/or an act of dominance. Since it is sorta the equivalent of smacking you across the face while saying "Meetcha !" (glad to meetcha) one would think that you could file assault charges. Or do you think that the rings make a firm relatively ordinary shake painful to you?

  4. lowtone123:

    Usually if a man shakes a man's hand then a firm grip is customary. But a man shaking a woman's hand requires a less firm grip. Now you didn't mention if this person was a man or a woman. If it was a man, he should be more sensitive and if it was a woman...

  5. RetiredWorking:

    As a man, I like to give comfortable handshakes to both sexes. LOL, I was in a club with a man who gave extremely powerful handshakes/handgrips. I solved that by sliding my hand as deep into the man's grasp as possible. It's all about leverage.

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