learn a proper handshake.

6 Apr

I find myself remiss in going this long without addressing one of the cardinal characteristics of a grown man – a proper handshake. Why, just yesterday I was dead-fished (limp handed) by a guy – yuck. No matter how much of a standup dude the fella may be, a lame handshake turns any Don Draper into a Don Knotts.

Here are the rules:

-Squeeze hard enough to register as a grip, but not hard enough to elicit a scream. Think of it this way, 1 is no-pressure (dead fishing), 10 is Andre the Giant hands crushing your fem-phalanges in a vice-grip. Turn the dial somewhere between 5-7 and you’ll be fine.

-Make eye contact! If they have a lazy eye, pick a pupal and stick with it. Lazy eye chaps know when your indecisive about optical selection and can get hostile.

-Include a salutation. “Hello, I’m Grown Man.” “Hey, Andre, good to see you again!” Shaking without talking is called holding hands.

-In the unfortunate event of a mis-grip, squeeze whatever part of their hand you happen to hook (usually some part of the wrist or thumb) and commit. Nothing is worse than you fumbling around trying to get a piece of that palm. Please note, you must try to shake their hand again at some point within one hour of the event, less you be branded forever as a wrist wrangler.

-If you’re in doubt about whether or not to shake hands, do it. If you’re questioning hug vs. handshake, go with the handshake. It’s way easier to do the hand-out-for-a-shake-and-around-for-the-hug move than the inverse.

-If your mom is telling you to “shake hands and make up” with your brother after a fight, crush the hell out of that hand. Actually, I guess the saying is “hug and make up”. Squeeze the hell outta that guy.

-If you’re shaking a lady-friend’s hand, follow all the same rules above except for one. Dial the pressure down a bit on the scale to the 4-5 range. Women are every bit as worthy of a good hand shake as a man, they just have lovelier hands that don’t need crushing by your callused claws.

Enjoy getting a job and impressing people with your well tuned shake!

10 Responses to “learn a proper handshake.”

  1. Sholeh 27 May 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    This post actually made me laugh out loud. Good job, and PLEASE keep up the good work. More men AND women need this information written in such a clear and funny way.

    • you're a grown man 27 May 2010 at 6:03 pm #

      Sholeh, thank you for your kind and encouraging comment! I’m heading to your blog right now…

  2. pduan 2 June 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Great post. Nothing worse than a flimsy handshake from a dude. Looking forward to more of your posts. Great practical advice and hilarious. Keep up the good work!

  3. Cassandra 3 June 2010 at 4:24 am #

    “Shaking without talking is called holding hands.”

    LOL, so true…!

    A few more rules I always appreciate are:

    MAKE SURE YOUR HANDS ARE CLEAN & DRY BEFORE YOU SHAKE! There’s nothing worse than sweaty man-hand. It makes one wonder where the hand has been, and trust me, you will never be given the benefit of the doubt.

    HOLD YOUR DRINK IN YOUR LEFT HAND WHILST MINGLING
    To avoid the awkwardness of needing to switch hands, and so that your hand is not cold and clammy when you shake.

    DO NOT LINGER!
    It is creepiness factor 10 when a man holds onto another man (or woman’s) hand. Women do not take this as flirting, they take it as weird.

  4. Collin (no pseudonym required) 1 August 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Another special case to consider is shaking hands with elderly grown men. In their younger years they would have appreciated the strength of character shown by a firm handshake, but now such a gesture can be physically painful for them. You should still refrain from limp fishing them, but dial it back some. I try to sense the pressure they apply and match that.

    • grownmidget 27 January 2011 at 8:53 am #

      Nice post “Youareagrownman” blog guy. Although, with lazy eye chaps, I have to say that I see nothing wrong with every 3-4 seconds glancing to the direction of their misaligned eye with a look on your face that says “what’s over there, what am I missing?” It is a surprisingly effective icebreaker.

  5. Ross 16 March 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m not sure if this blog is still alive. I just found it today. It’s very good writing and interesting. I totally dig it. But I have to say this to the author. You’re a grown man, stop saying the word “yuck”.

    Cheers

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  3. Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XV | You're A Grown Man - 1 July 2013

    […] between what is an adolescent phase and what is real, rooted, and lasting – like a solid handshake, making eye contact, and meaning what you […]

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