Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Handshake Etiquette- Part 3

Is there such a thing as an inappropriate handshake?

The answer is, ‘yes and no’. Not so many years ago, people were taught that when a man and woman are introduced, the woman should always be the one to offer her hand. Alternatively, she could forego the handclasp and simply nod her head in greeting. Whether she offered her hand or not, she was behaving according to social etiquette.

Now, the rules of handshake etiquette are blurry. Men who are accustomed to treating women as they would in the business world freely offer their hand to everyone they meet. This may appear to be a magnanimous attitude on a man’s part, but it puts the woman he greets in a position where she appears impolite unless she takes his hand.
If you are a man, always wait for her to extend her hand. You can be secure in the knowledge that you are simply being chivalrous by letting her initiate the handshake and that you will not be offended if she does offer her hand.

If you are a woman, be mindful that some men are confused and easily embarrassed. Unless you are attending a cotillion, your choice of offering your hand is never impolite, and will put your new friend at ease.

When to go hand in hand.

When shaking hands to congratulate someone, Irwin recommends the double handshake. This is when you "glove" or "sandwich" the other's hand with both of yours and indicates pride, warmth and sharing. "This can overpower or threaten some people," says Irwin, "so one must be careful and use this when they know someone well."

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.