Develop a powerful Handshake
It just happened at my work today. I met a new male colleague and of course we greeted and introduced each other with a handshake. While we shook hands, he did not put any strength whatsoever into his grip. It felt like I had a dead fish in my hand. I instantly lost respect for him, because it appeared to me as if this man is afraid of me. He could not hold eye contact either and clearly showed a lack of confidence.
It was rather submissive to be honest. Even though he turned out to be a rather nice guy and was probably just a little bit introverted and shy, because he was new, he could not regain my respect. After the handshake I put him below me in my mind. Whatever his reasons were, the nice guy lost again. Hence I thought I have to write about it and here we are. Let us analyze this topic and try to learn from it.
The importance of a strong handshake
In my opinion a strong and firm handshake is very important for a man. It helps to master social settings in showing strength, confidence and dominance. Trades of a man with a high SMV. Fact of the matter is, the simple act of shaking hands is the point, where two unknown men are getting a good impression of each other.
Just like I described in my example before, if we don’t have a firm handshake, it will most likely indicate low self-esteem, fear, submissiveness and other negative impressions to the other person. Of course, we do not have to put all of our strength into our handshake, as if we are trying to break the other hand just to prove our superiority.
Truthfully, I believe that a strong handshake is especially important for smaller and introverted guys. The type of guy that does not impress with a big body and height, who logically can’t emit strength and dominance through it.
How to improve our handshake
Ok fine, but how can we actually improve our handshake? Well, during my life I noticed that besides a confident mindset the following activities were helping me the most in building a good gripping strenght:
1. Lifting heavy weights at the gym
When we are lifting heavy weight at a gym we can develop a stronger grip naturally. Every exercise, where we have to hold a weight over a longer period of time, will help us to improve our gripping strength. Especially if we don’t use help in form of hand gloves, hooks or lifting straps.
Some examples would be:
- Farmer’s Walk
2. Hand grip strengthener
There are special small dumbbells to strengthen the grip. This is a very good way to build up enormous grip. If you get such a dumbbell, make sure that the resistance is adjustable, as you need to get stronger over time to build more grip. They are very cheap to buy too. I´ve got one of these.
3. Martial Arts / Boxing
When we are boxing or practicing a martial art with similar emphasize on hand to hand combat, we put constant strain on the bones in our hand, because we are constantly hitting things. Therefore, the bones in our hands will receive fractures. After those fractures heal though, we have stronger bones than before. Of course, it is not necessary to break our bones. For our goal, regular training is already enough to strengthen our bones with additional calcium deposits. On top of that, we have to close and tighten our hand to make a strong punch.
We can also just go and climb. It does not matter if we climb indoor or outdoor. Since we have to hold our body freely in the air, it will have a similar effect as pull-ups. Besides strengthening our grip, it will also help our back muscles, which is never a bad idea. It can also simply be fun. We can meet new people or invite a woman to tag along too.
5. Work in a physically demanding job
When I was still living with my parents I always had to help them with gardening. Transporting sacks of soil or other stuff helped me building gripping strength. It has a similar effect as farmers walks have. If we look at loggers or road workers they will all usually have a good gripping power too, because they have to lift, hold or move heavy items on a daily basis. Since not everyone can fulfill this point, I put it at the bottom of my list.
How to shake hands with confidence
After we have strenghtened our grip, there is not more to do, than to shake hands with confidence. What do I mean exactly by confidence though?
- We look the other man in the eyes and hold eye contact.
- We do not let our hand go limp during the handshake. Dead fish is not an option!
- We press our hand in his direction and make sure that our palms touch, not our fingers. It is not like we are trying to kiss his hand.
- At the end, the areas between your thumb and forefinger should touch.
During all of this we are deciding how hard our grip is – depending on the situation and the other person. Of course we push our hand stronger on another strong man, than we would do it on a woman. We do not crush the other hand if it is not appropriate. We show our strength, but do not show it unnecessarily.
Some extra tips:
- We are the first to reach out our hand and we point the palm of our hand slightly towards the floor. This will help us to get our hand over his handshake. A typical sign of dominance.
- If we want to look friendly, we can use the “Politician’s” handshake. We shake hands as described above and then enclose his hand it with our free hand. BUT BE CAREFUL WITH THIS! While this form of shaking hands can be interpreted as polite, friendly, warm and sympathic it can also let us be seen as a person that is not to be trusted. Therefore we should only use this form of shaking hands if we know that the other person will understand the meaning of it. Avoid it in business.
A strong handshake is very important for us. If we want to be perceived as a real man, we have to learn how to perform a firm handshake and apply this regularly. Once we have mastered this, we are one step further in our evolution from a nice guy to a better man.