Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weekly Whine: Handshakes

I'm not going to complain about shaking hands in general, even though I probably could. Considering I work in a health care field, shaking hands seems like an excellent way to spread viruses.

No, this is about how every now and then, I shake some guy's hand and he feels a need to completely crush my hand in his. My hand is literally in agony for several minutes after the handshake.

I understand wanting to have a strong handshake, guys. I'm sure it asserts your dominance and is more hygienic than peeing on your territory. But if you're going to shake hands with a small woman with a tiny hand, maybe you could tone it down a notch, huh? What is the point of squeezing a woman's hand to the point of causing pain?? Do these guys simply not realize what they're doing and do they enjoy doing this?

16 comments:

  1. I have a tiny female hand with relatively firm (not crushing, I swear) handshake. Have never had my hand crushed in a handshake. I wonder if you give a firmer-than-normal initial handshake, would hand crushers take that as feedback to back off before they crush?

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  2. Those men probably have myotonic muscular dystrophy and can't help having a death grip. I can't believe you are so insensitive.

    (just kidding)

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  3. Some women do that too. I think they secretly take a perverse thrill in it.

    "Power," they drool. "By the power of Vice Grip, you are beneath me!"

    Lucky for me, I have nerve damage in my hands. When someone squeezes my hand like that it's intensely painful and I involuntarily react. I try and control it, but normally I give a gasp and jerk my hand away. Then my own perverse thrill kicks in, watching them realize that they are really hurting people when they shake hands like that. I imagine that I've left them weeping on the floor, littering the wake of my no-hand squeezing righteousness.

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    1. I have *definitely* had a few painful handshakes from women...

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  4. Ah, the handshake. I (female) tend to have a firm grip and am almost always disappointed when shaking anyone's hand. My least favorite is the "limp noodle" shake, half-grip and barely there. But every once in a while I shake someone's hand and they get it just right. It's easy to know when you are crushing someone's hand, there's no excuse for that. But getting it just right is a tiny thing of beauty.

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    1. Yep there is nothing like a perfect handshake. I always get compliments from men regarding this & I hate a limp noodle! I normally encounter this from women....I've never received a firm handshake from a woman. Despite my tiny hands, I think I have crushed a few female hands, but it's usually because I anticipate a firm grip every time :/

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    2. I had no idea people were so opinionated about handshakes! I could care less how someone shakes my hand, beyond not wanting to be injured.

      Seriously though, I'm curious, what do you "hate" about a weak handshake? Why is a woman giving you a gentle hand squeeze detestable in some way? What's better about getting a firm squeeze? (This is beginning to sound a little sexual here...)

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    3. (laugh) I have the same peeve about the flaccid handshake- no participation in the 'shake' and then sliding their hand limply with no discernible squeeze. Ugh.

      I "hate" it because it seems like a) they're not present or engaged in the interaction or b) they have no interest in MY presence there. It's not a good start to a relationship.

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    4. Wow, I had no idea. I don't know what my shake feels like to others, but I think it's a kind of dumb ritual so never put much thought into it.

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  5. As a man, I have to consciously think about the person I am meeting and what type of handshake is appropriate, or I get it wrong. Handshakes that would be interpreted by other men as "I am passive and have no interest in meeting you" are perfect for small-boned ladies. Handshakes that are perfect for men my size could cause permanent injury for little old ladies. Usually I do pretty well, but occasionally I am thinking about something else and deliver the wrong version.
    Phillip

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  6. Truth is they probably don't realize it. You could try saying "oww" and retracting your hand so they get the point.

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    1. Really? I mean, I would forgive it if it were some elderly demented person, but I'd definitely think a 40-year-old man should realize what they're doing.

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    2. They don't realize it. My older brother has gripped my wrist and my mom's wrist and hurt us without knowing measuring how much greater his strength is. Just sayin'.

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  7. My husband has this problem from the other side. He works for the gov't, and is a weightlifter with huge, very strong, hands. In his line of work, he is always meeting people and shaking hands, and has made a few people wince. He wondered if they were being over-dramatic, because the shake didn't seem hard to him. I said "shake my hand, and I'll tell you if you are squeezing too hard." Well, he sure was. It really hurt. I could feel the bones in my hand squeezing together! So, he is more aware now, but somebody had to tell him. My point is, let them know it hurts. Maybe they are genuinely unaware like my husband was.

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  8. I love the fist bump because I broke my hands years ago and sometimes when the squeeze comes it hurts.

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  9. What annoys me most is it then seems like you have a really limp handshake- when it's actually just impossible to flex your fingers with someone crushing your metacarpals together.

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