Oleh: Nathan Mallon
February 19, 2008

It happens every single day, actually it happens several million times each and every day all over the world. You reach out, your hands meet, and then you give ‘em a little jiggle. For some strange reason I get a little bothered by an imperfect handshake, especially when it is a person you are meeting for the very first time. It’s not good when the very first impression you get of a person is not a positive one simply because the shake just wasn’t quite right or it was a bit awkward.

Here are a few examples of imperfect handshakes:

1) The Lazy Shaker РThis handshake is one that really bothers me, mainly because it is not really “shaking hands”. This type of shake occurs when your hand is greeted by a dead, lifeless hand and you basically end up doing all of the work. I feel like asking the lazy shaker what I am supposed to do with this dead, limp, lifeless hand. Please, if you are a “lazy shaker” stop and actually shake the other persons hand, it should be a 50/50 effort.

2) The Hand Breaker РThis type of handshake usually comes from men and is given to another guy. It can make a person slightly angry inside when they do not expect to receive it. It tends to rub me the wrong way personally when I come across a “hand breaker”. I think sometimes guys use this shake when they are trying to come across as “a tough guy” or if they want to send a signal that says “nice to meet you, but you better not mess with me and don’t even think about being friendly to my woman.” There is really not much of a shake going on because the other person basically squeezes the life right out of your hand, you really don’t even get a chance to actually shake theirs. Guys, don’t be this person, please. Lighten up. Leaving an impression is good, but not if it’s a literal one.

3) The Slimer РThis one just gives me the chills. When you get “the slimer” it is always unexpected. You will not want to shake this person’s hand ever again. You will avoid shaking their hand from that first shake on. Your hands meet and you get a warm, gooey substance on your hand. I would love to see the look on a person’s face immediately after getting slimed. At times this can happen when someone is nervous and the hand is hot and sweaty but there are people who just casually give out slimers like it’s a normal part of life. I kind of feel bad for these people because they may not be able to help themselves. If you are a person that gives out “the slimer”, then my advice is to find a new greeting. Just say hello, only shake hands if it’s awkward not too and pray they don’t notice. Maybe carry a small handkerchief or tissue in your pocket to dry out your hand a little before you start shaking.

The worst is when you get a combination of any of the above types of imperfect handshakes. I am sure there are other types out there, probably some that I have yet to experience and some that I hope I never will. I at least hope this article has helped make you think a little bit about your handshaking skills and the impression your shake may have on others. Maybe reading this article will help you make just one friend you would have not otherwise made had you not read this and just kept shaking the wrong way.

When the shake is right it just makes everyone comfortable. It kind of just gets things started on the right foot, or hand if you will. There is nothing like a perfect handshake. The kind that gives back what you put into it, it doesn’t hurt or gross you out, it just says “hey man, it’s great to meet you, you have a great day now.”

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  • I am shaking my hands right now.

  • When I meet people, I like a good firm hand shake. Recently I was in line for a show and a friend introduced his friend to me and this tall dude gave the worst wussie hand shake I've ever experienced. And I know being a female, some males prefer to be some form of gentle when shaking our hands…but it was so wimpy that I feel I gave a husky lesbian softball strength handshake to his.

    and I am not a husky softball lesbian. nottt at all.

  • haha

  • A long hand shake is also bad (do it when you feel the other guy escapes if you leave his hand 🙂 )

  • A long hand shake is also bad (do it when you feel the other guy escapes if you leave his hand 🙂 )