Shaking hands and fist bumps

shaking hands
Image: Shutterstock

'Offer a firm handshake and make sure you make eye-contact!'

That's what I always tell my kids. Because a good handshake can tell a lot about a person. And you want to make sure it says the right thing!

Did you know that on average you'll shake someone's hand about 15.000 times in your whole life? And while you're shaking hands, a hormone is released giving you a sense about the person you're shaking hands with. Like whether he or she is trustworthy.

How to shake hands the right way!

  1. Use your right hand.
  2. Hold your hand in a vertical position.  
  3. Take the gloves off, if you're wearing any.
  4. Make sure you touch the base of the thumb of your fellow hand shaker
  5. Make eye contact! I hate it when someone shakes my hand and doesn't even look me in the eye.
  6. Use your elbow do do the shaking.
  7. A hand shake should last on average about 4 seconds. Shorter isn't very polite, longer is awkward.

The fist bump

An alternative to a hand shake is the so called fist bump. Instead of shaking hands, you bump fists. A fist bump is more hygienic, because there's less physical contact. Scientists say there's a 90% decrease in spreading bacteria!

But a fist bump is less formal so it's not always appropriate.

How do you feel about shaking hands? And how about fist bumps?

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