The Confidence is in the Shake

It’s a general assumption that a handshake is appropriate when meeting someone for the first time, especially when the meeting is professional. It’s a social-rule I’m more than happy to abide by, however, I still can’t help but cringe 90% of the time I do it.


A hand shake says a lot about a person. When Jim Mitello held out his hand and shook mine before class last Thursday it was a nice, firm handshake with slight pressure that sent out vibes of confidence and assertiveness.

A couple of years ago I was in the same scenario with my mother’s boss who daintily held out his hand at an awkward angle and shook mine with the force of a kitten.  My usual handshake might have broken off his hand, which would have seemed unfeminine in the least.

For me, this introductory gesture sets the tone of the relationship. Someone who can’t shake well appears unsure about themselves which may or may not boil over to their interactions with others. On the contrary, someone with too firm of a handshake appears cocky, as though trying to dominate the relationship.

Initiating a conversation has never been easy for me but I feel a good handshake is an excellent segway into a meaningful conversation

But it has to be just, right.

As I begin the interviewing process for class, I can’t help but know a few handshakes will be involved. Do I let my usual judgment of them set the tone for the relationship, or do I bet on the notion that a handshake can’t possibly say everything about a person?

I must admit, being turned down for several interviews has somewhat shaken what little confidence about interviewing I had. Still, I’m hoping that my knack for a good handshake will help break the ice and send airs of assurance.


One response to “The Confidence is in the Shake

  1. Content: 4 Your post made me smile. Great example of how to connect a fun thought with journalism. At first, I didn’t think you’d do it and I thought I’d have to take off content points. But you turned it around and brought it back. Bravo.
    Links: 3 Good
    Grammar: 3 Watch cliches — break the ice, boil over, happy to abide. Also think about how you could cut clutter. Think about every word before you use it and decide if you need it.

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