Every Man Needs To Know How To Give A Proper Hand Shake
1. The limp hand
I don't want to shake your limp hand, and neither does anybody else. It doesn’t feel good to have another man’s limp hand in mine. You probably don’t realize this, so I will put it delicately. When you give me your limp hand it makes me think you’re a pansy. Man it up a bit and squeeze. Even if it takes every ounce of strength you can conjure up the guy you’re shaking will certainly respect your effort.
2. The sweaty hand
Nobody wants a sweaty hand in theirs. Maybe you’re nervous, maybe you’ve been walking around with your hands in your pockets…it doesn’t matter. Carry a towel if you must, but avoid the sweaty hand shake at all costs. A man will not refuse a handshake, and the sweaty hand leaves him awkwardly trying to escape the ensuing conversation with haste so I can run and wash your sweaty residue off my paw.
3. The left hand
The only time it’s ever acceptable to offer a left hand up for a shake, is if you have no right hand. And even then it’s iffy. The left hand shake can actually be dangerous. Some places in the world it's very offensive to be offered a left hand. They shake with the right, and wipe with the left. Not a mistake you want to make. I wouldn't do it. If your right hand is dirty or tied up repairing a car, just say “sorry man, I would shake your hand, but I’m a little tied up here”. Even if your left hand is in clear view and ready for a shake, he will understand. It’s one of those unspoken man-rules that every dude should know about.
4. The bone crusher
There are guys out there who seem to really enjoy inflicting pain on others when they shake hands. Those guys give bone crushers, the handshake that leaves you reeling in pain and leaves you with a red, swollen hand. Try not to assert your manliness in a shake, typically it just leaves others thinking that you are a jerk. It is possible that you’re just freakishly strong, have huge hands, or that you genuinely just don’t realize you’re doing it. If you suspect that you may be a bone-crusher, have a somebody that you trust evaluate your shake, and make the necessary corrections. I will caution that bone crushers usually require some time to fix their shake. For some reason it’s easier to increase your grip then decrease it, they tend to go through a phase of wondering why other men can’t handle it, and why they should be the one to change. Be patient with them, they can be rehabilitated into good shakers.
5. The homeboy
Even at my age, I am still occasionally approached for a shake by some dude who is holding his hand above his head. Initial confusion usually gives way to the realization that he’s trying to give me the homeboy shake. I just put forth my hand and offer a classic, under normal circumstances, they will accept. If your shake requires an above head entry or Soulja Boy type dance moves, it’s probably a homeboy shake. The problem with the homeboy shake is that each person does it a little different. You need to actually be homeboys to complete the shake because it usually uses previously agreed upon break dance techniques that no one can improvise on the spot. Approach every shake as though it were your Grandfather and you should be just fine.
6. The fingertip
Just don't do this....ever.
7. The wet hand
Wet hands are tough, because it’s not really enough of a reason not to shake, but should still be avoided. Usually a wet hand leaves the wet-shaker feeling that he needs to explain that he didn’t pee on his hands and it’s only water. Really? When was the last time you knew of somebody that peed on their hands and left the bathroom without so much as a rinse? Why would somebody assume that? Nobody would, so don’t say it. Even if you have to do a pre-shake dry job on your jeans, it’s much better than a wet shake.
All that said, I will describe a proper classic hand shake in case you somehow made it this far in life not knowing how. Offer your hand flat and vertical with the elbow at ninety degrees. Keep eye contact while moving in and stop only when your hands have locked between your thumb and forefinger. Grasp with moderate pressure and pump three times, not two, not four....three. Release. That’s how it’s done.