Thursday, November 25, 2010

People Who Shake Hands Too Hard

What's up with people who squeeze your hand too hard when you shake their hand? You know how it goes, you meet someone for the first time, shake their hand as is customary, and they squeeze your hand like they are trying to break it. In some cases, I don't think they are doing it on purpose. They probably aren't aware how hard they are squeezing. Maybe they were told by someone that you should have a firm hand shake and they think this means they should squeeze hard when they meet someone. But in other situations, they might be squeezing too hard intentionally.

When this happens, I would like to set them straight and tell them, "Hey, take it easy there. You don't have to break my hand.", but you can't say something like that to someone you are meeting for the first time without it being offensive and starting out on the wrong foot. So you just have to smile and say, "Nice to meet you" while your hand is in pain.

Can we please do away with the custom of hand shakes entirely? I have never been a fan of shaking people's hands for a number of reasons. I think this custom needs to go away. Something like bowing or a respectful nod would be better. Even just a fist bump would be better than a shake.

Anyway, if you have had someone shake your hand too hard, you know what I'm talking about. If you yourself have a firm handshake, please do a little self reflection and consider if you might be shaking other people's hands too hard. It sets a bad first impression and people will avoid you if you squeeze too hard.

29 comments:

  1. From my observations and discussions I think that some of these people do it to prove their toughness or manliness. it is a selfish sort of hand shake and attempts to compensate for a feeling of weakness. I think it is disrespectful.

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    1. It's because you're both limp wristed that's all, you could'nt get a 100 lbs on a dynamometer guaranteed and that's hovering around male average, a little out of your league still.
      The only disrespect shown is the (lack of) you've shown to yourselves after what how out of shape and weak you've both become...did all it start because they took away recess little snowflakes?

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    2. Wow. Sounds like a guy who shakes really hard! Awsome. Very impressive.
      But I agree with the first two guys/girls/snowflakes. Strong people don't have to prove it to you in a handshake, or blog comment. Only losers do.

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    3. J May: I agree with your comment. Strong people do not have to prove it in a handshake. I am a firm handshake person but a person I have known for many years while not a friend does squeeze extremely hard almost to the point of crushing my hand. I am 6ft tall and 250 lbs guy that lifts heavy weights in the gym at least 3 days per week and this guy still tries to break my hand everytime we meet. I think my size and visible muscular structure may make him over compensate and go to the extreme when shaking my hand. I ain't a snowflake or weak guy but it does hurt when he puts my hand in this vice like grip everytime we shake hands.

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  2. I once got that handshake from the director of a school I'd been thinking of attending. I said something about it and he just looked at me lecherously and said, "We have strong hands here."

    ...ew.

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  3. I think it is a level of "manliness" to how hard you shake someone's hand or maybe even that it means that you feel dominant over the person you are shaking hands with. Speaking because I found myself hand shaking one of my dad's old pal that i met for the first time anyways i think thats what it means

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  4. People who does that are idiots.. even worse is the kind where they twist their hand to be on top!

    When either it happens i stare them in their eyes and say softly "I´m careful with my hands.. how about you.."
    Or you can say "I recon you use that right hand of yours ALOT... don't hurt yourself"
    Once i got really annoyed and almost whispered "I wonder if that handshake will be as stupid and hard after i cut some fingers off.." but he was almost trying to hurt me, trying to impress other people.. He did not look as impressive after my comment.

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  5. I have a sturdy shake, but I have more than one shake, one shake I'd spare for people that don't know how to work a laborious job. Can't swing a hammer, or axe all day. Baby handed weak gripped babies. And then my actual shake. A scarred up shake that I find is just right. Most people I work with have the same shake. But shake the hand of a dude from hr and you lose a little respect when their hand folds from nothing.

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  6. The area I live in is full of the same type of people, but they show their manliness by removing the noise suppression from their vehicles and by installing subwoofers than generate thumping noises that can be heard over a mile away. So people in houses or stores or restaurants minding their own business are forced to hear just how manly all the jackasses around here are.

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  7. On the last day of work for the year my boss offered me a handshake and held it in a vice-like grip that was really uncomfortable.

    I thought that he might have been saying 'I am tougher than you'. After this I observe when he shakes other people's hands. Sometimes he does the hand-shake where he twists his hand on top. I think that he does this to exert his dominance.

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  8. Anyone that feels a need to squeeze the hell out of someone's hand is dickhead, there's no reason for it, it doesn't prove anything besides making people think you're a dick.

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  9. HOORAY!! People complain about the wet or bak handshake but precious little is written about the over-done bone-crushing power grip!

    And, another reason to do away with them altogether is the spread of germs. YUCK!

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  10. I am a small person. This person shook my hand so much, I thought they were gonna lift me up from the ground; I had a hard time keeping my entire body grounded. It wasn't just a one firm shake, it was up and down up and down up and down. It really caught me by surprise. I thought handshakes are supposed to be a firm shake and that's that?

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  12. I've had some hand shakes that seriously almost crushed my hands. And three of them were from other women. I couldn't believe it. One gal was a real tough girl, macho gay-type. Another was just a fairly young girl; she jerked my arm so hard I thought she would jerk my arm right off. The other was some middle aged woman that squeezed really hard. I don't understand it. I want to be friendly and meet people, but this is crazy. I don't really want to shake hands any more.

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  13. I don't think it's a sign of "manliness" because I'm a girl an I unintentionally crush people's hands when I shake them and yes I get embarrassed when people comment on it even if it's a good compliment. I mean I would never crush someone's hand on purpose especially a child but I do. I don't mean to it's just I am a very hard working women (I'm 16) I work with my hands daily on trucks, ranches and much more things. My dad also has a extremely strong handshake that he can't really control granted he's 6'6 and has worked since before he could walk (like me) and we just don't think about it when we shake someone's hand it just comes naturally. My handshake is even stronger when I'm extremely confident and/or happy. So I don't blame people for having strong handshakes I actually prefer them because I don't have to apologize after for hurting the person

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    1. That is not acceptable. As a veteran who has worked incredibly hard to KEEP my hands, when I get a hard handshake I end up screaming in pain. I sincerely believe that the lack of consideration suggests a selfish and unkind persona would hurt another person on accident or not.

      Self awareness is important.

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  14. Are you kidding??? What has the world come to? Complaining about strong gripped handshakes? Wholly Molly. Long gone are days when men were men 100%

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    1. It's complaining about handshakes trying to crush your hand, not "strong gripped handshakes". There's no need to give anything more than just a normal firm handshake unless you're trying to prove something.

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  15. Wow someone complaining about us complaining about gripping handshakes and I just had a woman squeeze the hell out of my hand at introduction. First off, I am not one for human contact unless it's my significant other. Second, this woman just started her employment here and based off first impressions, she would have done better with a nod. I'm sure some of the other women here took note of her attempt to be confident, strong or whatever else goes with a too firm or gripping handshake. Hand shaking should be boycotted.

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  16. I have had several men crush my hands so hard that my rings bruise my fingers. I think that it is very rude and inconsiderate for a man to do this to a woman. It makes me feel abused and violated.

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  17. Ya this happend to me when I first moved, my nightbour had a big bead and shaked my hand hard

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  18. It is an abusive gesture.
    Akin to yelling but without bystanders awareness.
    I usually interpret it as "I will screw you over if I feel that I can get away with it"



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  19. I still remember the excruciating pain a woman inflicted on me when she shook my hand at a funeral. She was trying to take photos of those attending (which was fine). I have very small hands, and it hurt so badly that I mentioned it to her, because maybe she didn't know her grip was lethal. I was wearing a righthand ring with a very nice stone on it that my mother had left me, and the woman glanced at my hand and then made a snide comment about the size of the stone being the problem. I call that a doubly offensive encounter. I actually had bruises from her grip, and they lingered for a few days.

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  20. Thanks for writing this. I'm sure we could all come to our own conclusions about why people do this, but you wrote it. I have this problem often. I am a firefighter and I plant trees, so there is no need. However, it seems there are many who still want to exert ownership over others like they're slaves.

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  21. [Strong handshake]

    'Cor!, you're not gonna hit me after that one are you!?, phew!!' (wringing hand - make obvious).

    If the next time they do the same strong handshake (to you) it says a lot.

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  22. A new guy at work (I am female, and a supervisor) shook my hand so hard it popped and I was in pain for days. This was 15 years ago. Recently an overzealous woman at church, of all places, ended up causing a week's worth of ice and brusing. That was it: from that point forward I simply don't shake hands with people with my right hand, but fake with my left. I just say something like "bad hand." No one seems to care.

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