body language: handshake I

September 10, 2010

A handshake says a lot about our personality and attitude – how we hold our hand, how firm our grip is, how many times we shake, how far apart we stand, and what we do with our other hand.

Let’s start with hand position.

A handshake between equals has both hands in a vertical position.

If one person holds his hand so that his or her palm is facing down, it’s a sign of dominance and superiority. This is why politicians who are photographed shaking hands always want to be on the left side of the photo – in this position, they will appear to have the “upper hand” and be in control.

I had clients who held out their hand palm-up in a submissive handshake. In a way, they are asking for help and guidance before they even said hello.

Then there’s the queen’s handshake — stretching out the hand, palm-down, almost as if expecting the other person to kiss an imaginary ring and allowing just to grasp the fingers, not the palm. This, too, can be a sign of superiority.

More about handshakes in the next blog post.



  1. Wow! You have me thinking about my handshake. :)Thank you for sharing.

    • When I observed myself, I was relieved to find that I offer an equal handshake to all my clients 🙂

  2. […] body language: handshake I September 2010 2 comments […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: