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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
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The way we shake hands

FrankFrank ModeratorPosts: 5,940 mod
edited February 1 in People and Feelings

Recently, three girls have interviewed me about the impression a handshake makes. After the interview, they asked me to write a preface for their school assignment. I'd like to share this preface with you here, so that we can take the opportunity to talk a little bit about the topic of handshakes.

People normally take how they shake hands for granted. What’s so special about a greeting that involves grabbing someone’s hand and pumping it up and down? Why do we do it anyway? And does it really matter how we do it, or do we have to take a specific kind of etiquette into account to do it right? If you look into it, the handshake is special, it’s not a meaningless gesture. It really matters why we do it, when we do it, how we do it and who takes the initiative. We do not shake hands for no reason, and timing is also very important. We shake hands when we come and go, to congratulate someone, or give them our condolences, or maybe to seal a business deal. We certainly don’t shake hands in the middle of a conversation.

So the handshake can convey all kinds of important information. Let me give you an example. When in 2013 the famous Dutch ocean liner and cruise ship, the SS Rotterdam was for sale, two parties held a meeting to negotiate the price. After the meeting, hands were shaken, and after that the stakeholders hung out for a while to have a drink together. A few days later the selling party stated that actually no deal had been made. The buying party said they had shaken hands on it. What was the truth? Well, if you take the meaning of a handshake into account you can conclude that the deal was made. Why? Because they had shaken hands, even though they didn’t intend to leave yet. This handshake wasn’t a handshake to say goodbye. It was indeed a handshake of agreement and congratulation. This example exemplifies what something as simple as a handshake can accomplish!

There are many other aspects of this simple gesture that’s worthwhile to consider. Who takes the initiative in a handshake? At job interviews, many job applicants ask themselves if it is a good form to take the initiative themselves or should they wait for the recruiter to begin? The answer can be found again in the conveyed meaning of the handshake. Normally the host takes the initiative to welcome someone when they arrive. When they leave, it’s rather the guest that should take the initiative to show gratefulness for the hospitality.

Then there is the question about the amount of pressure you should exert when shaking hands. In the West, a firm handshake is considered appropriate. In Eastern countries, a rather limp handshake is the norm, at least if those people shake hands in the first place. Strangely enough, people are not that conscious about their own handshake. In my own research, I found that almost everyone has experienced receiving an limp handshake, but no one recalls ever giving a limp handshake themselves.

Last but not least, in what position should you keep your hand when you shake hands? Should you keep your hand upright in vertical position when you shake hands or is it better to offer your hand with the palm facing downwards or rather upwards? Apparently there is a connotation of being a more or less powerful position, depending on the position of your hand. Shaking hands with the palm facing downwards is seen as conveying dominance whilst shaking hands with an upward palm is rather submissive. The upright hand is seen as the most equal way of greeting. However, what makes you decide to give a dominant or a submissive handshake in the first place? What is it that makes us believe the other person has a more or less dominant role in comparison to ourselves? Does it have to do with their appearance and if so, what would people do if they had to shake hands with someone they couldn’t see? That’s a question that hasn’t been empirically researched as far as I know.

When Sara Carlos Campos, Loes Huibers and Noa Vlaming came to my place for an interview, I was pleasantly surprised by the way they had set up their research and had worked it out. It would be a good subject for further empirical investigation in the field of psychology.
Post edited by Frank on
«1

Comments

  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,476 mod
    Recently three girls interviewed me about the different impressions a handshake can give. After the interview they asked me to write a preface for their school assignment. I would like to share it with you all, as it gives us the opportunity to talk about handshakes.

    People normally take how they shake hands for granted. What’s so special about a greeting that involves grabbing someone’s hand and pumping it up and down? Why do we do it anyway? And does it really matter how we do it, or do we have to take etiquette into account?

    If you look into it, the handshake is special, it’s not a meaningless gesture. It really matters why we do it, when we do it, how we do it and who takes the initiative. We do not shake hands for no reason, and timing is also very important. We shake hands when we come and go, to congratulate someone, or give them our condolences, or maybe to seal a business deal. We certainly don’t shake hands in the middle of a conversation.

    So the handshake can convey all kinds of important information. Let me give you an example.

    When, in 2013, the famous Dutch ocean liner and cruise ship, the SS Rotterdam was ready to sail, two parties held a meeting to negotiate the price. After the meeting, hands were shaken, and after that the stakeholders hung out for a while to have a drink together. A few days later the selling party stated that actually no deal had been made. The buying party said they had shaken hands on it. What was the truth? Well, if you take the meaning of a handshake into account you can conclude that the deal was made. Why? Because they had shaken hands, even though they didn’t intend to leave yet. This handshake wasn’t a handshake to say goodbye. It was indeed a handshake of agreement and congratulation. This example exemplifies what something as simple as a handshake can accomplish!

    To be continued...
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,476 mod
    There are many other aspects of this simple gesture that are worth considering:

    Who takes the initiative in a handshake?

    At job interviews, many job applicants ask themselves if it is good form to take the initiative themselves or should they wait for the recruiter to begin? The answer can be found again in the conveyed meaning of the handshake. Normally the host takes the initiative to welcome someone when they arrive. When they leave, it’s the guest that should take the initiative to show gratitude for their hospitality.

    How much pressure should be applied?

    In the West, a firm handshake is considered appropriate. In Eastern countries, a rather limp handshake is the norm (but only if those people shake hands in the first place). Strangely enough, people are not that conscious of their own handshake. In my research, I found that almost everyone has been on the receiving end of a limp handshake, but no one ever recalls giving a limp handshake themselves.

    What position should your hand be in when you shake hands?

    Should you keep your hand upright in a vertical position when you shake hands? Is it better to offer your hand with the palm facing downwards, or rather upwards? Apparently there is a connotation of being in a more or less powerful position, depending on the position of your hand. Shaking hands with the palm facing downwards is seen as conveying dominance whilst shaking hands with an upward palm is rather submissive. The upright hand is seen as the most equal way of greeting. But, what makes you decide to give a dominant or a submissive handshake in the first place? What is it that makes us believe the other person has a more or less dominant role in comparison to ourselves? Does it have to do with their appearance, and if so, what would people do if they had to shake hands with someone they couldn’t see? As far as I am aware, this is a question that hasn’t been empirically researched to date.

    When Sara Carlos Campos, Loes Huibers and Noa Vlaming came round for an interview, I was pleasantly surprised by the way they had set up their research and had worked it out. It would be a good subject for further empirical investigation in the field of psychology.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,476 mod
    The position of the hands definitely matters:-

    Handshake
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @Lynne This is funny. Frank asked me to proof his text...and now you've proofed and corrected my already proofed and corrected text! He didn't add in all of my changes, but most of them.
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    I was aware of the different gesture of handshaking but this prelude is very interesting for me to read. The way we do handshake also matter a lot. some people tilt their hand while shaking hands. @Frank

    this article is also amazing on handshaking!
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/07/19/why-your-handshake-matters-and-how-to-get-it-right/#413b96d678e6
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    What the hell!! I am shocked after seeing this handshake. This is a handshake or what?? it seems like a pull to kiss him on his cheek. But the other guy landed safely.Thank god.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    @Frank
    Gorsuch seems very reluctant. They look like a bully and a bullied in school!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,992 mod
    There's nothing much worse than a limp or clammy hand shake.
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    Don't you think this is far more worst than Clammy handshake @mheredge
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,307 mod
    I always used to get nervous about having clammy hands because my anxiety often means that I sweat a little bit, so I hated shaking hands with people. Luckily, that is much better now!
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    You need to have handkerchief all the time!! :D :D @GemmaRowlands
  • moumou Posts: 37 ✭✭
    This sort of handshake makes feel the other person embarrassed.
  • moumou Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Handshake is actually meant for warm greeting not to put others in insulting condition
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,992 mod
    I'm not sure which is worse @mohit_singh and worst of all is a clammy limp handshake!
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge wrote: »
    I'm not sure which is worse @mohit_singh and worst of all is a clammy limp handshake!

    I can't afford this kind of handshake for sure. It could break the bone of my right hand. Very dangerous.
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge wrote: »
    I'm not sure which is worse @mohit_singh and worst of all is a clammy limp handshake!

    I can't afford this kind of handshake for sure. It could break the bone of my right hand. Very dangerous.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @Frank I think the yank and pull handshake with Gorsch is Trump's way of saying 'Well done, buddy! You are on my side!" The pat is reassuring and the yank is a vote of confidence...and a demand for loyalty. That's what I'd see in it.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,992 mod
    @mohit_singh no danger of breaking any bones with a limp handshake. You hardly feel the other person's grasp. You might be more afraid of a firm handshake, as this is when the other person grips your hand quite hard.
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge wrote: »
    @mohit_singh no danger of breaking any bones with a limp handshake. You hardly feel the other person's grasp. You might be more afraid of a firm handshake, as this is when the other person grips your hand quite hard.

    @mheredge
    I was thinking about the Trump way of handshake. Do we have a name for this way of handshaking?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,992 mod
    edited February 6
    @mohit_singh I think @Larry_the_Zebra described it very aptly as a 'yank and pull handshake.'

    People shake hands a lot in Nepal. But they usually get it right: firm but not too strong.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge Frank termed it that, I was simply using what he said. You can see where Frank mentioned it...it's above the video of Trump, about the 5th or 6th post from the top.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,476 mod
    “Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.” Michel de Montaigne
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,476 mod
  • MonikMonik Posts: 999 ✭✭✭✭
    @Lynne Today's session was really interesting. Apart from the fact that we've analyzed some pictures and videos based on such a characters!..This topic is fascinating because it varies from culture to culture. Acording to the pictures, It's hard to tell when you've already made a judgment about someone.

    I also agree with these three feelings involved when it comes to hand-holding: affection, comfort and protection. :)
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 5,940 mod
    edited February 8
    Lynne said:


    @Frank - I would love to get your thoughts on this bit of hand holding (and the patting).

    I'd almost say it's not real. The way the seem to hold hand for a fraction of a second is that of a aged love couple. She's even pulling his hand a bit towards her own side as if she likes it. However, before the first pole (or piece of wall) they pass, nothing happens. At that moment they are still walking normally without any touching, then suddenly, when they pass that pole they're holding hands like elderly lovers for a tiny while. The way that looks it gives the impression as if they have been walking like this for hours. However, after passing the next pole, they walk as if nothing happened. There's no change of emotion visible on their faces at that moment. If they would ask my opinion in the media I would say it's a fake (manipulated) footage.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,307 mod

    You need to have handkerchief all the time!! :D :D @GemmaRowlands

    Yes, I learned that I should always carry one with me. But I don't have to be introduced to that many people these days, so it isn't that much of an issue.
  • MonikMonik Posts: 999 ✭✭✭✭
    Here is another awkward moment, Trump's 19 seconds handshake. I wonder what was he thinking about? Maybe he wanted to extract or transfer information!!

    See Trump's awkward 19-second handshake
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/10/trump-abe-handshake-vo.cnn


  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    Monik wrote: »
    Here is another awkward moment, Trump's 19 seconds handshake. I wonder what was he thinking about? Maybe he wanted to extract or transfer information!!

    See Trump's awkward 19-second handshake
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/10/trump-abe-handshake-vo.cnn


    The way we are discussing every move of Donald Trump . I am afraid that in no longer time he is going to be the most popular president of America. :D :D :#
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