May 16th 2013 |
The shaking of hands is one of the universal constants of being a gentleman.
It shows respect.
It seals a seal.
It’s a greeting.
And most of all, it shows your adversary that you are unarmed. Unarmed, that is, apart from that length of lead piping in your other hand with which to stove the cur’s brains in if things turn against you.
The art of the handshake is a not a complex one, unless you are part of a society that means you have to roll up one leg of your trousers to gain membership. In which case, it is a series of secret tickles of the palm that mark you out as the kind of person who might be “on the level”.
We here at Socked did not understand the importance of the handshake, until – as feckless youths – we are granted admission to a working men’s club and found that half the evening was spent shaking hands with people.
If you don’t shake hands, you are showing a lack of respect, and, in certain circles where those who break the social code end up with their head nailed to the coffee table, you might as well have spat in their eye and handed over a hammer, some of B&Q’s finest ironmongery, and an IKEA gift voucher.
Shaking hands like a gentleman – unless you are of the tickly-palm type – couldn’t be simpler.
The secret, in fact, is all in the grip.
Too tight and you intimidate the other person into thinking you are a brute and a bully.
Too loose, and the other party thinks you are a wet fish. Apart from a large number of other things with tend to involve violent and painful death, there is nothing so bad in this world as a limp, sweaty handshake.
For maximum effect, follow this easy-to-remember six-point plan:
1. Offer your right hand.
2. Look the other party in the eye.
3. Grip firmly, but not too tightly.
4. A greeting may be exchanged at this point.
5. Fist-bumps and man-hugs may be optional, depending on your hierarchy in the street gang.
Some things NOT to do:
Jazz Hands – Good Lord man, this isn’t Glee.
Spit and shake: Never, even if you have just sealed a business deal. Are you a cowboy? No, you are not a cowboy. Spitting-and-shaking is for imbeciles and people who wish to spread deadly incurable diseases.
High Five: Let’s leave high-fiving to Top Gun, and people who like Top Gun. Are you Tom Cruise? No, you are not Tom Cruise.
Remember: Hand-shaking is important. Gentlemen shake hands.