A very important part of introducing yourself in our culture is the handshake. Done well, it endears you to the person you have just met. Done poorly, it can make you or your new acquaintance uncomfortable. This ancient human gesture (there are depictions of it in Greek art dating from the 5th Century B.C.E.*) is worth a moment of thought and practice.
When shaking hands remember these three things:
- Hands meet web to web – meaning that the fleshy part between thumbs and pointer fingers meet.
- Be firm and mindful of your grip – too soft is not confident and too firm causes pain.
- Be brief but take your time – two to three pumps at a moderate pace is good.
A confident and welcoming handshake is an asset.
Social Arts Classes practice this important skill at every class. More information about classes is available here.
*Patrick, Bethanne Kelly. An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy: How Manners Shaped the World. National Geographic, 2011. pg 16.