In my article: Is Your Handshake Making Or Killing Instant Attraction (see articles section of my website), I listed 6 ways that a seemingly simple and straightforward handshake can create or kill attraction.
A well-executed handshake is one of the best skills you can cultivate to ensure that each new encounter gets off with rapport and positive chemistry. The handshake hints listed here will give you plenty of practice for when you next see that person who churns your heart. Better still, they’ll create interactions that will bring out your “human warmth” making you instantly attractive to the person you shake hands with.
1. As you approach the person mentally warm your hand
Picture an electrical current pulsating through your hand and allow the heat to spread slowly. If creating a mental image is hard, simply hold your palm close to your cheek – that should warm it.
2. Make sure your hand is not all sweaty
If you know your palms get very sweaty make sure you carry some Kleenex that you switch to the other hand or put in the pocket or purse just before shaking hands or use a spray-on underarm deodorant on the palm of your hands.
3. Offer hand with the palm in the vertical position
This handshake sub-consciously conveys co-operation and sends the message “let’s be friends”. Gently thrust hand forward halfway between you and the person you are meeting and once hands meet, wrap your fingers around the other person’s with thumbs gently locked. Squeeze the hand firmly. The alternative to this is offering a downward turned palm which is associated with aggressive, dominant, controlling and demanding personality or the upturned palm associated with submissive, compliant and approval seeking (needy) personality.
3. Make eye contact – and smile
Good eye contact increases feelings of trust. However, don’t stare and please do not make the common mistake of using eye contact in a premature attempt to increase physical attraction and intimacy. Prolonged eye contact done prematurely is sometimes like talking too much too soon or over-communicating with a stranger. And instead of creating attraction you end up increasing stress or even end up pissing the person off. Hold eye contact for two to three seconds at a time. Increase the amount of eye contact with rapport (see my article: Improve Your Sexual Eye Contact With This Fearless Sexuality Exercise)
5. Be conscious of the handshake power-play
If the other person offers a downward turned palm (signaling his/her attempt at exerting dominance, authority and control), immediately neutralize it by taking his/her hand and slightly turning it a vertical, co-operation or “let’s be friends” position. Use the same tip for an upturned palm mostly offered by people who feel disempowered or sub-consciously use “victim mentality” to gain advantage. Keep in mind that the handshake power-play plays out differently in non-romantic or business encounters where some professions require display of dominance, authority and control and others submissiveness and compliance. In a romantic encounter co-operation of equals takes you much further.
6. Respond with pressure that meets the pressure you receive
Most people associate too much hand pressure with someone who is trying to over compensate for some other deficiency they must have, so match the pressure of your handshake with the one you are offered. If the other person offers a lifeless limp handshake apply a little bit more pressure of your own but don’t try to overpower the other person.
7. Pump hand up and down and hold briefly
Research shows that the average number of up and down shaking across cultures is four shakes. If there is more “liking’ in there the number pumps increases and so does the duration the hand is held. It’s not therefore a bad idea to mentally count the pumps you get. More than four will indicate he/she likes you. However, informal research shows that consumption of alcohol increases the pumps–about two per drink. Try it out yourself. Next time you go to a party count the number of pumps you get when you just arrive and when you leave count the pumps again. The variations can be fascinating.
8. If prolonged handshake is permitted anchor the positive gesture
Anchoring touch is a simple but potent attraction trigger. While holding the other person’s hand in a handshake, use your free hand to touch him/her on the wrist, or upper part of the arm. By doing this you create a link between the good feeling of the handshake and your presence. To intensify the impression of warmth (and intimacy) move the hand further up to touch the shoulder. Later on when you touch the person on the upper part of the arm or shoulder, the good feeling is reactivated.
9. Finish with a tiny extra squeeze.
This should not be tight but merely a surge of energy. Then let go. Doing this signals that you are warm, confident, healthy, strong and genuinely interested in meeting the other person – and that there is a definite attraction.
Take advantage of those precious five or so seconds and give yourself a head start. When else, unless you make it to the hand-holding stage, will you hold that person’s hand again? So without becoming obsessional about it, make your first handshake count.