Men started shaking hands many generations ago as a sign of peace, displaying that you are unarmed and trusting toward the person you’re shaking hands with.
We continue an evolved version of this practice today in business, family gatherings, and in our friend groups. While shaking hands no longer symbolizes the absence of a weapon in times of war, it still symbolizes peace, friendship, and respect.
Since shaking hands is the first impression you’re going to leave with someone, it’s important to do it right.
Have Your Hand Ready And Never Sweaty
In almost every social setting, it’s important to have your hand ready to go at any moment, especially if people are arriving at the event frequently.
Keep your hands clean from grease and sweat, if you’re caught off-guard and don’t have an opportunity to wash your hands, wipe your palm off on the side of your pants.
If You're Sitting, Stand Up
Standing up for a hand shake is a huge sign of respect. Unless you have physical trouble standing, stand up for every handshake. It will convey confidence, respect, and appreciation for the person you are meeting.
Give A Firm Handshake
Surprisingly, a lot of people get this simple step wrong. When shaking hands, you should give a firm hand shake. Notice how I said firm, and not with a death grip!
Shake someone’s hand with mild pressure. Don’t shake their hand like a butterfly, and don’t shake their hand like a bear. Somewhere in the middle will do just fine.
Make Eye Contact And Smile
A firm handshake is only the first part of your introduction.
Make eye contact with the person you’re shaking hands with, and send them a genuine smile. This will immediately make you come across to them as a nice guy that should be respected.
Have Something To Talk About Afterwards
You don’t want to shake someone’s hand and follow up with an awkward silence, so it’s important to have a few causal conversation starters lined up.
Ask them how they met the host of the event, or where they’re from, or anything really. It all depends on the type of social setting you’re meeting them in.
Once Or Twice Is Long Enough
One or two shakes, and you’re done. Remember to start the conversation after letting their hand go.
Keep Your Other Hand Out Of Your Pocket
Keep your other hand firmly at your side and in sight, keeping your hand in your pocket could convey a lack of maturity, respect, and confidence.