He shook my hand and I couldn’t be with him

Many of us can be found judging a book by it’s cover or a fermented grape drink by it’s wine label, but I on the more complicated hand, judge (subjective) a person by their handshake.

This may or may not prove my not so gigantic circle of friends but aside from word of mouth about how so and so is a funny guy or super sweet girl, it’s almost always and discreetly preferred I get to shake the hand of the unknown to be known person before I can agree, yeah that guy is super funny and that girl super sweet. 

Granted a lot of my expectations stem from my bachelor’s degree-ridden influences and how communication is easily utilized yet often done poorly or ineffectively…did you know we should always wear our name tag on our right side (so that when we shake hands, the arm leads to the name)? I digress. In all seriousness, like a un-piped cup of coffee, a poor or weak handshake translates “I don’t really care about meeting you” and I just don’t want to be greeted with it.

Shake it like you mean it.

And because I’ve received a more than normal amount of hesitantly limp handshakes in my day, I’ve even asked my guy friends if they shake the hands of a woman with less intensity than they do with men (and vice versa). Their responses surprisingly came out to be about a 50/50 concerning catered gender handshakes. It’s just that I’m a girl, not a baby bird. All that to say, more firm isn’t necessarily a better handshake, but for me these marks ideally would like to be met:

  • It feels 50/50–that we are holding both the equal weight of intention, excitement and curiosity. And I’m not asking for a prolonged interest in me by way of handshake, just at least, momentarily.
  • There is eye contact. You are meeting me not that waitress behind my left shoulder.
  • Timing. Do not linger but do not shake and run.
  • A smile never hurts. Granted this advice I also bestow upon myself.  🙂

And when these are met, it simply translates to me positive factors about a person.

Confidence. Intentionality. And simply, presence.

Most women want to be swept off their feet. And I am most women–and also a woman who also wants a dang good handshake.

So like the art of hugging and other interactive activities that may last for a moment or two, I do not take them lightly and truly  hope for the best possible future encounter with you, a for now stranger and your really funny guy friend/super sweet girl friend.


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