How to make a good impression on a meeting – handshake!

We all know how important first impressions are. But… did you know that «this impression» is actually only the first seven seconds of meeting someone?

Body language has become an important indicator of behaviour. Even in our everyday life, we come across so many people that it is not possible to judge all of them by analysing and talking to them. So… there are some tricks on how to make a good impression while meeting people for the first time – It’s all in your handshake!


In this article, we want to present you different types of handshakes that may help you succeed in a meeting or an event.

  1. Dominant handshake

The palm up shows submissive behaviour and the palm down shows dominance so the position of your palm during the handshake copies those exact attitudes. Dominant types tend to shake hand with their hand on top – and they will usually reach your hand in that position.

Low self-esteem and submissive type of people will offer the hand with the palms up.

  1. Submissive handshake

The opposite of the dominant handshake is to offer your hand (striped sleeve) with your palm facing upwards. This can be effective in case you want to give the other person control or allow him to feel that he is in charge of the situation as if, for example, you were making an apology.

  1. Dead fish:

Imagine rubbing a scaly, dead fish in your hands … and there you go! The ‘dead fish’ is the most infamous one of all the types of handshakes. Your hands typically may be wet for two reasons: You are nervous or you have been holding a cold beverage in your right hand and moved it to your left just before you shake hands. The hand has no energy at all. There is no shake, no squeeze, not even a pinch. This handshake is a synonym of low self-esteem.

  1. Bone Crusher:

This form of squeezing your hand until you cringe is clearly designed to intimidate you. The person is wanting to dominate the situation. They are insecure and trying to make up for this with this handshake.

How to react: If it’s a colleague and you know them well make them aware of it…say “Ouch..that hurts me, your grip is too strong”.


  1. Lobster Claw:

Just like the claw of a lobster, the other person’s thumb and fingers touch the palm of your hand. The person doing it is probably afraid of connecting at a deep level and might have problems building relationships. What to do it this situation? Allow them to open up at their own pace. Take your time since as they become more relaxed with you their handshake might change. Once they fully accept you, they will become a client for life.


  1. Brush Off

This handshake is a quick grasp and then a release that feels like your hand being shoved aside. It is a rude statement of your unimportance, or the other person might be in a great rush. In this case just listen first to what the person wants before talking about your ideas for them.

Brush Off

  1. The Politician

As in a normal handshake, people will grab your hand firmly. In addition, their other hand will cover yours or will be placed on your shoulder or arm. It could also be accompanied by a gentle tap or pat. These additional gestures are almost surely indicating false sincerity unless this is a close friend of yours.

politician handshake


  1. Hand Wrestler

Your hand is taken as usual, but then unexpectedly twisted under. It is usually done aggressively and means that the person is determined to be on top by all means. They normally turn out to be dominating, or simply very competitive and hard-working. 

  1. Finger Vice

When the other person grabs your fingers instead of your whole hand, it might indicate that they’re discreetly keeping you at a distance. This could derive from insecurity or lack of trust. If they are also crushing your fingers, this is a subtle show of power and a subconscious warning not to challenge them.

  1. Two-handed handshakes.

By using both hands while handshaking, you increase the amount of physical contact. This handshake can be excessively physical and domineering so it should only be used if you know the person well.


All in all, here we have some ingredients of a good handshake:

  • Hold the person’s hand firmly
  • Radiate positive aura
  • Shake web-to-web, three times maximum
  • Maintain constant eye contact

To sum up, both of your hands can become a handicap or an advantage depending on how fruitfully you utilize it. Most people turn nervous and don’t seem to know how to use their hands while speaking or talking. When greeting someone, let your handshake be warm and confident. A weak handshake denotes lack of confidence and lack of authority. As you have to give a handshake with the right hand, keep all your belongings in the left hand so that the right is free. Otherwise you may look clumsy transferring the folders to another hand before the handshake.

You can also check our previous articles  8 epic places in Andalucia even locals don’t know about  and  7 Things to Know Before Moving to Spain.