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Tony Grist

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Shaking Hands [May. 3rd, 2013|10:28 am]
Tony Grist
A political candidate came canvasing last night. He stood on the doorstep smiling nervously and shook my hand three or four separate times in the course of a minute. His grip was very loose and limp.

I was discussing this with Judy. She shook hands with President Bill Clinton once and was surprised how hot and damp and flabby he was. She admires Clinton and thinks his hand may have been hurting from over-use but I'm not convinced.

None of us knows what its like to be on the receiving end of our handshake- which makes it very hard for us to control the message it sends.  Is a handshake a reliable indication of a person's character?  I have to say- fair or unfair- I take it as such. 
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2013-05-03 11:27 am (UTC)
Hmmmm....

I have a very gentle handshake and tend to use both hands- that's an artefact of being left handed, I suspect.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 12:26 pm (UTC)
I think a double-handed shake signifies warmth.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2013-05-03 12:12 pm (UTC)
My mother used to teach at a school named after Lord Mountbatten, and he'd come to the - speech day, whatever it was called, every year. She said his handshake was like having a wet fish slither through your fingers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 12:27 pm (UTC)
Nasty piece of work, Mountbatten.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2013-05-03 12:13 pm (UTC)
We don't know - but we can find out - oh those endless rehearsals -
"Firmer!" "Gentler!" "Keep your gloves on, please!"
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 12:28 pm (UTC)
I suppose a good handshake can be learned.

I was never taught that I can remember.
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From: artkouros
2013-05-03 12:58 pm (UTC)
I read a book on the secret service and one of the points made was how much damage is done to the president's hands from shaking thousands and thousand of hands - especially of the macho types who try to impress with a vice grip.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 05:56 pm (UTC)
That's one reason- I suppose- why the Queen of England wears gloves.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2013-05-03 01:55 pm (UTC)
I think Judy is probably right - when you shake the amount of hands a President or Ex-President does, and you take into account the people who are going to try to be more macho, then it stands to reason....

I will say, Bill Clinton has the most BEAUTIFUL and expressive hands. When I first saw him in person it was his hands that really drew my attention.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 05:58 pm (UTC)
Clinton has the gift- I understand Tony Blair has it too- of making the person he's talking too feel like they're the most important person in his life.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2013-05-03 03:06 pm (UTC)
My father worked for a German firm, in which an unfirm handshake was considered a sign of lack of moral fiber. I have a serious handshake that startles the hell out of the wet fish brigade.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-03 06:29 pm (UTC)
I'm with the Germans on this one.
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[User Picture]From: wlotusopenid
2013-05-04 02:10 am (UTC)
I take it that way, too...fair or unfair. I work on having a firm, yet warm handshake.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-04 09:55 am (UTC)
A weak handshake creates the wrong impression- even if it's misleading.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-04 01:23 pm (UTC)
Apparently Edward VIII- as Prince of Wales- switched over to his left hand when the right one wore out.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-05-07 08:58 pm (UTC)
Taking orders from a woman might be less of a cultural shock to him than touching one. I suspect it's physical contact that's the taboo.

Ah well, he'll adjust.
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