He’s coming toward you, smiling. As he begins to close the distance between the two of you, you have a decision to make. Handshake? Hug? Side-arm?
It’s the pivotal moment of your relationship — the first contact that will determine the course of your life with this other person.
You’ve probably been in more than one awkward handshake encounter, thanks to the fumbling or even sweating of a hand during that first introduction. It’s a predicament we’ve all been in, and one that can either make a friend for life or send the other person running for someone a little more normal.
Handshakes. They’re professional, friendly, sentimental or just plain awkward. Try to avoid the latter.
First, there’s the uncertain bro shake. You go in for a simple handshake, thinking this relationship should start out professionally. You clasp hands with the other person, only to be thrown off when he releases his grip and adds a fist pump to your limp fingers. But wait, it’s not over. Now that his fist is smashed against your still outstretched hand, he goes in for the bro hug. Not the bro hug, anything but the bro hug. He then pulls you in, wraps an arm around your back and pats you like he’s burping a baby.
No. Just no.
Then, there’s the control freak. She comes in for the shake, grasping your hand firmly. And while you stare into each other’s eyes and force a smile, her grip hasn’t changed. She’s still shaking. So, you feel as though you need to start some conversation before slipping from her clutch.
“How are you?” Still shaking.
“Good.” Still no release.
Just keep smiling, it will be over, preferably sooner than later.
There’s also the dainty shaker. As you approach, she seems pleasant enough. When you reach for her hand, she allows you to grasp it. But it goes completely lifeless like a noodle. You can’t shake hands with a noodle.
So as her grip remains limp, it looks as though you’ve taken her hand to plant a gentle kiss on it, like a princess. That might not be appropriate, depending on your social situation, so you’re forced to let go and allow her arm to fall back by her side.
To avoid an extremely awkward encounter, I would suggest going in for a hug. Then again, there’s a whole lot of mishaps in hugging as well, but we will save that for another day.
Shake it off, Crusaders.