I don't remember much handshaking as a child or as a teenager. What little I did, I'm sure it was weak and awkward. Looking back, they should have taught us in school how to properly shake someone's hand, and why; though I'm sure my parents mentioned it somewhere along the way.
Interviewing for jobs as a twenty-one year old adult is when it became something that I needed to do. I'm sure that I hit-and-missed with the quality of it. If I walked into a building with confidence and greeted a person who looked like they were interested in talking to me, then the handshake went well. If not, it may have been loose and reduced to protocol.
Men seem to have ownership of the handshake. I notice my husband shaking hands with another man at least twice during the encounter - upon greeting and when saying good-bye; and sometimes in between. If I'm part of their conversation, most of the time, I have to initiate the handshake because the man seems unsure of whether to shake my hand or not. However, I won't limit this to a male thing. A lot of women who I am introduced to will not initiate the handshake either. Sometimes when I surprise someone (male or female) by holding out my hand to shake theirs, it ends up being a bit wimpy - soft and missing the whole palm to palm, web to web effect because the person is still surprised. But when it urns out to be a good, firm shake, I see the look on the
Handshaking among men has been around for centuries. It's as natural as wearing a tie, watching sports, leaving the lights on around the house, and dropping socks on the floor... generally speaking.
For women - not so... generally speaking.
When I meet a woman for the first time, usually, I shake her hand. The second meeting - I don't. Instead, it's immediate conversation.
Nice to see you again.
How are you?
Hi! I like your dress!
Anything that suggests familiarity... because we've already met before.
By the third visit, it could be a hug (if our second visit was chummy). Future meetings don't require any physical contact, though huggers will likely hug, depending on the occasion.
I wonder if women will ever shake hands as much as men do. Hmmm...
Another aspect of hand shaking is the growing fear of germs. I've seen at least three TV news stories admonishing us to "wash our hands!" because it's "cold and flu season!" And then they show examples of transferring those pesky little germs, like: touching door knobs, eating from the same snack bowls... and good ol' handshaking.
I'm not against handshaking, but it can be inconvenient at social functions; trying to remember to eat my hors d'oeuvres with my left hand, or a fork, and saving the right hand for handshaking.
And then there's my lotion. I really don't like to shake hands right after I've beautified my hands with lotion that hasn't completely absorbed into my skin.
Is the handshake on its way out? Many people abhor the socially expected ritual, and celebrities who feel the same are helping their cause by refusing to shake hands, in effect, leading the common folk to comfortably withhold their hands, too. There's even a web site named Stop Hand Shaking that posts other ways of greeting; like the fist bump, high fives, and nodding. They even sell "no hand shaking" lapel pins, which I assume is a major reason for the site.
(I laugh when I picture business people fist bumping.)
The world is forever changing.
So what do you think about handshaking, i.e. quality, male/female, etc?
And what about the germ factor?