Saturday, August 7, 2010

Please to meet you

Last week, I had a discussion with my senior director at work. He is an American, he greeted me with a Hello and we shook hands. The grasp was firm, neither lousy nor crushing; and it was neither a blip nor a drag.

OK! The discussion went fine. Once I got back to my place, my mind started recollecting some of my handshake moments. Oh! not those moments when I won accolades all the time but those moments when I felt miserable. Ouch!! or Awww!! types.

As a kid, each one of us would have won some prize or the other. Be it for academics, sports, extra curricular or cultural activities. And it required you to walk on the dais and collect the prize from guest of honor. The earliest I could remember is when I was in Upper Kindergarten. I collected prize from a guest of honor; he offered to shake hands. I still recall his hands were so huge and me with a teeny-weeny hand could only grasp his index finger.

Hmm but why shake hands? Why not legs? Errr....:-P I know!! Handshaking was practiced in Greece as early as 4th century B.C - History of Handshake. To think of it. why would they have initiated a handshake? Hmm, to prevent the stranger who they are meeting from attacking? The best way to prevent a stranger from clobbering would be to hold his hand firmly? Never know!!

Anyway here are few handshakes that I have experienced and I am going to categorize them. Yup!! there ARE different types of handshakes and unique set of practitioners.

The Crusher Shake - Those types which you dread. The sadistic types, when the person crushes your palm like a nutcracker cracking your knuckles. Your fingers are crushed with a vicious grip; and all the while you have put up a wide grin. Grin on your face, tears ready to flow down...what a pity! Your palm is minced like a pulp and you wince with pain but with a wider grin :-P Worth an Oscar for putting up this normal behavior.

The Frenzy Shake - Very similar to the crusher. But the intensity ebbs and lows as the excitement of the person shaking your hand varies. The most effervescent the mood is, the more effusive the handshake would be. Your digits wilt under the grip; aah this is like being in a boot camp.Your wrists take the toll due to vigorous shaking and swirling.

The Superficial Shake - Such shakes leave you perturbed. Was I supposed to forward my palm? Did I do a mistake? Oh!! how embarrassing. These shallow ones are so flimsy that you do end up feeling awkward. I remember one of my teacher at school wished me for my birthday and when I forwarded my hand, she hardly grasped my hand. Maybe her school never taught her handshake etiquette!! Oh but she studied in the same school :-S

The Wrenched Shake - You want to loosen your elbow and shoulder joints? Go shake hands with this group. They would twist and turn you arm so much that your nuts and bolts at the joints would need tightening. And not to forget the aches. 
 The Clinger Shake - You are in a pitiful situation here. The hand shake done, you get into conversation and your hand is still clasped onto. Your palm gets sweaty, it blends with the other guy's sweat and creates a thin film around each others palm. Yet, the clinger just clings on and on, never letting it go!!. Either you try to unclasp in an artful way or enjoy the massage your palm gets in the process :-)

 The Soft Shake - From the ladies of course. This would be the soft, delicate and dainty one. They bring the guys into the line :-P

The Misfired Shake - Your hands and the his hands don't come together; yet both stick them out and it doesn't sync. Hurriedly, you pull it off together but nevertheless its not done!!

Do you folks have any more to add to this list? Please be free to shake hands with me!! :-)


  1. LOL @ Misfired Shake... Gosh, its so embarrassing!!
    I personally hate the Superficial Shake. It's gives you a very weird feeling!

  2. I always wondered if handshake is a non veg drink. Or a very unhygienic veg one.

  3. rocking categories - like always..I have met all kinda people you have mentioned above..and my poor hands are thin and long..soch kya haal hue honge..

    to me, a shake hand matters a lot..a firm but gentle handshake is something that impresses me (and most of us I believe)..

    once again, observation at its best rock when it comes to such posts :)

  4. Good!
    The superficial shakes are the one that send creepers up my spine. The slimy hand shakes which as in the picture you posted is as slippery and greasy like when you hold a live fish .I guess to a great extend hand shakes tell the character and the mind of the person. Even if we try to extend a warm hand the other will be slippery and superficial. I ve noticed this many a time. And then, after that, a broad smile and the question, "how are you"?
    Which he never means .

  5. I remember reading about handshakes and its effects in Allan Pease's book of body language. But unlike that book, this one's humourous. Out of all, the "never let go" types are very irritating really. :D

  6. well one instance actually in a job interview in my college, I was not selected thouh i did quite well, but the hr was a stupid fellow and said sorry mate..... not selected and lent his hand to me, and then I shook his so violently that he almost jumped, shooked him like a sine wave :)!!

  7. All should appropriately used:P

  8. Well thats why I dont shake hands with my friends and people i care for or love.. We beleive not jsut me the whole gang of people i know .. girls - boys all..
    Go up . and a BIG BIG BEAR HUG...
    hello-shello.. handshake-wandshake is all as they said given to us by others ..

    History and our culture and tradition shows us and tells us that we always hugged even our enemies...

    so i beleive in that :)

    handshakes :-
    1. these days its another one where One comes witha force, and bang hit your hand and then hold it tight .. a New trend here ...

    2. the different actions people do while doing it touch the fingers , then the thumb and then roll into a shake

    there are so many...

    but nothing can beat a WARM HUG.. it says its all...

  9. Shilpa,

    The misfired ones are really embarrassing. Its happened with me once. And I was the culprit. Met someone for the first time, he had come to collect his brother's documents. He forwarded his hand to shake, I thought he wanted to collect documents and instead forwarded the documents. He was embarrassed, and I felt awkward :-S

    The superficial ones - I feel like punching across the face.

  10. Stupidosaur,

    Long time no visit :-)
    Lol!! You got me thinking. I think handshake is a very unhygienic veg drink :-)

    What do you think?

  11. Neha,

    Yup!!! Your end up being the victim always.
    A handshake speaks a lot about the person and it matters to me.

    Thanks Neha, glad you liked it :-)

  12. anil,

    Superficial ones irritate me a lot too. I feel very awkward at that moment. And the words that come aftermath without any meaning irritates further. Right said. Thanks for your comments.

  13. Karthik,

    Yes, handshakes reflect personality :-)
    Never let go types are eeewwwwwwww!!

  14. Hary,

    Hahahaha poor guy! Didnt you want to be considered again for the job in future?

  15. kish,

    Oh yeah?? Hmm....maybe yes. :-P

  16. Bikramjit,

    Full name because I read you comments on Neha's latest post :-D

    Yeah a hug is fine if you are really close to the person. Not everyone would like it though.

    :-) But nothing can beat the warm hug if its from the person you are really close to. :-)

    Nowadays people greet each other in various other forms as you said. :-)


  17. like the pics
    and your narration

  18. The clinger shake- the brief about it, brought a smile to my lips.

  19. Nice One. We all, in our day to day life, definitely should have faced all these hand shakes. Really a good observation.

    Now I will have to check up about my hand shake!! Don't know it is good or bad. Of-course, no adverse comments from any one so far luckily.

    A nice and lovely hand shake to you.

  20. baapre so much in this..shaken totally..

  21. lol u covered all:)

    never realised all of them:)

  22. Oh god my teacher had taught us all the significance of handshake. That's y i prefer a namaste zyada much much nahi hotha usmein :P

    I think i belong to the 'Misfired Shake' category :P

  23. LOL! Amazing categories. Once i came across a terrible clinger. They dont let go :P. great observation :). Great post :) and that homer pic is amazing :P.

  24. Hey again such an interesting post! Kahan kahan se dhund kar laati ho yaar! :) I know few of them but then your post is best of all. Full of information. Keep Posting! :)

  25. LOL...What a lovely topic to blog about! :D
    My Favs:
    The Superficial handshake: Thank you. This one is so true!
    @The Clinger Shake: Thanks again. Been there. Hated that!
    @The Misfired Shake: ROFL!!! :))

  26. Some people (both sexes) in the south, especially in Karnataka and TN (purely from my experience, no generalisations here) hold you hand and they don't let go. Sometimes it is kinda awkward... You dunno what to do... If I let go on purpose I worry that I would offend the person, but half of the time I wonder what to do and not listen to the person. :-p But I also feel happy if the hold has warmth and if it is genuine... And I forget that we have been holding hands for a long time... :-)

  27. Oh!dear, how i hate the clinger shake ;-( believe me i ge that quite often.

  28. i simply hate shaking hands to be honest...i always give in a wave even before somebody tries shaking hands with me..and with friends its always that long drawn out hug..handshake is so not my way..:?

  29. chitra,

    Thank you. Glad you liked it :-)

  30. Naidu sir,

    Oh yes, happens with us most times isnt it?
    Hahahaha, as long as no one has frowned, guess your handshake is fine :-)

  31. Ramesh,

    Shaken but not stirred? :-P

  32. WD,

    Yeah, we dont realize simple things as these. Thank you :-)

  33. Harini,

    thank you. Glad you liked it. The clinger ones are like parasites,
    I loved the homer pic as well. :-)

  34. Megha,

    thank you. Dhundna nahi, just my observations :-)
    Glad you liked them, thanks again :-)

  35. Choco,

    Yeah!!Isnt it? :-D
    Glad you liked them. The Superficial is eewww.
    the clinger is Oh No!!
    The Misfired is Eerrrr,,

  36. Gautam,

    It so happens they are so engrossed in talking that they forget :-) And we are in awkward situations :-)

  37. scarlet pimpernel,

    I so pity you. :-( And Muscat being a hot country, you must really be having tough time

  38. Madhu,

    Sometimes it works out best. But in business situations, waving is informal and we need to shake hands. Thats when it gets difficult

  39. I make handshake superficial with Indian females. A slight mistake and the reaction can be terrible.

    But typically I don't read too much in the handshake as I have been wrong in past.

  40. hahahaha ROFL watta take on handshakes :D
    most of the time i have encountered superficial shake and ladies shake... from guys... and that just leaves me wondering if that was a handshake at all...

  41. Nice post.. Wonderful categorization u have made.. I personally fear those never let go handshakes.. loved ur expression.. the sweat creating a thin film and still people cling on.. Lol..:)

  42. A,

    Hmm, but why? Not everyone appreciates a superficial handshake.


  43. Rajlakshmi,

    Thank you :-)

    Oh yes! I have experienced those types. Its so lady like!

  44. sushobhan,

    thanks. glad you liked it. :-P Yeah! I have experienced it more often and feel very awkward!

  45. Samvedna,

    for some reason, your comment is not getting published. Thank you for the comments. I agree, sometimes, our good old namaste works very well and its very graceful as well.

  46. Hello, there is something more to add on to my earlier comment

    Hand shake is a western form of salutation or greeting, is it not? Human beings are tactual.Physical feel is of importance And hence the hand shake.
    Like pretensions people show in verbal and facial communications hand shakes also can be camouflaged and perhaps misleading. If one take every hand at its face value and along with the general verbal expression,"how do u do", or " good to meet u", well then the day may be bitter.How many of us generally will mean what we say when we shake hands? And how many of us can send a physical message which is not in tandem with our mind and heart?

  47. Late for handshakes:(
    Well There are mor- The clammy ones where the hand is perenially wet with perspiration.

    The Shoulder shake- they almost tear off the arm from shoulder

    The wavy shake- which has different crests and trough and last a good three minutes

  48. anil,

    :-) Thats some introspection. True, handshakes are just social etiquette. I dont think anyone would really mean when they ask "How do you do?" Its just formality. First step towards starting a converstaion, right?

    And convention sorts. You meet a person, shake hands :-)

  49. Holy Lama,

    Better late than never :-)

    Oh yeah, those ones are yuck!

    The shoulder shake tests your joints. Depends on your calcium intake :-P

    The wavy ones would give a perfect SINE wave challenge. :-)

    Thank you so much for the award and congratulations on your 50 :-)

  50. hehe ..reminds me of training prog in tcs..but ya..many versions of hand shakes.. a total cool one.. you dont hold hands but..clap and punch...

    some times with close friends..u change the hand positions..cant tell in words :)..

    nice blog :)

  51. Unknown!!!

    Welcome to B Log :-)

    Yeah I understand when you say different forms of greetings with words. :-)

    Glad you liked my post. Keep visiting :-)

  52. Interesting classification of handshakes. Summed most of it in a way that has got me smiling wider with every type.

    How about the Won't-budge-for-a-handshake types or Refuses-to-acknowledge-the-extended-hand-for-handshake types! The (slimy) superficial shakes are totally unacceptable!!

  53. RGB,

    Thanks, so glad it brought a smile :-)

    The wont-budge types are stubborn types. The Refuse to acknowledge are snobs.

  54. Liked it in totality!
    The Clinger Shake is the one which I detest the most! yucckkksss!
    Here, I would like to add 2 more types to your observing list above:

    1. The Crasher Handshake: Both of you extend your hands hurriedly and what ensues is a head-on collision!

    2. The 'Popat-Banaya, Bada Mazaa Aaya' Handshake: You extend your hand for a shake, and the person doesn't even realise and unknowingly makes a Popat of you by not acknowledging! (The 'Popat banaya, Bada Mazaa Ayaa' handshake is often done on a purpose!)

    By the way, my 1st visit and comment on your blog! liked it! :)

  55. Niket,

    Welcome to B Log. :-)

    I am so glad you liked the write up.

    And yeah thank you so much for adding to the list. I almost forgot about these 2 kinds. :-)

    1. The crasher ones. Ouch!! I can still feel the pain on my knuckles due to these.

    2. The Popat-Banaya ones are a total put-off. And people doing it intentionally, very bad.

    Thanks for visiting and dropping your views. Keep visiting :-)

  56. Especially hate it when guys give superficial handshakes.. Eeeeks! ;-/
    More so, when they are muscle men! LoL. Phunny post.

  57. lostworld,

    :-P It is awkward yeah! :-) Thank you.


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