Shaking hands is such a common act; we all do it often enough everyday. And yet, it's so hard to get right. It's an important part of your body language and it's supposed to show what kind of a person you are.

I always wonder, after every handshake, if I did it properly; if it portrayed the right ( or at least, a good ) picture of me. Was it too limp? Too firm? Too short? Too long? Too damp? Too rough? And shaking hands with members of the opposite sex ( read women ) is cause for even more anxiety; you don't want to crush her hand in a seeming display of your testosterone driven virility but neither do you want your hand to lay like a limp, dead fish in hers.

And just how many times do you shake? Twice is how much I tend to; though it seems just a wee bit short but then 3 seem too many! And I get really conscious if the shake goes on longer than 3. Some people just don't seem to let go ( read men )! They shake a couple of times...and then just hang on! It's just weird! I mean, the guy meets me, shakes my hand and starts talking about something and I'm not paying attention because, all the while in my head, I'm thinking, 'Umm. Hello? Can you let go, please? Right about now would be nice, thank you. I'd like my hand back dude!'. It makes me feel like one of those pairs of guys you see walking on the road, hand-in-hand. It's just such an un-manly thing to do! Not that I'm all into macho-posturing or against homosexuality. But that hand-in-hand walk is just so, girlie. It is. Really.

There's also thing I have about offering my hand first; I don't. I'm not quite sure why but I think it stems from the fear of rejection; I don't want the person to ignore my offer. But that often leads to situations where we're both clearly wondering if one of us will take the initiative and offer a shake but ultimately neither of us does. It gets a little awkward. Not quite as much as when someone offers a hand and the other person, quite innocently and with no malicious forethought, misses the gesture and then, does a double take on realizing what happened and tries to shake except now the first person isn't paying attention anymore. You get the idea.

But nothing can quite beat the weirdness having your hand shaken when you're not expecting it to be. My friend and I were walking out of our hostel when we met the warden walking in the opposite direction. We stopped and greeted him. He nodded and stuck his hand out pointing back towards the way we had come ( apparently he was about to mouth some sort of a question ); a gesture which I mistook for an invitation to shake hands and so, I grabbed his outstretched palm with great gusto and gave it a couple of shakes. He could only nod in his flabbergasted astonishment at being caught unawares and wonder silently, just what the hell was wrong with me!

1 comment:

Wolfestine said...

ooohh!!! A handshake with the warden... that might have been fun :P

I prefer a single shake hand shake, and if it gets more than a couple, it gets a lil weired... and if it still lingers on... I pull my hand away with the pretext of nursing an itch or something.

The worst/grossest kind of shake is probably the gold digger's shake... Someone digging his nose and at the sight of pulling his fingers out only to offer his hand to you... There really isn't any subtle way of saying no.