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The Art of Handshaking | Psychology Today

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A handshake says a lot about us. More than we may realize...

In the span of a few seconds we lay the foundation for how other perceive and feel about us – and we about them. In an instant really, we are seeing, sensing, observing, and feeling another person. Nothing to scoff at, which is why every culture has greeting rituals – opportunities to see what this person is about, what they represent, and whether they are a threat.

So how that handshake is performed is crucial, which is why so many hands go up when I ask who has received a bad one and why it is usually followed up with comments such as: “it was wet,” “it was creepy,” “Eeeeuw,” or they simulate their hand being crushed or handled daintily by the finger tips. Lets face it, when a handshake is improperly performed, it leaves us with negative feelings about the person who gave us that handshake and it is remembered that way. And of course if that person is a repeat offender, those negative feelings are just further reinforced.

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