A Manly Handshake: An Illustrated Guide

by Brett & Kate McKay on August 22, 2011 · 95 Comments

in A Man's Life, Manly Skills, On Etiquette, Visual Guides

No “limp fish.” “Web” touch. Firm grip. Look person in eye and smile.  Approach person’s line of sight. No “death grip.” Illustration by Ted Slampyak

I’ve been wanting to incorporate a more visual element into the Art of Manliness, but I have no artistic talent whatsoever. But lucky for us, former So You Want My Job interviewee Ted Slampyak does. Ted’s a super-talented illustrator based out of Albuquerque, NM (Go Isotopes!). He’s done some amazing webcomics like Jazz Age, and until last year Ted drew the Little Orphan Annie comic strip.

From time to time Ted will be providing us with nice, manly-looking illustrated guides that both educate and entertain. We’re also working with him on creating a bi-weekly webcomic that we think AoM readers will enjoy.

Please join me in giving a manly AoM welcome to Ted Slampyak! We hope you’ll enjoy this new visual element of the Art of Manliness.

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brandon August 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

This is great! Welcome Ted; I look forward to seeing more of your work in the weeks and months to come!

2 Smithy August 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Just when I thought my favorite website couldn’t get any better….

3 David August 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Sometimes a single JPG is worth a thousand-word article! I find it mildly creepy though that the drawing of the man on the left strongly resembles Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood.” Not sure I’d want to be shaking his hand…

4 Gomez August 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Is it ok to “death grip” a “limp fish”?

5 Bernie Gilbert August 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I’ve become a fan of “Pawn Stars,” and have noticed that when Rick agrees to a price for an item and shakes hands with the seller, he ALWAYS looks down and away, and doesn’t smile. Always strikes me as odd, because he seems like a genuinely likeable guy.

6 Jared August 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

This is becoming less of a problem as I age, but I’ve always wondered what to do if you’re a man with small-ish hands. I’ve found that some men, especially older ones, have gigantic, paddle-like hands, and you just cannot get a good grip. My only solution has been to start adopting the two-handed handshake. Is it true that your hands continue to grow (breadthwise) as you age?

7 Matt J. August 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I’m glad someone made a guide for this — I can’t stand it when someone’s idea of a “handshake” is to grab my four fingers and squeeze, leaving my palm quite open and trying to figure out what to do next.

8 Marcus August 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Welcome Ted!
Brett, According to Betty Edwards, Ph.D., author of the New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, anyone can draw! At least if your handwriting in okay. I’ve just started with it though, so I don’t know if I’ll progress as quickly as she says-40 hours and you can draw realistically!

9 Albert V. August 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I’m sorry, but I tend mostly to the death grip. Since I was little I was always impressed by people who shook my hand with much power,. And now, to me, giving a hard handshake, surprising the other, feels like saying “I’m here, and you will not move me if I don’t want to.”

10 Rob August 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Wow, awesome!

11 A Croat August 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I actually do have a handshake problem. I either do a limp fish or a death grip. Oh, and welcome Ted! I hope you’ll draw more for us!

12 Eric Robinson August 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Love the artwork, and it’s informative too. Well done, and welcome!

13 Joey August 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this. I’m sick of salmon hand…ugh. just gross.

14 TD August 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Very nice. The art style matches the site’s aesthetic perfectly.

15 Mick August 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Welcome Ted, brilliant diagram that speaks loads. I’m a firm believer in a firm handshake. A handshake means so many things: I come in peace, I am unarmed or at least hold no weapon, we are equals.
Those people that give dead fish handshakes in my eyes are either saying they prefer men in bed, or they are showing utter contempt.
Those that meet a firm handshake with a death grip or finger grab are saying that they’re arrogant or that they’re cowards who wish you to think they are tougher than you.
A real man and a gentleman will match grip for grip i.e You come in with a firm handshake only to be met with a limp fish. Don’t crush the mans hand with a firm grim but lighten up while still maintaining strength.
You meet up with a death grip to your firm grip, immediately firm up your grip or double hand it for support. Don’t try for the death grip yourself, but use your strength to prevent having your hand crushed. Finger grabs are best pulled away from with an apology for missing your grip, grab their wrist with you free hand, pull your hand free (apologise) and place you hand back in theirs for a proper handshake releasing their wrist as you do.
There are always those self centred individuals who try to show dominance with their handshakes, but I think that is an article in and of itself that would need the talent of Ted to illustrated it better.and would need to include the counter move to bring the handshake back on equal ground.
For instance the person who extends their hand with palm down is trying to get the ‘upper hand’, should be countered with either a single hand shake with a turn of the wrist to bring it back on even ground, a double handed grip with a twist to do the same, or my personal favourite, grab the top of their hand and shake it quickly and let it drop (like you’re trying to bounce a ball on the ground) thus showing your knowledge of, and contempt for what they themselves were trying to attempt. Not very gentlemanly, but then they were not trying to be a gentleman themselves.

16 Jeremy August 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Welcome to the site Ted! Can’t wait to see more of these on here in the future. And yeah, the gentleman on the left definitely resembles Daniel Day Lewis from There Will Be Blood. (it’s the mustache!)

17 Paul II August 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Nothing says asshole like a death grip with no eye contact. Such a hick thing. At least the limp fish gives room to judge, but death grips are much more intentional. I usually tell someone they have a good hand shake, or theirs was obnoxious. If you want a test of strength, lets arm wrestle.

18 thomas August 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I just hate the limp fish, handshake, is really uncomfortable.

19 Brian August 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I can’t stand when people give the limp fish handshake. It just makes me want to squeeze super hard.

20 Aaron R August 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Welcome Ted! Great illustration, looking forward to many more.

21 Cory B.A. Ok August 23, 2011 at 12:11 am

Mick, Thanks for the input. I’ve never put that much thought into handling the goofy grips offered by the ignorant or obnoxious. Personally, when encountering the fish, I squeeze the scales off it.

22 Ted Slampyak August 23, 2011 at 12:15 am

Thanks, everybody, for the warm welcoming words! I’ve been a fan of AoM for years n’ years, and when Brett asked me if I’d be interested in contributing, I said yes immediately! I think this is a great partnership and I’m thrilled to be part of the team!

23 Scott August 23, 2011 at 12:21 am

I always seem to go in for the handshake and close too soon, or some sort of misalignment happens, and I end up either giving or receiving a partial grasp.

Something I’ve tried that seems to work is the same advice for the perfect high-five…look at the other person’s elbow when you go for the clasp – seems to do the trick. Awesome illustrations, by the way.

24 Jonathan August 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

Welcome Ted! Glad to see some local talent on the site!

Great debut – I always strive for a manly handshake, and appreciate the same in others.

25 Daktari Frank August 23, 2011 at 2:26 am

Welcome Ted! Am waitin eagerly 4te webcomics.
Some men,due 2te nature of their work, have very firm hands, and when they try to add some little pressure-it results in a death grip. But for the rest of us,with ‘normal’ firmness, av realised that u cn actually meet te other person’s ‘firmness’ by matching their grip very fast through addin more pressure to the hand (to me it happens subconciously).
Men who shake hands without meeting eyes(hopefully with a manly smile) come across as shy,or with low self esteem,or scared of you.

26 Michal August 23, 2011 at 2:41 am

Awesome, would be even more awesome if there was a black and white version I could easily print out and hang in my cubicle. For now, I’ll have to do the job myself.

27 Moosh August 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

So, I have a question:
How do you greet a lady you’ve been acquainted to?
Possible scenarios:
At a family event
At a cocktail party
She’s your (blind) date
At a business setting.

28 Josh August 23, 2011 at 7:21 am

Great image. Succinct, but the guy on the left looks too much like Daniel Plainview from “There Will be Blood” so I just get the feeling his hand shake is disingenuous.

29 Keith Brawner August 23, 2011 at 7:43 am

I look forward to more gold in the vein.

30 Vanessa August 23, 2011 at 7:48 am

great job Ted, and welcome to AOM. Can’t wait your next ilustration … :D

31 Mike Martel August 23, 2011 at 8:06 am

Nice graphic. A good handshake is an art. With some guys, they feel it is almost an arm wrestling contest. Others, you have to grab their hand to shake it. The sweet spot is a firm, grip freely given.

32 michael August 23, 2011 at 8:09 am

im a firm believer that we should go back to the Roman hand shake. Grasp the forearm! Who’s with me!?

33 Darren August 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

Great illustration. Welcome, Ted!

34 Nathan August 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

Welcome, Ted! Great work. I’m looking forward to the comics and to more illustrations.

35 Rox Fontaine August 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

My hands are huge and I often run into people that don’t know how to shake hands. Looking forward to more illustrations!

36 Jason August 23, 2011 at 9:56 am


Welcome Ted!

I can already see the future book deal: “The Art of The Art of Manliness”!!!

37 Federico Alfonso August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

A handshake is an opening (as in a chess game). So I agree with the artist. Not to hard as to hurt the other person, not to feeble as to show you are insecure. Firm grip and a couple of shakes, and that’s it, I say.

38 John McLaughlin August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

Great Illustration! Any chance for a poster?

39 Kevin August 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

Welcome Ted and thanks for the great artwork, it’s a perfect fit. Well done.

I have huge hands and a strong grip and I find that I’m self conscious about shaking hands. I’ve shook hands a few times, thinking I wasn’t squeezing too firmly, only to have the other guy pull his hand away, shaking it and complaining. I feel like a complete dick and apologize, hoping he didn’t think it was intentional. I try not to imply that his grip was weak or feminine. Anyhow, I appreciate this post and love the artwork.

40 Rick Stiles August 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I’ve been teaching the youth that I know how to shake hands for years! That’s right neighborhood kids, my children’s friends, church friends, etc. Most of them pretty quickly catch on and soon make it a point to find me and give me a firm handshake while looking me in the eye. I give them a smile and look of unspoken approval and we enjoy the moment.

41 Claude August 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

You need to add a note about duration. Im a single pump kind of guy, but some guys hold on for two or three and some even longer, which i find uncomfortable.

So how long is correct?

42 Kelly August 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Moosh asked: So, I have a question:
How do you greet a lady you’ve been acquainted to?
Possible scenarios:
At a family event
At a cocktail party
She’s your (blind) date
At a business setting.

My understanding is that you shake a woman’s hand when she offers it to you. If she doesn’t offer to shake hands, she may not be comfortable making physical contact with the opposite sex.

43 Brandon Moore August 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

i drink your milkshake, i drink it up

welcome Ted! excellent work

44 George Bailey August 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm

This is great! And very much needed, I hate shaking hands with a dead fish whether is be a man or woman. I really like the idea of the comic strip and look forward to that. Just another example of Brett making the website better.

45 Hip Hop Argentino August 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I’ve closed the reader to open a new tab in the browser just to congratulate you! Excellent illustration, It’s sick! Really cool for a Tee! Thanks and I’ll be waiting for more!

46 Connor August 24, 2011 at 2:22 am

I believe in a good handshake. Good workplace social practice, and I’m promoting it amongst some circles of friends where it seems like a lost tradition. @Mick – gotta say that a good firm friendly handshake could still mean a guy likes to sleep with other guys. I know I do.

47 Artimid August 24, 2011 at 6:32 am

My only comment is about the limp fish. The times I have had it happen to me, as in I was the “limp fish” one, was because the guy just grabbed as soon as I started to move my hands, and thus had a hold on just my fingers. Really hard to return a firm handshake when you are just pressing with your thumbs.

Remember, look down -as- the hand is being offered a least, make sure you are grabbing his full hand. It doesn’t impress me when you crush my fingers, especially when you don’t shake hands again and give me a chance to return the favor. >_< Rawr.

48 Kyle August 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

Welcome Ted!!

I have been using AOM articles to teach “social/manly” skills to my students for almost a year, and I am looking forward to being able to use more visuals with them. They are not to keen on reading, but we’re working on that too.

Thanks much!

49 Garret August 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Welcome Ted! I look forward to seeing more of your drawings.

I wish that I could show this to everyone at my college. I’m running a small business repairing computers and I the majority of my clients, who I always greet with a handshake, do the “limp fish” or grab my fingers instead of my palm, as another commenter described above.

There’s such a vast difference between that and the firm, manly handshakes that I share with a few of my friends. Greeting someone with such a respectful gesture really makes you feel good to be around that person.

50 Brigette August 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

love the illistration! it’s amazing how many people don’t have a good handshake.

51 JG August 25, 2011 at 12:25 am


Did you watch “There Will Be Blood” before drawing the illustration? Because the men look awfully similar to Daniel Plainview.

Nevertheless, a manly welcome to you.

52 Leif Erickson Advento August 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

If this was sold as a poster, I would buy two prints: one for my den, and one for my infant son’s bedroom (alongside a poster of 3:10 to Yuma).

53 CaptainG August 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

Very nice job and very good advice. Glad to have you aboard Ted.

54 Julio August 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Excellent guide, made in order to show the proper way of performing a basic gesture which usually provides a lasting impression among people.

Welcome, Ted.

55 Stuff for Men August 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I echo Leif Erickson’s comment. If this were a poster I would totally purchase it. Nice work, Ted.

56 louise and nivaldo de lima August 28, 2011 at 3:28 am

Just re-discovered you after a long time. Great blog!

57 chand August 28, 2011 at 6:31 am

No mention about how many times to shake just to make it complete?

58 Felix August 28, 2011 at 8:56 am

Totally agree – being on the receiving end of a ‘limpfish’ handshake actually makes me feel nausea, whereas an ‘iron grip’ just makes me think the guy is a dick.

59 Simon Hartley August 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

How do you give an impressive handshake if his hand is so much bigger than yours that you can’t grip it properly?

60 Inigo August 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Don’t forget the “cut-off,” where the other person goes preemptive strike on you and grabs your fingers, thereby preventing you from giving a handshake at all… the solution? Curtsie. That’ll throw them off haha

61 JJ August 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Definitely would be awesome to have this guy do illustrations like this on a regular basis. This one is going on the bulletin board in the office. Ha ha

62 zeus August 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

First impressions mean a lot and that’s why it’s very important to create a positive one as soon as you meet a person. Just like a handshake it’s important to project confidence and leadership skills. These are the very same things address on my website so that’s why I know that The Art Of Manliness is on the right track. Great job.

63 Manly Teacher August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I agree! When can I buy this poster? I’m a Jr. High teacher and would hang it in my class. I find that a lot of the young men I meet have no idea how to shake another man’s hand. This would be a great addition to my class.

64 Hunter August 31, 2011 at 8:40 pm

My dad is a doctor and goes to a lot of Medical conferences and my family has been going on the trips with him my entire life so I got experience shaking hands when I was 4 and told I was better at it then than a lot of people my father’s age. I am sure that what I have learned has helped me out a ton. It also helps me out in picking out doctors. I once had one who’s handshake was a limp fish of a limp fish. I felt like his hand was going to slip out of mine. That was the first and last time I ever saw him. I didn’t trust him with my health.

65 Steve September 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Excellent work, as usual.

I especially appreciate how the drawing makes reference to the web contact which is essential to a good handshake. I personally hate when you go to shake someone’s hands, and they prematurely close around your fingers and shake them, giving you no leverage to shake their hands. I think this is more a product of nervousness/impatience than the malicious “death grip”. I am not above asking for a re-do, if I know the person well enough.

One thing I would also mention is that I think that it is appropriate to use varying pressure on the grip, depending on whose hand you are shaking. If you are shaking the hand of a lady or a more elderly man, I think it is enough to keep your hand fairly rigid (so as to avoid a “limp fish” handshake) and have a much lighter squeeze. With men in their prime, grip the hand more firmly but not with an obnoxious crushing motion.

66 Nat September 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Grasp a man’s hand with the same amount of grip you would use with a hammer. If he grabs your fingers, then when you disengage give your hand a little shake and say, “Nah, you grabbed my fingers. Let do that again.” If he still plays silly buggers with the handshake after that, don’t do any business with him and shake loose of him.

67 Mauricio September 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Muy inspirador, me dió la iniciativa de ensañarle a mi hijo varias de estas cosas que creo tienen cierta importancia para nosotros los hombres

68 Markus Ellek September 4, 2011 at 3:26 am

Giving a firm handshake is a very basic but really an important skill to have, thanks for reminding me.
Br Markus

69 Aaron Wells September 10, 2011 at 12:41 am

this is great. that’s why im in love with this webste.

70 Madison September 20, 2011 at 11:20 am

Love this, would like to add a side note regarding shaking a women’s hand. While you don’t need to “limp fish” it, please use a little less pressure when you shake a women’s hand. I am in no way a girly girl but more often than not my hand gets crushed. This is not a good way to go especially if you are trying to make an impression on her. She will instantly think you are domineering and can’t be trusted.

71 Benji October 1, 2012 at 7:35 am

I always think the other guy is a douche when he gives me a death grip. Firm is the way to go.

72 stevew October 8, 2012 at 12:14 am

cool site. A guy gave me the finger grab today. My inner impulse was to pull my hand free and smack him in the jaw with it. But I pulled my hand free and re-grabbed his with a full proper hand shake. He looked down and said he had to go.

73 Saxon November 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

The nice thing about having a strong grip is that when someone tries the “sudden attack death grip”, you can politely retain your hand in the correct position and look them in straight the eye.

74 franktc January 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

If I want to emphasize the importance of the ‘shake’; I.e., a relative/in-law, I will ‘pat’ the shake with my left hand. Perhaps, the origins of why we handshake would prove interesting. Great site, BTW!

75 Clobster January 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

Shake the snot out of them !!

76 Sgt. York February 27, 2013 at 8:24 am

you are aware that a handshake means you do not have a gun to use? Then we became less gun friendly and it became a gentleman’s friendly greeting don’t you.

77 Steve February 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm

This guide is all very well, but what I REALLY need is a guide on cheek kissing and hugging!

It seems whenever I’m greeting female friends and acquaintances (especially my wife’s friends), I’m now expected to do some kind of hug and cheek kissing “thing”, which I can never manage to pull of naturally. Is it 1 or 2 cheeks, do lips actually touch cheek, which way to face, how close to get, where do my arms go, do I make a “mwah” noise, eye contact, what do I say?

In comparison, shaking hands is child’s play!

No, I don’t live in Italy, but it just seems to be the done thing in metropolitan life, and growing up in backward old New Zealand hasn’t prepared me for it.

78 J T March 6, 2013 at 1:58 am

Frank was a plumber. Upon our first meeting he tried his Death Grip. My hands are “double-jointed” and as he tried his “specialty”, I just stood there with a look of boredom on my face and remarked “I have all of the time in the world, what about you?”

79 Sweeney April 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

I was complemented on my firm handshake just today – these illustrated guides are the bee’s knees!

80 Arnie May 9, 2013 at 6:17 am

It depends a lot where you are, actually. The “limp fish” is commonplace in many regions in Africa, where many hands are shaken throughout the day. Practice the same in, say, the Balkans, where you’re not a real man unless you’re a “man’s man”, and chances are that you won’t be taken very seriously. Some cultural awareness goes a long way. All the best with that, gentlemen. And ladies, indeed.

81 Trevor May 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I think the hand shake is becoming less prevalent due to hygiene concerns (door handles, public restrooms, meeting multiple people, bird flu, swine flu.. Etc).
Personally I’m happy about that. It is an uncouth custom. If I’m just meeting someone, it’s self evident I know little about the person(s), and where they’ve been, and they know little about me.
If someone proffers their paw I will acquiesce with what good will I can muster, but I can’t help thinking the individual is inconsiderate, ignorant, or inattentive to hygiene issues.
My preferred tactic is to casually wave, smile, and say hello. it’s almost like Indians saying “How” in the old westerns. When greeting they would raise their hands and solemnly say “How.” I try not to be too solemn.
I think bowing is a pretty good idea too, but I don’t live in Japan.

82 Jim June 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

Thank you for the advice as well as the illustrations.

I have found many more people who do not know what a handshake is let alone what it can mean. I admit, I have an aggressive style in a handshake. I have developed into this method because of so many poor handshakes. I generally make a slightly fast movement to the hand offered to ensure I get the appropriate grip on the other’s hand. I am attentive for the grip stength and try to match it…similar to what Mitch described (above). There have been a couple time the person with whom I am shaking hands is a little surprised. It is not perfect and it isnt a science. But I do not “miss” for the proper grip nor is thmy handshake one to forget. I am proud to say one of the things I am remembered for is a good old-fashioned handshake.

83 Sgt York June 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm

In the beginning what did a hand shake mean?

84 Erik June 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

Oh yes, a limp fish is horrible to encounter, it makes you feel like either the person is a total wimp, OR he isn’t interested and just like “Gah, whatever. Not even gonna bother giving him a decent handshake”
And then you got the overly masculine guys who just squish my rather small-ish hands to death. Not nice either. It’s like THOSE guys want to prove how ‘damn strong’ their hands are just by killing yours.

Handshakes… *sigh* they SEEM so simple, but so, so many people get ‘em wrong. *shakes head*

You guys are terrific btw, this is a great website, just found it, and I am totally addicted, haha!

85 Josh July 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

If they do the “limp fish” I kiss their hand.

86 Alex July 7, 2013 at 7:49 am

Should make a poster of that art, I would buy it for sure ! Really nice work !

87 Willay Jenkins August 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

If only men would think about washing their hands as often as they ponder how much pressure to apply while shaking them.

Dudes dig their balls, scratch their buttholes, finger their noses and exit the restroom after taking a dump without washing their hands very often in today’s America.

Do you really want to touch every guy’s hand?

I have found that the only men concerned with a handshake are the blue collar guys or the hillbilly types who are all about the death grip as if a handshake is some sort of game of strength from the county fair.

There are too many germs going around and too many people who don’t know how to mix soap with water or are too lazy to take the time to do so.

I don’t want to touch their hands.

I hate that the only other option is a fist bump which is just douchebag.

The handshake is a hillbilly size up game and the fist bump is a douchebag bro hammer type of greeting and it is a shame we have no way to greet another man without touching him in 2013.

I mean, is it REALLY necessary to caress a man’s hand when greeting him?

For those who complain of the “limp fish” as if that somehow means the man prefers the company of men; remember, you are the one wanting to clutch hands and are concerned with how hard you give it to the other guy.

How about a nice staredown?

No germs. All man.

88 Patricia September 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I am surprised that no one has referred to their social etiquette training in school. I checked with my husband and we were both trained in Parochial education systems. Two simple rules on the handshake etiquette: 1) only extend your hand to shake a woman’s hand if she extends her hand first. 2) only exert as much strength as offered to you by the woman or the man. It mystified my why men do not realize that women’s upper body strength is 1/4 as strong as a man. The handshake greeting is not a contest of strength between a man and woman; but, a simple gesture of courtesy. When remembering good manners, the gentleman will always consider the recipient of the good intentions of his greeting and not attempt to prove his prowess or draw attention to himself. As for the “fish grip” handshake, there may be physical limitations like arthritis or cervical nerve impairment, so extend the benefit of the doubt, be considerate and take it easy. Just graciously return the handshake with the strength offered, whether man or woman, smile, “pleased to meet you”, make eye contact according to the culture’s norm, and move on.

89 John November 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Deathgrip is a douchebag move, especially at a first meeting. I always call someone out when they try to intimidate me with a death grip.

90 J November 27, 2013 at 3:40 am

I think holding your own hand rigid is the best approach. I can’t be crushed, the limp fish I might encounter doesn’t get crushed, and the other man knows that I have strength. Works fine with women, and is much better than doing a limp fish – emasculating. Incidentally, I can’t believe how many men do the limp fish! It drops them several notches in my non-hick estimation. Young men should be taught how to do it right.

I received the worst combination of all from an old guy with very big and strong hands – he rushed, grabbed my fingers only, and gave them hell (I wondered if something was going to break). I yelled and pulled my hand away, and have held him in low regard since. I refuse to shake hands with him since and will never forget the stupidity and disrespect. He’s someone I could’ve done business with subsequently, but he revealed himself to be of poor character by screwing up a simple social convention.

91 Adam Dulik December 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The move I like to pull on the “upper hand” jackass is to put my hand on top of his, count to three aloud, push his hand down (vigorously), and raise mine while shouting something like “Go, Tigers!” You know, Drew Brees style. It can be uncomfortable for others, but, at the very least, that guy knows to dick with someone else. If you do it in front of others he knows, they will buy you drinks.

92 Billyo January 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

It seems that too many people take this ‘look the person in the eyes’ to extreme. It is not a stare. When people do this unnaturally i.e. because they have read they are supposed to do it, then it is forced and unmanly. I personally find it annoying and prefer a glance and a nod.
On another point, when some people go for the death grip they will curve their arm and elbow outwards – I guess to engage the shoulders. Look for that one coming and tighten up your hand or push you hand into theirs, so they can’t give the full force.

93 Michael February 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm

It looks like Daniel Plainview shaking hands with Tom Selleck. The manliest handshake in history!

94 Clinton March 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm

but if you really want the uncrunchable handshake, EXTEND your pointer finger.. this locks your knuckles and makes it impossible to be “crushed”.. try it!

95 chainsaw April 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Quiet… you are giving away the “Secret Militia Handshake” You can always tell when you are meeting a Brother Militia Member by their using the “Secret Handshake” those who are NOT Milita will not use the “Secret Handshake” but will use one like the “dead fish” or limp …..member style. So stop posting this page, you are giving away the secret!!!

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